7.8/10
12,574
91 user 101 critic

3 Women (1977)

Trailer
1:36 | Trailer
Two roommates/physical therapists, one a vain woman and the other a mysterious teenager, share a bizarre relationship.

Director:

Robert Altman

Writer:

Robert Altman
Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 3 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Nashville (1975)
Comedy | Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Over the course of a few hectic days, numerous interrelated people prepare for a political convention as secrets and lies are surfaced and revealed.

Director: Robert Altman
Stars: Keith Carradine, Karen Black, Ronee Blakley
Drama | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A gambler and a prostitute become business partners in a remote Old West mining town, and their enterprise thrives until a large corporation arrives on the scene.

Director: Robert Altman
Stars: Warren Beatty, Julie Christie, Rene Auberjonois
Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Private investigator Philip Marlowe helps a friend out of a jam then gets implicated in his wife's murder.

Director: Robert Altman
Stars: Elliott Gould, Nina van Pallandt, Sterling Hayden
Short Cuts (1993)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

The day-to-day lives of several suburban Los Angeles residents.

Director: Robert Altman
Stars: Andie MacDowell, Julianne Moore, Tim Robbins
Crime | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

When two men break out of prison, they join up with another and restart their criminal ways, robbing banks across the South.

Director: Robert Altman
Stars: Keith Carradine, Shelley Duvall, John Schuck
Images (1972)
Drama | Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Schizophrenic housewife, engulfed by terrorizing apparitions, kills off each, unknowing if these demons are merely figments of her hallucinatory imagination or part of reality.

Director: Robert Altman
Stars: Susannah York, Rene Auberjonois, Marcel Bozzuffi
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A rich but lonely woman, Frances Austen, one day invites a homeless young man from a nearby park to her apartment and offers to let him live there. However, she has no intention of ever letting him leave again.

Director: Robert Altman
Stars: Sandy Dennis, Michael Burns, Susanne Benton
Comedy | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

An introverted loner living in the bowels of the Astrodome plots to develop - with the aid of a mysterious guardian angel - a pair of wings that will help him fly.

Director: Robert Altman
Stars: Bud Cort, Shelley Duvall, Sally Kellerman
The Player (1992)
Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A Hollywood studio executive is being sent death threats by a writer whose script he rejected, but which one?

Director: Robert Altman
Stars: Tim Robbins, Greta Scacchi, Fred Ward
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

When a casual gambler befriends a professional one, he begins to mirror his life, sending both deeper into the sleazy gambling world where the stakes keep getting bigger.

Director: Robert Altman
Stars: George Segal, Elliott Gould, Ann Prentiss
A Wedding (1978)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

The daughter of a Louisville truck driver marries the scion of a very wealthy family, but reception at the family estate is boycotted by the invited guests.

Director: Robert Altman
Stars: Carol Burnett, Desi Arnaz Jr., Paul Dooley
MASH (1970)
Comedy | Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

The staff of a Korean War field hospital use humor and high jinks to keep their sanity in the face of the horror of war.

Director: Robert Altman
Stars: Donald Sutherland, Elliott Gould, Tom Skerritt
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
Shelley Duvall ... Millie Lammoreaux
Sissy Spacek ... Pinky Rose
Janice Rule ... Willie Hart
Robert Fortier Robert Fortier ... Edgar Hart
Ruth Nelson ... Mrs. Rose
John Cromwell ... Mr. Rose
Sierra Pecheur Sierra Pecheur ... Ms. Bunweill
Craig Richard Nelson ... Dr. Maas
Maysie Hoy Maysie Hoy ... Doris
Belita Moreno ... Alcira
Leslie Ann Hudson Leslie Ann Hudson ... Polly
Patricia Ann Hudson Patricia Ann Hudson ... Peggy
Beverly Ross Beverly Ross ... Deidre
John Davey John Davey ... Dr. Norton
Edit

Storyline

Pinky is an awkward adolescent who starts work at a spa in the California desert. She becomes overly attached to fellow spa attendant, Millie when she becomes Millie's room-mate. Millie is a lonely outcast who desperately tries to win attention with constant up-beat chatter. They hang out at a bar owned by a strange pregnant artist and her has-been cowboy husband. After two emotional crises, the three women steal and trade personalities until they settle into a new family unit that seems to give each woman what she was searching for. Written by danetta cox cordova

