Monday, June 17, 2024

Robert Altman Doc Tonight on Epix: How He Was Fired for What Became His Trademark


My favorite part of tonight’s Robert Altman documentary on Epix TV is this revelation: early on, Altman– maybe the greatest American filmmaker– was fired by movie exec Richard Zanuck because he had overlapping dialogue in a TV show. Of course, Altman a few years later became famous for that style which turned up in his now classic movies like “MASH” and “Nashville” and “Gosford Park,” among others.

Ron Mann’s excellent doc contains lots of unseen footage from behind the scenes of shooting Altman films, plenty of interviews with the director himself, and lots of home movies courtesy of Altman’s wife, Kathryn Reed, a gorgeous spitfire who signed on in 1957 and ran the Altman family like a Navy admiral. The Altmans were one of the great couples of Hollywood lore, and Kathryn continues to be a guiding light several years after Bob’s death.

The “Altman” doc will be on Epix tonight (check cable schedules) and will have a theatrical run this fall.

Keep refreshing…

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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