Lawyer Rick Magruder has a one-night-stand affair with caterer Mallory Doss. He becomes hooked on her, and when he learns her nut-case father Dixon is threatening her, he puts the weight of his law firm behind Mallory, has Dixon arrested and subpoenas her ex-husband Pete to testify against Dixon in court. Dixon is sent to an asylum, but escapes from there and the lives of many people are in danger. —IMDb
An iconoclast whose work acutely attacked the conventions of genre filmmaking, Altman both satirized and revitalized such warhorses as the Western, the musical, and the crime drama, waging war on the sterile artifice of mainstream storytelling by creating a singularly sprawling and deliberately messy cinematic world bursting at the seams with sounds, images, characters, and plot lines. Famed for his inventive brand of overlapping (and often improvisational) dialogue and an acknowledged master of modern camera technique, Altman’s quixotic career has been uneven at best, yet he remains a pivotal figure of contemporary cinema, a true maverick responsible for many of the defining motion pictures of his times. Born February 20, 1925, in Kansas City, MO, Altman was educated in Jesuit schools prior to joining the Army at the age of 18; over the course of WWII, he flew over 50 bombing missions in Borneo and the Dutch East Indies. Upon his discharge in 1947, Altman studied engineering at the… read more
I saw this film when it was theatrically released and liked it at the time. Now, 14 years later, I wonder why. Because, apart of the lightning that creates a modern fairy tale mood (Red Riding Hood, the ogre, etc...), the film is a disappointment. Man changes. Everything is relative. Amen. Already forgotten.
Even if a movie just sort of works and tells me a story I'd like to hear without being all that great, I'm typically down to like it. But I felt like this movie didn't work all that well. Grisham writes stories that tight direction, and while someone like Altman might make things more interesting by opening that kind story up, I didn't like his attempts here. Ebert liked it. I don't know. Didn't work for me.