Robert Altman

Kansas City

Altman revisits the 1930s city of his childhood, vividly recreating its jazz clubs, speakeasies, political corruption and lively crime scene.

Image from Kansas City

USA-France 1996
Dir Robert Altman
With Miranda Richardson, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Harry Belafonte, Dermot Mulroney, Steve Buscemi
115min
35mm
Certificate 15
Print courtesy of the Robert Altman Collection at the UCLA Film & Television Archive

Rooted partly in Altman’s recollections of his childhood, this brings together the staging of a 1930s jamming contest between Coleman Hawkins and Lester Young, and the various unfortunate consequences of the kidnapping of a local politician’s wife. The evocation of the untamed city’s speakeasies, gangsters, corrupt politicians and jazz clubs is memorably vivid, the acting terrific, the music – played by top jazzers – superb.