NashvilleFilm

A Sesame Street clip in Altman's Nashville

Robert Altman (1925-2006) was an Academy Award-nominated film director (and screenwriter and producer) whose trademarks included large ensemble casts and overlapping dialogue. His best known movies include M*A*S*H, Nashville, McCabe and Mrs. Miller, and The Player, in addition to The Long Goodbye, Popeye, and over a dozen more.

One of Altman's later films, Gosford Park (2001), featured digital effects by Jim Henson's Creature Shop.

The 2014 book Make Art, Make Money: Lessons from Jim Henson on Fueling Your Creative Career quotes Caroll Spinney referencing a meeting between Henson and Altman: "I was concerned about a nine o’clock call time that morning. Jim said that he’d be ready for it because he had a 5:00 A.M. meeting with Robert Altman first."[1]

References

Muppet Mentions

  • In Brewster McCloud (1970), Brewster's boss Abraham Wright keeps shouting about how he needs to get home so he can watch Sesame Street.
  • Altman's Nashville (1975) features Sesame clip footage and a vocal and sign language performance of "Sing."

Connections

In addition to the casts of Nashville and Gosford Park, several of Altman's cast also appeared in Muppet-relevant projects

  • Cher played Sissy in Come Back to the 5 & Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean (1982) and herself in The Player (1992)
  • Paul Dooley played Snooks Brenner in A Wedding (1978), Alex Theodopoulos in A Perfect Couple (1979), Wimpy in Popeye (1980), and himself in The Player (1992)
  • Shelley Duvall played Suzanne Davis in Brewster McCloud (1970), Ida Coyle in McCabe & Mrs. Miller (1971), Keechie in Thieves Like Us (1974), Mrs. Grover Cleveland in Buffalo Bill and the Indians, or Sitting Bull's History Lesson (1976), Millie Lammoreaux in 3 Women (1977), and Olive Oyl in Popeye (1980)
  • Peter Falk played himself in The Player (1992)
  • Don Francks played Buffalo in McCabe & Mrs. Miller (1971)
  • Dennis Franz played Koons in A Wedding (1978), Costa in A Perfect Couple (1979), Spike in Popeye (1980)
  • Elliott Gould played Trapper John McIntyre in M*A*S*H (1971), Philip Marlowe in The Long Goodbye (1973), Charlie Walters in California Split (1974), and himself in The Player (1992)
  • Joel Grey played Nate Salisbury in Buffalo Bill and the Indians, or Sitting Bull's History Lesson (1976) and himself in in The Player (1992)
  • Philip Baker Hall played Richard Nixon in Secret Honor (1984)
  • Margaret Hamilton played Daphne Heap in Brewster McCloud (1970)
  • Bill Irwin played Ham Gravy in Popeye (1980)
  • Burt Lancaster played Ned Buntline in Buffalo Bill and the Indians, or Sitting Bull's History Lesson (1976)
  • Maya Rudolph played Sam in A Prairie Home Companion (2006)
  • Lily Tomlin played herself in in The Player (1992), Doreen Pigott in Short Cuts (1993), and Rhonda Johnson in A Prairie Home Companion (2006)
  • Robin Williams played the title role in Popeye (1980)

Sources

  1. BOOK EXCERPT: MAKE ART MAKE MONEY: LESSONS FROM JIM HENSON ON FUELING YOUR CREATIVE CAREER BY ELIZABETH HYDE STEVENS. RogerEbert.com. May 17, 2014
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