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Nashville (1975) Poster

(1975)

Trivia

Jump to: Cameo (1)  | Spoilers (3)
Each actor and actress was required to write and perform his or her own songs for the movie.
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The film was very much improvised by the actors and actresses, who used the screenplay only as a guide. They spent a great amount of their time in character, and the movie was shot almost entirely in sequence.
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The breaking off of the airport parking lot gate by an exiting vehicle was not intentional.
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All songs were recorded live rather than being prerecorded in a studio.
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During the filming of the car crash scene, drivers who were passing by stopped their cars and rushed to the scene of the "accident", carrying first aid kits and blankets.
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Robert Altman originally wanted Susan Anspach to play Barbara Jean, but she refused because she wanted more money. Ready to film in Nashville with no one cast in the role, Altman at the last minute offered it to Ronee Blakley, who was working as a back-up singer in Nashville at the time and had contributed some songs to the film. Blakley ended up receiving an Academy Award nomination for her performance.
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All the band musicians used in the film were real musicians working in Nashville at the time.
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After seeing the first footage of her work in the traffic jam scene, Barbara Harris reportedly ran out of the projection room, went home, and asked Robert Altman to meet with her immediately. Unhappy with her performance, Harris offered to put up her own money to have the scene re-shot. Altman told her no.
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In the opening sequence, the character played by Henry Gibson demanded that his piano player be replaced by the "Pig". At that time in Nashville, one of the most in-demand session players was a blind pianist named Hargus "Pig" Robbins. The man playing the piano in that scene is Richard Baskin, the Music Supervisor on the film.
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The film was created due to an offer Robert Altman turned down. Originally, he was offered the chance to direct another script that took place in Nashville. He turned the project down but became interested in the setting. He sent his Script Supervisor, Joan Tewkesbury, to Nashville to observe the place and take notes. She wrote a diary and that diary became the basis of her screenplay. From there, several scenes were re-written or improvised by the performers, a standard practice on Altman projects.
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The original cut was so long, it was almost released as two parallel movies: "Nashville Red" and "Nashville Blue."
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Barbara Harris's singing ability had won her awards on Broadway, but film audiences knew her only as an actress. As such, Robert Altman did not want the audience to hear Harris sing until the last scene of the film so they would be surprised that a seemingly talentless dreamer actually had the stuff of stardom.
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Gary Busey was originally going to play "Tom" and wrote the song "Since You've Gone" used in the film.
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The role of Linnea Reese was created for and by Louise Fletcher, who herself was the daughter of two deaf parents and knew sign language. The role was eventually played by Lily Tomlin. Tomlin concluded that things worked out in the end because she was offered the role of Nurse Ratched in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975) and turned it down, which enabled Fletcher to eventually get it, so in a sense they simply traded roles.
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Robert Altman said this was the first film he directed over which he had total control.
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Robert Altman said that musicians in Nashville, Tennessee did not like the music in the film. The musicians felt that real songs should have been used in the film, meaning their own songs.
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This movie's eleven Golden Globe nominations remains the most for a single film. It also received four nominations in a single acting category, this was and remains unprecedented for major film award shows.
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In response to those who believed the film was almost totally improvised and had little or no script, Screenwriter Joan Tewkesbury insisted that there was a solid script written by Robert Altman and she that dictated all the actions of all the characters, and that the improvisational elements added by the actors and actresses were solely in aspects of the dialogue.
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Robert Duvall was originally offered the role of Haven Hamilton but had a scheduling conflict and was unable to do so. As a result, he was replaced by Henry Gibson. In commenting on the movie, Robert Altman has said that the movie would certainly have been different with Duvall in the role, but he was happy with Gibson playing the part. Duvall later went on to perform his own compositions in Tender Mercies (1983) as part of his Oscar-winning turn as country music singer Mac Sledge.
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Karen Black was only in Nashville, Tennessee for one week to film her scenes.
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Robert Altman had Gwen Welles take singing lessons to sound better. The end result of those extended lessons is what you hear in the film.
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Merle Kilgore played Trout, a reference to Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.'s seminal character Kilgore Trout.
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The character of Barbara Jean is loosely based on Loretta Lynn and the Haven Hamilton role is based on Red Foley.
