A parody and satire of the U.S. political scene of the time, HealtH is set at a health food convention at a Florida luxury hotel, where a powerful political organization is deciding on a new president.
A rich but lonely woman, Frances Austen, one day invites a homeless young man from a nearby park to her apartment and offers to let him live there. However, she has no intention of ever letting him leave again.
A fictionalized former President Richard M. Nixon offers a solitary, stream-of-consciousness reflection on his life and political career - and the "true" reasons for the Watergate scandal and his resignation.
A down on his luck gambler links up with free spirit Elliot Gould at first to have some fun on, but then gets into debt when Gould takes an unscheduled trip to Tijuana. As a final act of desperation, he pawns most of his possessions and goes to Reno for the poker game of a lifetime. A film set mainly in casinos and races, as the two win and lose (but mainly win), get robbed, and get blind drunk.Written by
I was fortunate enough to see California Split this past weekend on the big screen. The American Film Institute (AFI) Theater in the Kennedy Center is currently (February '02) having a retrospective of Altman's 70s films, and, while I had never heard of the film, I was mysteriously drawn to it. I'm glad I went. The chemistry between Gould and Segal is amazing. It's is if they've been friends their whole lives. They seemed very relaxed and care-free. The story is sad yet exciting, the dialog witty and almost innocent, and the direction is, of course, great. Plus, there is a brief scene with a very young Jeff Goldblum, who plays Segal's boss.
If you happen upon this film on TV one late night, or it's shown in a theater near you for some reason, please see it. It's a lost treasure.
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