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  • The Player [DVD] [1992]
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The Player [DVD] [1992]

25 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: Tim Robbins, Greta Scacchi, Fred Ward, Whoopi Goldberg, Peter Gallagher
  • Directors: Robert Altman
  • Writers: Michael Tolkin
  • Producers: Cary Brokaw, David Brown, David Levy, Michael Tolkin, Nick Wechsler
  • Format: PAL, Anamorphic, Widescreen, Colour, HiFi Sound
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Pathe
  • DVD Release Date: 30 April 2001
  • Run Time: 119 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005A0ZG
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 61,809 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


Product Description

Movie executive Griffin Mill (Tim Robbins) is receiving death threats from an anonymous screenwriter. Deducing that the letters are coming from rejected hopeful David Kahane (Vincent D'Onofrio), Griffin sets up an 'accidental' meeting with the writer and, during an argument, kills him. While the police investigate the murder, Griffin begins to date the dead writer's girlfriend, but the death threats continue to pour in. Directed by Robert Altman (his first mainstream film for over a decade), this star-studded satire on Hollywood morality features cameos from Bruce Willis, Julia Roberts, Cher, Andie MacDowell, Burt Reynolds, Rod Steiger and John Cusack.


Robert Altman's a biting satire on the Hollywood industry, The Player, has always been acknowledged by insiders as too close to the truth for comfort. Opening with a self-referential nine-minute tracking shot around the studio lot where producer Griffin Mill (Tim Robbins) works, the story's intrigue begins with the first of several postcard death threats from a writer he's angered. After accidentally killing the wrong man, Mill moves from one star-studded lunch table to another. All the while he's hounded by the real writer and an obsession with "Ice Queen" artist June Gudmundsdotter (Greta Scacchi) who'd been the deceased's girlfriend. Altman's tradition of improvised dialogue makes each of the dozens of cameos a fascinating treat for movie fans. Blink and you'll miss Angelica Houston, John Cusack, Rod Steiger, or Bruce Willis and Julia Roberts who appear in the hilarious movie-within-a-movie finale. There's an endless list of terrific support from the likes of dry-witted Fred Ward, fly-swatting Lyle Lovett, or tampon-twirling Whoopi Goldberg. Aside from the star-spotting and a script that crackles with sharp dialogue, this also warrants acknowledgement for being the movie to set off an explosion of independent film in the Nineties.

On the DVD: there's a commentary track (which leaves the film's soundtrack playing a little too loud) from director Altman who talks at length about the poor state of today's industry, and writer Michael Tolkin who contributes about ten minutes of veiled displeasure about the treatment of a writer's work. There are five grainy deleted scenes featuring lost cameos from Tim Curry, Jeff Daniels, and Patrick Swayze. Then in a 16-minute featurette a lot of the deleted footage is repeated around an interview with Altman. A trailer rounds out the package. --Paul Tonks

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By redmanshouts on 19 Feb. 2008
Format: DVD
One of my favourite films of the 90's, clever isnt the word. Tim Robbins excells as Hollywood executive Griffin Mill, who gets himself in hot water when dealing with a writer. To make things worse it looks like his job is up for grabs as there are changes happening within his studio. Things dont look good. Someone is out to get him but who..? The Player is packed full of real stars and real screenwriters where brought in to pitch films. Many brilliant performances from Richard E Grants elaborate pitches to Whoppi Goldbergs crafty detective. The in-jokes come thick and fast. All in all, a top notch thriller from Robert Altman. My only criticism is i hoped the new dvd would have better extras. Dont let that put you off though. Top film.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Tim Kidner TOP 500 REVIEWER on 3 Feb. 2012
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Famously opening with possibly the longest continuous single crane shot in cinematic history (eight minutes) with the pre-credits rolling, shot outside a major studio and its parking lot and known as the ultimate anti-Hollywood 'Hollywood' movie, this is Robert Altman directing with a grip of iron. Almost over-directed for my taste, the camera swoops, rises and peeks at more A-listers than you'd get in two dozen blockbusters.

Not having seen it in four years but with many many other films under my belt, I was keen to re-hear both the subtle and unsubtle jokes and jibes about the Studio 'scene'. All our A-listers make them, suffer them or just hang about thinking them up. One of the best has to be (executive travelling in his Merc convertible, on car-phone; it's the end 80's, start of 90's, all flash cars) talking to his associate, Tim Robbins (lead actor in this) "I'm on my way to my AA meeting." "Oh...I didn't know you had a drinking problem" "Ah, well. I haven't. I don't. It's just that's where all the deals are made these days. Not bars".

So, not a comedy, as such, but entertaining stuff and the ending is as predictably anti-predictable that one can predict. It's aged well and Short Cuts aside, which meanders over its three hours, this is modern, witty, well made and concise. Yes; an Altman film that doesn't have the cast speaking whenever they feel fit and a script that they have to follow, even at two hours it's got a manageable story that twists, turns and bristles with actors you've seen in almost similar roles. For movie buffs, the often, occasional credibility-busting film references and how they're strung together is almost hypnotic.

Hollywood loved it, as it's in it and stars in it. But they don't love themselves, at least not in this.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 19 Jun. 2001
Format: VHS Tape
Based on an original novel by Michael Tolkin, Robert Altman's respose to Hollywood and all its pretences is a modern classic. The tone is consistently ironic throughout the film, yet The Player manages to succeed as a terse and involved thriller, not only a personal reflection of the treachery and immorality; falsity and inhumanity, of the world of movies. The Player is predominantly a story of studio executive Griffin Mill (Tim Robbins), and his demise from the most sought after Hollywood executive to a man plagued by his own prosperity. The film opens with an eight minute single-shot scene that establishes the glory of Altman's direction, and the film offers over 60 cameos, including Susan Sarandon, Bruce Willis and Julia Roberts, that only increase the satire. Through the course of the film, Altman manages to challenge not only his audience's conscience and morality, but also their perceptions of Hollywood. As Griffin Mill receives death threats, he is forced to decide how to react, and when he tries to find who has been torturing him, it leads only to more calamity. In a stunning third act and shocking denouement, Altman reveals one of the most inspired and exciting films of the 1990s. The Player includes, as well as numerous cameos from Hollywood actors, a wonderful performance from Robbins as a tortured and confused executive searching for answers; a suitably bizarre Whoopi Goldberg as a police officer; and an ironic, knowing rendition of the struggling screenwriter by Richard E. Grant. The Player is truly a monumental achievement. Robert Altman has succeeded in creating an involved, humorous film that manages to question the nature of the film industry, its role in today's society, and its implications for all those who have ever called themselves a fan of the silver screen.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By on 18 July 2007
Format: DVD
This film is very enjoyable. There's so much there, you gotta watch it several times to enjoy all the lovingly subtle stuff in the background.

There's a thriller in there with the story of a stalker--life and death.

But the best bit is the in-joke about Hollywood, movie-making and those that straddle the business which is supposed to be artistic, but has been taken over by accountants and money-grubbing executives.

Enjoy the cameos, the clever bits, the story & the message. I sure did.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By K. Gordon TOP 500 REVIEWER on 26 Aug. 2010
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This is full of great moments, great shots, great humor. It's almost a truly great film. But the few moments it gets too smug and/or cartoony for it's own good take a tiny something away from the 90% of the time it brilliantly walks the thin, nearly impossible line of perfect satire. When it tries to be funny, it pushes a little hard. But when it just observes the absurdity with a clinical, `this isn't too far from reality' eye, it's quite amazing. Even with it's minor flaws, a terrific film, and a must see film for any Altman fan - or film fan for that matter. The opening shot alone is worth the movie!
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