That Cold Day in the Park

THAT COLD DAY IN THE PARK displayed Altman’s iconoclastic fascinations: a sensitivity to schisms within normalcy, a fascination with female subjectivity, and the construction of atmospheres as expressive of psychological states. Sandy Dennis portrays Frances Austen, a young spinster living in a well-appointed apartment in Vancouver, where she listlessly entertains an older suitor and engages in dull domestic routines. From her window one day, Frances spies a young man on a park bench outside, visibly cold and wet. Inviting him inside, she shows the handsome, apparently mute stranger every hospitality—food, clothes, conversation, and a room. Little does she realize that her guest has a complex life of his own, to which he escapes nightly through his bedroom window. The stage is set for conflict as Frances’s loneliness takes on a ferocity that drives the story to a harrowing conclusion.

Genres: Drama

Other Films by Robert Altman

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Brewster McCloud

Following his enormously successful M*A*S*H, Brewster McCloud, with its deliberately faltering beginning and wandering narrative line, took a determinedly different direction. It tells the story of a boy (Bud Cort) who yearns to fly. Hiding out in the Houston Astrodome under the mentorship of a bird woman (Sally Kellerman), he builds a pair of life-size

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3 Women

3 Women is often under-appreciated among Altman’s films, yet it remains one of his most fascinating. Shelly Duvall was nominated for the Best Actress award at Cannes for her portrayal of Millie Lammoreaux, a happily, and perhaps purposefully, naïve young woman who meets the shy and introverted Pinky Rose, portrayed by Sissy Spacek. The two

1973, THE LONG GOODBYE

The Long Goodbye

As a tribute to, or perhaps in contempt of, the noir detective story, Altman subverts genre convention by re-imagining the usually hard-boiled character of Philip Marlowe as a nebbish private eye. Elliot Gould plays Marlowe, who digs himself deep into trouble when he decides to investigate the murder of a friend. Based on the book

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Short Cuts

Adapting several short stories by the Pacific Northwest author Raymond Carver and transplanting them to a bristling early-90s Los Angeles, Altman deploys his trademark restless camera coupled with overlapping, densely layered sound to concentrate on the idea of the American family in the Reagan-Bush era while exploring dominant notions of masculinity and marital fidelity.  As