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

1 woman became 2/2 women became 3/3 women became 1


Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

29 April 1977 (Canada) See more »

Also Known As:

Robert Altman's 3 Women See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$1,500,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Lion's Gate Films See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Shelley Duvall's French dubbing voice was performed by actress Brigitte Fossey. Coincidentally, Fossey later appeared in Robert Altman's Quintet (1979). See more »

Goofs

When Millie and Pinkie prepare for dinner party, the time line is way out of whack. Scene begins in early morning, as Millie wakes Pinkie and tells her she is going grocery shopping for the dinner. Millie returns from store (presumably within an hour or so), Pinkie carries out garbage after spilling shrimp cocktail on herself and, en route to trash cans, meets dinner guests who say they can't come because they're on way to a beer joint instead - a scene that would have occurred no later than mid-morning and means that seven or more hours are unaccounted for. See more »

Quotes

Pinky Rose: Who're these people? I've *never* seen 'em before!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in A Decade Under the Influence (2003) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Altman's Dream Film May Give You Nightmares
14 August 2007 | by evanston_dadSee all my reviews

Altman made a lot of films that are obscure and deserve to remain so ("Quintet"), but he also made a lot of films that are obscure but deserve to be seen, and "3 Women" is one of those. It's one of the most fascinating films Altman created, and that's really saying something from a director who was able to make even his bad films fascinating.

Altman claimed that "3 Women" was inspired by a dream he had while his wife was lying ill in a hospital, and the film does indeed work on its audience the way a dream does. It resists literal interpretation, and will probably frustrate any viewer who insists upon tidiness in their movies. It communicates its messages instead through pervasive imagery and tone -- it's not "about" something as much as it's about making you FEEL something, and it does that expertly. This movie will stick in your mind and haunt you long after you've seen it.

If I were forced to explain the film's plot, it would go something like this: Shelley Duvall plays Millie, a rather foolish woman who works in a geriatric physical therapy center, and whose roommate has just moved out to live with her boyfriend. Sissy Spacek plays Pinkie, newly hired at the center and put under Millie's direction. Millie is a pathetic character -- she yammers on endlessly about ridiculously trivial things (like how to make tuna melts) and doesn't realize that everyone around her either ignores her or makes fun of her. But Pinkie nevertheless becomes enamored of her and moves in with her. The third woman of the title is Willie, a reclusive artist who owns both the apartment complex in which Millie and Pinkie live, and a saloon that resembles something from a ghost town. She paints murals of strange-looking mythological creatures engaged in violent and sexual acts. These images recur throughout the film, as do images of water. Everything up to this point in the movie is dealt with in a fairly straightforward manner. But then Pinkie has an accident, and when she wakes up, she's become a different person, causing Millie's hold on reality, already tenuous, to unravel. At this point, the film becomes reminiscent of films like "Persona" and "Mulholland Drive," in which seemingly separate female characters merge into different facets of one female personality.

The ending is creepy and chilling in ways that are hard to define. The whole film has violent undertones -- the lone male character in the film is a lout and vaguely predatory; all of the women at various moments seem to be holding back a barely suppressed rage. Altman uses his camera in his characteristically expert manner to shape our perceptions about what we are seeing, and he uses other parts of his mise-en-scene, like color (Millie's favorite colors are yellow and purple, and look for them in the art direction), to bring a slightly surreal quality to even the most mundane of locations.

I've always thought that Shelley Duvall was an underrated actress, and she gives one of her best performances as Millie (and almost looks pretty for a change). Sissy Spacek is tremendous as well, and shows a remarkable range as Pinkie. Both of these actresses do wonderful things with tough roles, and even if we sometimes feel like we're on uneven footing because of the movie's enigmatic nature, the actresses are so assured in their parts that we can rely on them to guide us through it.

Altman directed a quartet of "dream" films that all revolve around the psychological and emotional crises of women: "That Cold Day in the Park" (1969); "Images" (1972); "Come Back to the 5 & Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean" (1982); and "3 Women." I've not seen "That Cold Day..", but of the other three, though all of them have qualities to recommend them, "3 Women" is easily the best.

Grade: A


59 of 70 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 91 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows You Can Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse free movies and TV series

Stream Popular Action and Adventure Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular action and adventure titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed