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A Prairie Home Companion (2006)

PG-13 | | Comedy, Drama, Music | 9 June 2006 (USA)
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A look at what goes on backstage during the last broadcast of America's most celebrated radio show, where singing cowboys Dusty and Lefty, a country music siren, and a host of others hold court.

Director:

Robert Altman

Writers:

Garrison Keillor (screenplay), Garrison Keillor (story) | 1 more credit »
5 wins & 21 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Marylouise Burke ... Lunch Lady
Woody Harrelson ... Dusty
L.Q. Jones ... Chuck Akers
Tommy Lee Jones ... The Axeman
Garrison Keillor ... GK
Kevin Kline ... Guy Noir
Lindsay Lohan ... Lola Johnson
Virginia Madsen ... Dangerous Woman
John C. Reilly ... Lefty
Maya Rudolph ... Molly
Tim Russell ... Stage Manager
Sue Scott ... Makeup Lady
Meryl Streep ... Yolanda Johnson
Lily Tomlin ... Rhonda Johnson
Tom Keith Tom Keith ... Himself - Sound Effects Man
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Storyline

A final live variety show broadcast via radio becomes a metaphor for the natural order of life. A concept and script by Garrison Keilor uses every natural and technical element of working with a tight and close ensemble producing a weekly show to sooth us and guide us through the natural but difficult transitions of aging, becoming less relevant and then dying as new, young life develops and strengthens during our final "performances." This is a rare film for it's remarkable cast and crew and one wonders how the great Robert Altman was able to gather them all at the same place and time to shoot this film. Written by Dave Seaman

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Radio like you've never seen it before. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Music | Musical

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for risque humor | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Norwegian

Release Date:

9 June 2006 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Noches mágicas de radio See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$10,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$4,566,293, 11 June 2006, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$20,342,852
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

SDDS | Dolby Digital | DTS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This was the first occasion that Robert Altman worked with Meryl Streep. He remarked that she was "twenty-five percent above anyone else". See more »

Goofs

While Guy Noir sits at his desk, there is an "On Air" sign common to radio and TV stations. It is switched on, that is to say, the light bulb in the "On Air" sign is switched on. In a later scene the radio show is still on the air, but the sign is switched off. Technically, it should still be on, whenever a microphone is open in the studio. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Radio Announcer: Market reports today, barrows and gilts uh two hundred twenty to two hundred sixty pounds, they're lower at forty dollars uh sows are steady three hundred five hundred pounds thirty four to thirty seven dollars going over to feeder cattle, beef steers - one hundred twenty to one hundred fifty dollars and two hundred to three hundred
[fade out]
See more »

Crazy Credits

There is a credit for Sign Painter in the film, although it does not appear on the official site. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Jeopardy!: Episode #26.16 (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

Waitin' For You
Music by Pat Donohue
Performed by The Guys All-Star Shoe Band
See more »

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User Reviews

A song of love . . . .
5 June 2006 | by jdesandoSee all my reviews

"It's not true that I had nothing on. I had the radio on." Marilyn Monroe about posing nude on her famous calendar.

If there is anyone more laid back or brighter than Garrison Keillor in show business, let me know, because Robert Altman's A Prairie Home Companion, based on Keillor's long-running Minnesota Public Radio saga, shows Keillor as an audience sees him each week—like a god gently guiding an eccentric ensemble through excellent performances made to look as easy as his demeanor. This film stands near Altman's Nashville as a testimony to the director's gift for sustaining strong characters in layers of dialogue approximating overlapping conversations at an interesting party.

Meryl Streep and Lily Tomlin as the singing country Johnson sisters bring back memories of Reese Witherspoon's amazing turn as June Carter and Streep's own previous country singer in Postcards. Ditto Woody Harrelson and John C. Reilly as the singing and joking Dusty and Lefty. But best of all is Kevin Kline as Keillor's real radio creation, Guy Noir, the '40's dapper, inquisitive, naughty narrator and security head for the production. Klein embodies the melancholic mood always at least hidden underneath any show's last show, despite Keillor's nonchalant assertion that every show is your "last show." Around this realistic, charming premise of talented performers at their last performance, writer Keillor interjects a ghostly beauty in a white leather trench coat, Virginia Madsen playing Dangerous Woman, the spirit of death, gently accompanying those about to die and the moribund show itself. The character is a lyrical embodiment of the theme that nothing lasts but the love shared in any experience. Keillor remains in character after someone dies by stating he doesn't "do eulogies." Nor does he do one for the show, which in real life still lasts in St. Paul from 1974.

So enjoyable are Altman, his ubiquitous HD camera, and his busy dialogue that you feel a part of the proceedings, catching the sweet smell of success for everyone attached to this thoroughly realized song of love to theater, music, and creativity.


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