Watch: A Video Essay on Robert Altman’s TV Work

Robert Altman’s formative years working in episodic television are examined by Violet Lucca in this Film Comment video essay. Highlighting one of his two Alfred Hitchcock Presents episodes, Lucca argues its foregrounding of a disintegrating female psychopath anticipates Altman’s later studies of women with fragmented psyches (Images, Three Women). After finding his autuerist signature on Bonanza! and examining one of his most famous contributions to Combat!, the essay concludes with a look at Altman’s Bus Stop episode “A Lion Walks Among Us,” controversial enough amongst widespread hysteria about juvenile delinquency and violence on TV to merit Congressional questioning of ABC president Oliver Treyz.
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