09 20 Oct '24
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Robert Altman

Short Cuts

Edition 2023
185' - 1993 - Drama, Comedy - Dialogue: English
Director: Robert Altman Composer: Mark Isham With: Julianne Moore, Robert Downey Jr., Tim Robbins, Jack Lemmon, Frances McDormand
The seeming inattention with which Robert Altman dives into the lives of his various characters with his zoom lens and weaves all the storylines into a coherent whole in a virtuoso montage betrays an unerring sense of rhythm and pace and a nonchalant cinematic brio that few directors are given.
Throughout his career, Robert Altman was a nonconformist who turned a deaf ear to Hollywood conventions. Short Cuts is the culmination of his favourite narrative device: the mosaic with a host of characters played by an ensemble cast of both character actors and big stars. He drew inspiration from Raymond Carver, weaving eight of his stories and one poem into a kaleidoscopic epic with no fewer than 22 main characters. From the fragmentary mini-portraits grows a chronicle of an uprooted middle class. He relocated Carver Country (the industrial northwest of the 1950s and 1960s) to the anonymous suburbs of Los Angeles anno 1993, populated by neurotics, losers and couples who distrust each other or are in each other's pockets. Some have abandoned all hope; others are trying to make the best of it and ward off the chaos - symbolised by an apocalyptic earthquake.
"The most remarkable thing about Short Cuts is how effortless it all seems. Made with the unforced and casual command that often comes to artists late in life, it is close to magical in the way it draws us into the web, in how the whole comes to be considerably more than the individual parts." - Los Angeles Times

Image gallery

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Robert Altman


Mark Isham


Julianne Moore, Robert Downey Jr., Tim Robbins, Jack Lemmon, Frances McDormand


Robert Altman, Frank Barhydt

Director of Photography

Walt Lloyd


Geraldine Peroni, Suzy Elmiger


Cary Brokaw

Production studios

Fine Line Features

More information



Countries of production

United States of America

Screenplay based on

Raymond Carver




Robert Altman
Modern Football (short, 1951), The Sound of Bells (short, 1952), King Basketball (short, 1952), The Last Mile (short, 1953), How to Run a Filling Station (short, 1953), The Dirty Look (short, 1954), The Builders (short, 1954), Better Football (short, 1954), The Perfect Crime (short, 1955), The Magic Bond (short, 1956), The James Dean Story (1957), The Delinquents (1957), The Party (short, 1964), The Katherine Reed Story (short, 1965), The Happening (1967), Countdown (1967), Pot au feu (short, 1967), That Cold Day in the Park (1969), M*A*S*H (1970), Brewster McCloud (1970), McCabe & Mrs. Miller (1971), Images (1972), The Long Goobye (1973), Thieves Like Us (1974), California Split (1974), Nashville (1975), Buffalo Bill and the Indians, or Sitting Bull's History Lesson (1976), 3 Women (1977), A Wedding (1978), Quintet (1979), A Perfect Couple (1979), HealtH (1980), Popeye (1980), Come Back to the 5 & Dime Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean (1982), Streamers (1983), Secret Honor (1984), Fool for Love (1985), O.C. and Stiggs (1985), Beyond Therapy (1987), Aria (1987), Vincent & Theo (1990), The Player (1992), Short Cuts (1993), Ready to Wear (1994), Kansas City (1996), The Gingerbread Man (1998), Cookie's Fortune (1999), Dr. T & the Women (2000), Gosford Park (2001), The Company (2003), A Prairie Home Companion (2006)

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