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The role of runaway wife "Albuquerque" eventually played by Barbara Harris was first offered to Bette Midler and then Bernadette Peters.
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This movie was not popular in Nashville, Tennessee when it was released.
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In 2007, the American Film Institute ranked this as the #59 Greatest Movie of All Time. It was the first inclusion of this film on the list.
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The house that is Haven Hamilton's (Henry Gibson's) house was actually the house that Robert Altman and his family stayed in during the filming of Nashville.
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Named "Best Film of 1975" by both Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert.
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During the DVD commentary of the film, Robert Altman pays a tribute to Tommy Thompson, who was the Assistant Director on almost all of Altman's films, and who had dropped dead on the set of Dr. T & the Women (2000) a week before Altman did the commentary.
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Several characters are based on real country music figures: Henry Gibson's Haven Hamilton is a composite of Roy Acuff, Hank Snow, and Porter Wagoner; Ronee Blakley's Barbara Jean is based on Loretta Lynn; the black country singer Tommy Brown (played by Timothy Brown) is based on Charley Pride; and the feuding folk trio is based on Peter, Paul and Mary; within the trio, the married couple of Bill and Mary were inspired by Bill Danoff and Taffy Nivert, who later became Starland Vocal Band. Keith Carradine's character is believed to be inspired by Kris Kristofferson and Karen Black's Connie White strongly resembles Lynn Anderson.
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George Segal had a cameo as himself, but it was cut.
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This was the first theatrically released movie Jerry Weintraub produced.
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The film is included on Roger Ebert's "Great Movies" list.
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The lyrics to Henry Gibson's song "Keep A-Goin'" are from a poem that Gibson recited as a guest star on the Dick Van Dyke Show in 1966.
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For its premiere engagements in New York City and Los Angeles, this was the first feature film commercially presented in Dolby Stereo. In its initial Los Angeles showing at the Fox Westwood Village theatre, it was shown with six track magnetic stereo sound, which allowed the audio for the film's finale concert at the Parthenon to emulate sound ricocheting off the surrounding trees and buildings. This effect so impressed George Lucas that it convinced him to make Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977) in Dolby as well.
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In the scene of Julie Christie's cameo, one can see Ned Beatty ask Michael Murphy if he had worked with her before, to which he responds yes. This might have been meant as an inside joke because Michael Murphy and Julie Christie appeared in Robert Altman's McCabe & Mrs. Miller (1971).
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Robert Altman and Allen Garfield did not get along with each other during the filming of the movie.
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Award winning fiddler and actor Johnny Gimble makes a cameo appearance during the last big stage scene when he does a "walk on" with his fiddle and joins fiddler Vassar Clements and the rest of the band as they perform.
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The film cast includes two Oscar winners: Keith Carradine and Julie Christie; and seven Oscar nominees: Lily Tomlin, Karen Black, Ronee Blakley, Jeff Goldblum, Elliott Gould, Barbara Harris, and Ned Beatty.
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This film was selected into the National Film Registry in 1992 for being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant".
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This film is part of the Criterion Collection, spine #683.
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The film received a Grammy nomination for Best Score but failed to receive the equivalent Oscar nod. The Grammy nomination went to Keith Carradine, Richard Baskin, Ronnee Blakely, Henry Gibson, Ben Raleigh, Richard Reicheg, and Karen Black.
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Included among the "1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die", edited by Steven Schneider.
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Included among the American Film Institute's 1998 list of the 400 movies nominated for the Top 100 Greatest American Movies.
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Features the only Oscar nominated performances of Lily Tomlin and Ronee Blakley.
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The only Best Picture Oscar nominee that year to be also nominated for Best Song.
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Jeff Goldblum and Scott Glenn appeared in The Right Stuff (1983).
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Cameo 

Joan Tewkesbury: The film's writer. She is on the phone as Kenny's mother, and as Tom's lover.
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Spoilers 

The trivia items below may give away important plot points.

Faced with an impending rainstorm which threatened to ruin filming of Barbara Jean's assassination (with no recourse, as the production's budget had run dry), Robert Altman reportedly screamed at the sky, ordering the rain to stop. The rain did indeed stop, and filming of the scene was completed.
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According to Screenwriter Joan Tewkesbury, in the final scene, Robert Altman originally had the idea of not revealing who Barbara Jean's assassin was. Which she felt was much more interesting.
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Polly Platt was originally hired as the Production Designer for this movie. She quit working on the film because she objected to Robert Altman's idea of having an assassination at the end of the film.
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