The other film that people will tell you started Altman's career. This features Warren Beatty at maybe the height of his powers as professional gambler and pimp, John McCabe, in the early 20th century Pacific Northwest. Honestly, I feel like this film has children in Taxi Driver and maybe even Unforgiven - but in my opinion it was like a lot of other revisionist westerns at the time, just well made.
McCabe & Mrs. Miller is a film which seems to develop in large part without any real or at least palpable tension. Whether it be amorous or anything else, one can't really sense what's at stake for the bunch of people that are screened. I think this is largely due to the sketchy script. Yet it's quite entertaining and a joy to watch, a combination of characteristic that runs across Altman's oeuvre.
Crime, alcohol and prostitution are the foundations of American civilization. Pity, then, that this saggy and boring affair is no match for its own sarcastic stance. It rather resembles the abysmal 'Popeye' — people in costumes trapped on a hillside, in a film set that looks like a film set. Plus snow.
Peculiar fragile age for the solitary-type product of the North American counterculture where he sort of cries off and on through the near-entirety of McCabe and Mrs. Miller from the shot of the egg onward. I remember seeing it projected on 35 when I was a teenager. This really feels like a superlative period piece about the poetic gestalt of its own time period. Hence the Leonard Coen. The snow happened 'cause God.
(...)Überhaupt; man beachte den Titel: McCabe & Mrs. Miller. Das verheisst keinerlei persönliche Beziehung, klingt wie ein Firmenname. Ein geschäftliches Arrangement. Alles, was Mrs. Miller tut, ist geschäftlich. Was mag sie hinter sich haben? Sicher nur; sie liess alles zurück. Der arme McCabe. Er mag ein Poet sein, doch das ist einerlei in Presbyterian Church. (...)
The best revisionist western ever made. Movies don't come more atmospheric than this. The Leonard Cohen score is haunting. If you don't like this film you don't like cinema. Roger Ebert described this picture as a perfect film and I would be inclined to agree. Warren Beatty and Julie Christie are magnificent in this hazy, melancholy beauty. Altman demonstrates total mastery of tone and character. Poetic perfection.
Yeah, sure this is about big companies taking over small enterprises & about non-existence of law & order. However, this is only a tiny detail. Actually it's about a man, who wants to settle down, find a place in the community, make business, find a woman to love & start a family. Unfortunately, it doesn't work. Great performances of Julie Christie & Warren Beatty. Wonderful camera. Leonard Cohen songs do suck.
Altman non sempre mi piace, ma quando lo fa mi conquista senza mezzi termini. Qui abbiamo una regia e una fotografia pazzeschi, una schiera di interpreti superlativi (dominati ovviamente da Warren Beatty e Julie Christie, ma non solo) e colonna sonora e ambientazioni assolutamente funzionali a creare un'atmosfera unica. Capolavoro (ennesimo)