- Rated: R
- Closed captioning available
- Run Time: 2 hours, 4 minutes
- Video: Color
- Released: August 22, 1997
- Originally Released: 1992
- Label: New Line Home Video
Encoding: Region 1 (USA & Canada)
Packaging: Snap Case
Aspect Ratio: Full Frame - 1.33
Aspect Ratio: Widescreen - 1.77
- Dolby Digital - English 5.1
- Dolby Digital Stereo - French
- Dolby Digital Multi-Channel Surround Sound
Additioal Release Material:
- Trailer - 1. Original Theatrical
- Commentary by Robert Altman, Michael Tolkin,
- Robert Altman Featurette
- Five Deleted Scenes
- Special Cameo Menu
Performers, Cast and Crew:
Cynthia Stevenson &
Richard E. Grant,
Jill St. John,
Peter Gallagher &
Cathy Lee Crosby,
David Alan Grier,
Ray Walston &
David Brown &
Director of Photography:
Cannes 1992 -
Best Actor: Tim Robbins
Cannes 1992 -
Best Director: Robert Altman
Rolling Stone - 04/30/1992
"...What makes THE PLAYER the best and boldest American comedy in years is Altman's wizardry at leavening anger with cathartic wit..."
Entertainment Weekly - 04/01/2000
Ranked #8 in Entertainment Weekly's "10 Favorite Films of the 90's" - "...Altman's ticklish satire can stand with his timeless work..."
New York Times - 04/10/1992
"...So entertaining, so flip and so genially irreverent that it seems to announce the return of the great gregarous film maker....The members of the huge cast seem to be having a great night out on the town..."
Entertainment Weekly - 04/10/1992
"...THE PLAYER is a true comeback film for Altman -- a return, after more than 15 years, to the infinitely sly and supple virtuosity that marked his great film of the '70s..."
Los Angeles Times - 05/01/1992
"...An artful stiletto aimed at the bashful heart of Hollywood....An extremely pointed and knowing show-biz dissection..."
Chicago Sun-Times - 04/24/1992
"...THE PLAYER is a smart movie, and a funny one. It is also absolutely of our time..."
Total Film - 07/01/2003
"...[The film] includes the greatest tracking shot this side of TOUCH OF EVIL and cameos from everyone: Bruce Willis, John Cusack, Julia Roberts..."
Empire - 02/01/2008
5 stars out of 5 -- "Altman set about mocking the hypocrisy of the business that had exiled him. In the guise of a black-comic thriller, he exposed the Hollywood malaise. And Hollywood loved him for it."
Robert Altman's adaptation of Michael Tolkin's novel gives the notorious director a chance to address perhaps his greatest nemesis: the Hollywood studio system. Disguised as a thriller, the film assembles virtually every famous actor in Hollywood to create an exhilarating blend of real life and fiction. Tim Robbins plays Griffin Mill, a studio executive who begins to fear for his job when upstart Larry Levy's (Peter Gallagher) name becomes a hot topic on the lot. After receiving threatening postcards from an unidentified writer, Griffin tracks down David Kahane (Vincent D'Onofrio), who he thinks is the guilty party. The two argue, with disastrous results. Later, as Griffin struggles to keep his job while trying to distance himself from the law, he finds himself falling in love with Kahane's mysterious girlfriend (Greta Scacchi). THE PLAYER is a vicious satire that exposes the Hollywood industry as fraudulent, weak, and shallow. Altman's film also sends up both the noir genre and filmmaking technique, the latter notably in an extended opening shot which is a sprawling one-take that covers the studio's entire lot and features a series of hysterical pitches by actual screenwriters, including Buck Henry offering forth on his concept for THE GRADUATE 2. Bitter and electric, THE PLAYER ends on an ironic upbeat note that perfectly concludes a stellar picture.
Theatrical Release |
- Released in New York City and Los Angeles April 10, 1992.
- Filmed in Los Angeles and Two Bunch Palms, California; and Mexico.
- THE PLAYER's estimated budget was $8 million.
- In addition to being nominated for an Oscar for Best Director--and winning that honor at Cannes--Robert Altman was named Best Director of 1992 by the London Film Critics Circle and by the Boston Society of Film Critics.
- The long single tracking shot that opens THE PLAYER was reportedly inspired by the legendary establishing shot at the beginning of Orson Welles's TOUCH OF EVIL.
- In the novel's ending, Griffin loses his job and goes to work for a production company that works out of an office building and Larry Levy moves into the head office of the studio.
- Screenwriter Michael Tolkin (on whose novel the film was based) and his brother Stephen, also a screenwriter, appear in the film as the "Schecter brothers," a takeoff on the Coen brothers, the independent filmmakers responsible for such films as BLOOD SIMPLE and BARTON FINK.
- Michael Tolkin was nominated for an Oscar for his adaptation, and won the 1992 Best Adapted Screenplay Award from the Writers Guild of America and a similar award from the London Film Critics Circle.
- Tim Robbins garnered the Best Actor award at Cannes for his portrayal of Griffin Mill.
- Screened at Cleveland International Film Festival (opening film), San Francisco Film Festival (opening film), Cannes Film Festival (in competition), and San Sebastian Film Festival in 1992.
- The film features a clip from Vittorio DeSica's THE BICYCLE THIEF.
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