“I was just thinking what an interesting concept it is to eliminate the writer from the artistic process. If we could just get rid of these actors and directors, maybe we’ve got something here.”
With those words, one of the most entertainingly caustic books ABOUT movies became one of the best films about the world of film – and my “Cult Movie Monday!”
Look At All The Oscar Gold!
Michael Tolkin’s black comedy about Hollywood is one of the best films about the movie business ever.
It was a film so powerful that it has the MOST Oscar-winners in a single movie in history! More on that in a moment.
Let’s get to the trailer for Director Robert Altman’s brilliant “The Player”:
“The Player” brilliantly captures the world of Hollywood – from the opening tracking shot – in one of the longest single takes in movie history – a single 8:05 shot that Vulture.com describes thusly:
Robert Altman introduces viewers to all The Player’s major characters in his film’s opening scene. Shot 15 times over the course of half a day, the scene sets the stage for Altman’s scathing Hollywood satire. The movie is populated by know-something wheeler-dealers that all inevitably chase after the wrong next big thing. In this opening scene, everyone falls over each other, trying and failing to remain in the loop and/or in the know. In real life, there was no script for this scene; all of the dialogue is improvised, including the discussion of various different real-life cinematic tracking shots.
The camera roams all over the studio lot, while also peering into Griffin Dunne’s office as he listens to movie pitches from real movie people like Buck Henry – he’s the Writer of the classic film “The Graduate”, and we hear him pitching a sequel to Griffin! It’s hilarious, and as noted above, all improvised – it’s a brilliant opening to the movie!
The film is shot in many iconic Hollywood locations, with great acting from a wide range of stars like Richard E. Grant and Dean Stockwell, shown here trying to sell a film idea to Griffin. The film also has hilarious dialogue about the business like this:
Larry Levy: “I’ll be there right after my AA meeting.”
Griffin Mill: “Oh Larry, I didn’t realise you had a drinking problem.”
Larry Levy: “Well I don’t really, but that’s where all the deals are being made these days.”
Unfortunately, one of those pitches was from a Writer who doesn’t get a call back, and Griffin finds himself being stalked…no more needs to be said except that you won’t find a more “inside” look at the entertainment business than this film – and it is chock full of Oscar winners!
The Most Oscars In A Single Film!
Director Robert Altman is known for such masterpieces as “MASH”, “Nashville”, “Gosford Park” and “Short Cuts”, and so obviously everyone wants to work with him – even in a cameo role!
According to IMDB:
The film has more Oscar winning actors and actresses in the cast than any other movie in history. There are twelve: Cher, James Coburn, Louise Fletcher, Whoopi Goldberg, Joel Grey, Anjelica Huston, Jack Lemmon, Marlee Matlin, Tim Robbins, Julia Roberts, Susan Sarandon, and Rod Steiger. Thirteen, when you count Oscar winning Producer and Director Sydney Pollack, who also makes a cameo appearance. Also includes fifteen other actors and actresses who received Oscar nominations: Karen Black, Dean Stockwell, Michael Tolkin, Gary Busey, Peter Falk, Teri Garr, Jeff Goldblum, Elliott Gould, Sally Kirkland, Buck Henry, Sally Kellerman, Burt Reynolds, Nick Nolte, Richard E. Grant and Lily Tomlin.
Look at the people who show up in “The Player” – and they are all having a blast!
It must have cost a fortune, right? WRONG!
Julia Roberts, Bruce Willis and all the others did their cameos for nothing! They just wanted to be part of a great film for the acclaimed Director.
“The Player” has a terrific cast, a great story and it’s beautifully directed – a really great film about film.
There are SO many great movies ABOUT movies…like these:
I love films that take on the entertainment business, and here is a link to some of my favorites:
Now, I’m celebrating “Cult Movie Monday by watching “The Player” again!
Categories: Academy Awards, Art, Awards, Books / Media, Comedy Movies, Cult Movies, Film Fight Club, Great Films, Hollywood, Los Angeles, Movies, Movies About Movies, Obscure Movies, Pop Culture, Revenge Movies, Talent/Celebrities, The Artist, Uncategorized