AFI Movie Club: MCCABE & MRS. MILLER – American Film Institute

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AFI Movie Club: MCCABE & MRS. MILLER

AFI Life Achievement Award recipient Warren Beatty teamed up with Julie Christie and director Robert Altman to bring MCCABE & MRS. MILLER to the silver screen, which AFI named as one of the greatest westerns in film history.  

Watch Alfre Woodard announce MCCABE & MRS. MILLER:

Movie Trivia about MCCABE & MRS. MILLER

DID YOU KNOW that producer David Foster made his motion picture debut with MCCABE & MRS. MILLER? Subsequent films produced by Foster span more four decades and include THE GETAWAY, THE MEAN SEASON and THE RIVER WILD starring AFI Life Achievement Award recipient Meryl Streep. 

DID YOU KNOW the original title for MCCABE & MRS. MILLER was THE PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH WAGER? The title was changed due to complaints from the church. 

DID YOU KNOW that, according to director Robert Altman, Elliott Gould was originally considered for the role of McCabe, but casting Warren Beatty proved necessary to secure financing for the film? 

DID YOU KNOW that actor Keith Carradine made his feature film debut in MCCABE & MRS. MILLER? Carradine went on to work with director Robert Altman again on THIEVES LIKE US and the Academy Award® nominated NASHVILLE for which Carradine won an Oscar® for Best Original Song. 

DID YOU KNOW that MCCABE & MRS. MILLER represents the beginning of director Robert Altman’s innovative practice of overlapping dialogue in his films? Altman assigned each actor a personal microphone, recorded to a different track – allowing him to select which voices to make audible and which to dull to a mumble. 

DID YOU KNOW director Robert Altman began filming before all of the sets were built? This way, the construction of the town and the construction of the film occurred in tandem. Carpenters, dressed in period clothes, can be seen in the background in some scenes doing actual construction work. 

DID YOU KNOW director Robert Altman wanted an antique, historical look to MCCABE & MRS. MILLER, so he partially exposed the negatives to destroy the clarity of the film? It created the impression that one is viewing the film through a pane of stained glass.  

DID YOU KNOW Julie Christie received the film’s only Academy Award® nomination for Best Actress for her work as Constance Miller in the film? 

Learn more at the AFI Catalog.

 

The movie doesn’t end at the credits: Family-friendly Discussion Questions

Join the conversation on Twitter and Instagram now using #AFIMovieClub. Or post your responses in the comment section below.

-Why was MCCABE & MRS. MILLER considered an anti-western? 

-Director Robert Altman used some innovative filmmaking techniques for the time to make the film – how were they beneficial to the overall story? 

-How does Leonard Cohen’s celebrated soundtrack elevate the overall film? How would you describe it effect? 

-What is your favorite film by director Robert Altman? Why? 

-Does MCCABE & MRS. MILLER still resonate with today’s audiences? 

-How would you rate MCCABE & MRS. MILLER? 

 

In this exclusive AFI Archive video, Elizabeth Perkins and Ed Burns talk about MCCABE & MRS. MILLER: 

New to AFI Movie Club? Want to learn more?

AFI has created a global, virtual gathering of those who love the movies. Each day’s film is accompanied by fun facts, family-friendly discussion points and material from the AFI Archive to enrich your viewing experience.

Learn more in our FAQ section.

 

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