MCCABE & MRS. MILLER | Dir. Robert Altman | 1971 | 120 min | 18A
MCCABE & MRS. MILLER (1971) is one of Robert Altman's earliest anti-genre films. In this case, Altman takes on the Western and it’s hallmarks of a confident hero and streamlined sound design. McCabe (Warren Beatty) and Mrs. Miller (Julie Christie) are embedded in a multi-protagonist cast who all seem to co-exist long before and after the camera arrives. Likewise, unprivileged dialogue speaks to the complete unobtrusiveness of the film and to Altman’s propensity for subversive formal tactics in general. One of three Altman films to be selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry, MCCABE & MRS. MILLER was also selected as eighth on the American Film Institute’s Top 10 Westerns list.
MCCABE & MRS. MILLER is the fifth and final film in this season’s Master Series. Between September and November Calgary Cinematheque is presenting a selection of Robert Altman’s films released between 1971 and 1977, a period in which his work exemplified the Maverick style for which he became known. The films inherent to this collection showcase Altman’s unrelenting tendency to de- and then re-construct Hollywood genre, his unmistakable blending of scripted and improvised dialogue, and the trademark of a uniquely mobile camera.