Robert Altman

The Player

The Player

A Hollywood studio executive with a shaky moral compass (Tim Robbins) finds himself caught up in a criminal situation that would be right at home in one of his movie projects, in this biting industry satire from Robert Altman. Mixing elements of film noir with sly insider comedy, The Player, based on a novel by Michael Tolkin, functions as both a nifty stylish murder story and a commentary on its own making, and it is stocked with a heroic supporting cast (Peter Gallagher, Whoopi Goldberg, Greta Scacchi, Dean Stockwell, Fred Ward) and a lineup of star cameos that make for an astonishing Hollywood who’s who. This complexly woven grand entertainment (which kicks off with one of American cinema’s most audacious and acclaimed opening shots) was the film that marked Altman’s triumphant commercial comeback in the early 1990s.

Film Info

  • Robert Altman
  • United States
  • 1992
  • 124 minutes
  • Color
  • 1.85:1
  • English
  • Spine #812

Special Features

  • New 4K digital restoration, with 2.0 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • Audio commentary from 1992 featuring director Robert Altman, writer Michael Tolkin, and cinematographer Jean Lépine
  • Interview with Altman from 1992
  • New interviews with Tolkin, actor Tim Robbins, associate producer David Levy, and production designer Stephen Altman
  • Cannes Film Festival press conference from 1992 with cast and crew
  • Robert Altman’s Players, a short documentary about the shooting of the film’s fund-raiser scene
  • Map to the Stars, a gallery dedicated to the cameo appearances in the film
  • Deleted scenes and outtakes
  • The film’s opening shot, with alternate commentaries by Altman, Lépine, and Tolkin
  • Trailers and TV spots
  • More
  • PLUS: An essay by author Sam Wasson

Purchase Options

Special Features

  • New 4K digital restoration, with 2.0 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • Audio commentary from 1992 featuring director Robert Altman, writer Michael Tolkin, and cinematographer Jean Lépine
  • Interview with Altman from 1992
  • New interviews with Tolkin, actor Tim Robbins, associate producer David Levy, and production designer Stephen Altman
  • Cannes Film Festival press conference from 1992 with cast and crew
  • Robert Altman’s Players, a short documentary about the shooting of the film’s fund-raiser scene
  • Map to the Stars, a gallery dedicated to the cameo appearances in the film
  • Deleted scenes and outtakes
  • The film’s opening shot, with alternate commentaries by Altman, Lépine, and Tolkin
  • Trailers and TV spots
  • More
  • PLUS: An essay by author Sam Wasson
The Player
Cast
Tim Robbins
Griffin Mill
Greta Scacchi
June Gudmundsdottir
Fred Ward
Walter Stuckel
Whoopi Goldberg
Detective Avery
Peter Gallagher
Larry Levy
Brion James
Joel Levison
Cynthia Stevenson
Bonnie Sherow
Vincent D’Onofrio
David Kahane
Dean Stockwell
Andy Civella
Richard E. Grant
Tom Oakley
Sydney Pollack
Dick Mellen
Lyle Lovett
Detective DeLongpre
Dina Merrill
Celia
Credits
Director
Robert Altman
Produced by
David Brown
Produced by
Michael Tolkin
Produced by
Nick Weschler
Screenplay by
Michael Tolkin
Executive producer
Cary Brokaw
Coexecutive producer
William S. Gilmore
Director of photography
Jean Lépine
Music by
Thomas Newman
Edited by
Geraldine Peroni
Production designer
Stephen Altman
Coproducer
Scott Bushnell
Wardrobe designed by
Alexander Julian
Associate producer
David Levy

From The Current

Tim Robbins and Robert Altman’s Pact for The Player
Tim Robbins and Robert Altman’s Pact for The Player

The actor sits down to recount his experiences working on Altman’s film about an amoral Hollywood studio executive and discusses the agreement he and Altman made to ensure that the production would be truly independent.

/
The Screenplayer
The Screenplayer

In The Player, Robert Altman’s early nineties comeback film, the director brilliantly skewers Hollywood—getting all the details right, as only he could—while constructing his own kind of Hollywood Movie.

By Sam Wasson

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Genre Play in Robert Altman’s The Player
Genre Play in Robert Altman’s The Player

In the latest episode of Observations on Film Art, now playing on the Criterion Channel on FilmStruck, professor Jeff Smith discusses Robert Altman’s playful experimentation with genre in his 1992 film The Player.

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Explore

Robert Altman

Director

Few directors in recent American film history have gone through as many career ups and downs as Robert Altman did. Following years of television work, the rambunctious midwesterner set out on his own as a feature film director in the late 1950s, but didn’t find his first major success until 1970, with the antiauthoritarian war comedy M*A*S*H. Hoping for another hit just like it, studios hired him in the years that followed, most often receiving difficult, caustic, and subversive revisionist genre films. After the success of 1975’s panoramic American satire Nashville, Altman once again delved into projects that were more challenging, especially the astonishing, complex, Bergman-influenced 3 Women. Thereafter, Altman was out of Hollywood’s good graces, though in the eighties, a decade widely considered his fallow period, he came through with the inventive theater-to-film Nixon monologue Secret Honor and the TV miniseries political satire Tanner ’88. The double punch of The Player and the hugely influential ensemble piece Short Cuts brought him back into the spotlight, and he continued to be prolific in his output into 2006, when his last film, A Prairie Home Companion, was released months before his death at the age of eighty-one.