7.7/10
40,101
143 user 61 critic

Short Cuts (1993)

Trailer
2:21 | Trailer
The day-to-day lives of several suburban Los Angeles residents.

Director:

Robert Altman

Writers:

Raymond Carver (writings), Robert Altman (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 17 wins & 17 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Andie MacDowell ... Ann Finnigan
Bruce Davison ... Howard Finnigan
Jack Lemmon ... Paul Finnigan
Zane Cassidy Zane Cassidy ... Casey Finnigan
Julianne Moore ... Marian Wyman
Matthew Modine ... Dr. Ralph Wyman
Anne Archer ... Claire Kane
Fred Ward ... Stuart Kane
Jennifer Jason Leigh ... Lois Kaiser
Chris Penn ... Jerry Kaiser
Joseph C. Hopkins Joseph C. Hopkins ... Joe Kaiser
Josette Maccario Josette Maccario ... Josette Kaiser
Lili Taylor ... Honey Bush
Robert Downey Jr. ... Bill Bush
Madeleine Stowe ... Sherri Shepard
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Storyline

Nine short stories relocating the settings from Carver's Northwest to Los Angeles during a spraying of malathion brought on by a Medfly epidemic - intercut tales of disconnection and emotional emptiness. The stories concern variations upon the theme of Los Angeles angst --a happily married couple, Ann and Howard have to deal with the deep emotions felt when their child, Casey is struck by a car before his birthday and lapses into a coma, while the baker Andy of their child's neglected birthday cake sinks into a rage and torments them in their grief. Three men Stuart, Gordon and Vern leave on a much anticipated fishing trip, only to discover the drowned body of a nude woman floating in the river and decide to finish their fishing trip and ignore the corpse. A Los Angeles cop, Gene uses his badge as an excuse to cheat on his wife, Sherri. A pool cleaner Jerry resents his wife, Lois for her part-time job as a phone sex performer. A waitress, Doreen is devoted to her limousine driver ... Written by lament

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Short Cuts raises the roof on America See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for graphic sexual language, and for nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

1 October 1993 (Italy) See more »

Also Known As:

Vidas cruzadas See more »

Filming Locations:

California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$6,110,979

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$6,110,979
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby (as Dolby Stereo)| 70 mm 6-Track (70 mm prints)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Anne Archer and Tim Robbins have worked with Director Adrian Lyne. Archer starred in Fatal Attraction (1987), and Robbins starred in Jacob's Ladder (1990). See more »

Goofs

When Honey and Gordon eye each other suspiciously after mixing up their photo envelopes, they try to find identifying information on each other. Gordon repeats the phone number he sees on Jerry Kaiser's car to remember it better, however the last 4 digits of number he is repeating differ from the actual phone number on Kaiser's car. See more »

Quotes

Sherri Shepard: Wouldn't it be a trip if Alex Trebek bought a nude painting of me?
See more »

Connections

Featured in At the Movies: Memo to the Academy - 1994 (1994) See more »

Soundtracks

Prisoner of Life
Composed by Doc Pomus & Dr. John
Performed by Annie Ross and The Low Note Quintet
See more »

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User Reviews

 
For me, an underwhelming experience.
14 July 2010 | by bobsgrockSee all my reviews

After seeing Short Cuts and pondering over it as a cinematic experience, I feel a strange feeling that I haven't had before with any Robert Altman film: confusion. Normally, understanding that Altman's style is one of using confusion and misunderstandings to move the plot along, I was surprised when I reacted so positively to MASH, Nashville and The Player but not this.

The cast, overall, is quite good with Robert Downey Jr. and Madeline Stowe giving the best performances along with the great Jack Lemmon in perhaps the scene with the only real emotional pull as he describes the sad truth of why his family broke apart. Everyone else seems lost and misguided, floating around in this LA world Altman is exploring without much to do. They act out, involving themselves in affairs, drugs, their children's lives and the simple desire to survive each day but none of it particularly moved me. Even one plot line involving Bruce Davison and Andie MacDowell that should have had great emotional depth has almost none to speak of.

I have the greatest admiration for Altman and his ambitious vision of how to create interesting stories and characters. Yet, despite many claiming this to be one of his best works, I didn't feel at all that it was on par with MASH or Nashville as it seemed to meander and sag heavily in the middle until a final occurrence brought many of the characters together. This may be what Altman wanted; the meaningless and accidental nature of many of life's adventures that nevertheless still affect us. However, I wish it would have been made more cinematically stimulating.


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