Join 3,513 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


Here come seven like a Gatling gun
September 12, 2013 2:24 PM   Subscribe

Loved by some but often ignored, passed on by Spielberg, peppered with famous poker player cameos, the boldly painted, logorrheic portrait of real gambling life, California Split might be the quintessential Altman film.

Entire film available for free here.
posted by Potomac Avenue (15 comments total) 18 users marked this as a favorite

 
Thanks for that. There are actually a few Altman films I haven't seen, this one included.
posted by zardoz at 2:37 PM on September 12, 2013


I watched this a few years ago, and it was such a striking film in so many ways. It got so many small things right, maybe because of Altman's genius, and/or maybe because Elliott Gould's acting in this film came from the heart. It has such a wonderful feel to it. I misspent a portion of my younger years playing cards in California, well before Hold'em was legalized, and this did a great job of capturing the grittiness and shittiness of that scene. Like when you're in the checkout line at Safeway and the woman in front of you automatically calls out "time!" while she digs in her purse for change? I think this film really gets THAT, and conveys that. The CA poker and gambling scene certainly had its own unique denizens, and California Split put them on the big screen pretty much as they were, warts and all.

Nice post, PA.
posted by mosk at 2:44 PM on September 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


Is it just my connection or is the stream quality piss-poor?
posted by dobbs at 2:52 PM on September 12, 2013


a little gritty, but fluid and watchable. I'd guess 720p. I'm going to watch it.
posted by HyperBlue at 2:56 PM on September 12, 2013


Now if we can just find a good stream of Brewster McCloud...
posted by ThatFuzzyBastard at 3:19 PM on September 12, 2013


When I watched it a few years ago (on Crackle) the sound, in particular, was really tough.. A lot of background noise is going on and I had to sometimes strain to catch all of the main conversation.

That being said, California Split is on my list of great movies that have been "random finds" of mine, thanks to the internet, along with the likes of, e.g., Three Days of the Condor. It's a shame a lot of great movies from the past don't make The List™ trotted out to young-uns, much the same way that some great literature never makes the big Classics™ list and therefore is mostly lost to the archives.
posted by mbatch at 4:27 PM on September 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


Best movie about gambling ever made. What an ending. Shame it hasn't gotten the Criterion treatment yet.
posted by the bricabrac man at 5:08 PM on September 12, 2013 [2 favorites]


What is this, AntennaTVFilter ? or so I asked myself. This was on the late show when I came home from swing shift. I couldn't make it all the way through this time but, yeah...

And that is about the most Altmanesque of all Altman films, what with the way the dialogue rises out of a background mosaic of overlapping conversations. It's hypnotic.
posted by y2karl at 7:03 PM on September 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


I totally missed this one. Oddly, after seeing the poster, I remember when this was released.
posted by Ardiril at 9:21 PM on September 12, 2013


> Best movie about gambling ever made.

Well...I'd probably give that title to this movie, but as I said above, California Split is awfully good, especially in its finer details.
posted by mosk at 9:42 PM on September 12, 2013


The sound on Crackle appears to be two channels of a multitrack soundtrack minus the center channel. It's $2.99 on Amazon instant video.
posted by Ardiril at 9:55 PM on September 12, 2013


Also, that Crackle version is the first I have seen the damn subtitles so completely out of sync with the screen action.
posted by Ardiril at 9:59 PM on September 12, 2013


The film was on Netflix Streaming for a while. Hopefully it will come back. It's one of my favorite Altman films simply for its meandering realism. And Elliott Gould.
posted by Spatch at 6:54 AM on September 13, 2013


PA, thanks, one of my all-time favorites, talk about your 70s zeitgeist.
posted by thinkpiece at 9:30 AM on September 13, 2013


I haven't seen this one yet. Thanks for posting this.
posted by homunculus at 4:45 PM on September 14, 2013


« Older Rocket frog takes a flying...  |  The Year Of Wallace (who wasn'... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments