HealtH (Robert Altman, 1980)

The Criterion Collection, a continuing series of important classic and contemporary films presents HealtH.

criterion logoAfter the success of Nashville, Robert Altman once again tried his hand at political satire, predicting and spoofing the upcoming presidential race between Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan by depicting the heated rivalry between candidates for the presidency of a health-food organization.  In a sun-drenched Florida hotel hosting the association’s annual convention, the battle between supporters spreads through Altman’s usually large cast of characters, an all-star ensemble including Lauren Bacall, James Garner, Carol Burnett, Glenda Jackson, Paul Dooley, Henry Gibson, Donald Moffat, Alfre Woodard, and Dick Cavett playing himself.  Mired in two years of delayed releases that effectively ensured that HealtH arrived in limited release to theaters dead on arrival, this wild and wacky parody of the political process exemplifies Altman’s exuberance, his extravagance, and his eccentricity.

Disc Features:

  • New high definition digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition
  • Audio commentary with co-writer Paul Dooley
  • New interviews with stars Carol Burnett, Dick Cavett, Glenda Jackson, and Alfre Woodard
  • Galleries of rare production and publicity stills
  • PLUS: A new essay by film critic Robert Kolker, an excerpt of David Thompson’s interview with Robert Altman, and Vincent Canby’s review from HealtH‘s limited release in New York

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The Lauren Bacall Blogathon!

lauren-blogathonAfter her success with The Barrymore Trilogy Blogathon, Crystal at In the Good Old Days of Classic Hollywood is quickly following up with The Lauren Bacall Blogathon to commemorate what would have been the film star’s 91st birthday this September 16.  September 14 through 16 will be devoted to all things Bacall, with MMC! turning its attention to HealtH (1980), Robert Altman’s rarely seen and very eccentric look at American politics and the health food craze.  Considered by some to be lesser Altman (considered by Ronald Reagan to be “the world’s worst movie”) and proving to be the final nail in the coffin for the director’s relationship with 20th Century Fox, HealtH is an excessive, outlandish, and altogether wacky film that fascinates like few others.

Thanks once again to Crystal for the invite!