People will probably tell you that M*A*S*H or McCabe & Mrs. Miller were the movies which started Altman's career but I say it starts right here. A goofy but good movie that contains many of the director's hallmarks in his early and formative years as a filmmaker. It's even better if you're like me and have a huge crush on Shelley Duvall.
It speaks to the contrariness of Robert Altman that after hitting it big with MASH (after more than a decade of hacking away at Hollywood) he chose to follow it up with a film designed to confuse at least half that movie's fans. The result is tough to describe—the closest I can come is "Dr. Seuss writes a crime serial for Mad Magazine"—but undeniably some kind of joy, carefully constructed and utterly whacked-out.
Altman amps up the silliness in this hilarious followup to MASH. Before Harold fell in love with Maude he learned to fly in this insane film that also pokes fun of Bullitt and showcases the Houston Astro Dome. This gem also marks when Altman discovered Shelley Duvall.
Basically everything I love about Altman is in full flow in this weird, idiosyncratic film. The car chase sequence is fantastic, easily my favourite car chase depicted on screen. Stacy Keach is totally unrecognisable and completely unforgettable. Altman's 70's run is perhaps the greatest run in cinema history (in my humble opinion of course).
9.5/10 - I have no idea whatsoever what I just watched, but one thing I know for sure is that I loved every minute of it. Waldo builds wings for himself, while protected by his beautiful guardian angel, but at the same time people get killed by a mysterious strangler and a weird bird-man narrates everything? I dont even....
Saw it for the first time the other day. Thought it was all set in Astrodome, but realised that it's all about people getting killed by bird poo. Loved the self-referential beginning. Silly like Beyond Therapy but so much better, I'd imagine because of Altman's youthful intelligence
One of Robert Altman's strangest and best works. A bizarre story that's difficult to describe, and would seem to be even more difficult to make all its disparate elements work. But Altman somehow manages to blend it all together into a breezy, wholly original flight of comic fancy headlined by a great offbeat cast. A classic that deserves to be better known.