California Split & Little Murders

Saturday, April 20, 2019 - 7:00pm - 9:00pm
Lightbox Film Center 3701 Chestnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104
United States


California Split
Robert Altman, US, 1974, 35mm, 108 min.
This freewheeling buddy picture finds Gould once again teaming up with American auteur Robert Altman, this time opposite George Segal. Gould and Segal are gamblers who don’t know when to stop. Ending up in Reno, they go for the big money, but it proves to be unfulfilling. Based on the real life gambling addiction of writer Joseph Walsh, California Split is Altman fully untethered, allowing the chemistry between the two leads to shine.

Little Murders
Alan Arkin, US, 1971, 16mm, 108 min.
Jules Feiffer’s award-winning Off-Broadway play is adapted for the big screen by Alan Arkin in his directorial debut. Gould, who starred in the original 1967 production, plays Alfred – a man indifferent to the chaos of the city around him. His life descends deeper into the abyss in a series of absurd episodes. The film’s dark tone and scathing satire of city life have turned it into a cult classic.

Solid Gould: Elliot Gould in the 1970s

If you had to choose one actor who best defines the Hollywood Renaissance of the 1970s, it would be the versatile, charismatic Elliott Gould.

Thanks mostly to a career-defining role in Paul Mazursky’s 1969 comedy Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice, Gould became one of American cinema’s most in-demand leading men at a time when Hollywood was redefining what exactly a leading man was. It was Robert Altman who launched Gould into the decade as the mischievous Trapper John McIntyre in M*A*S*H. Gould again worked with Altman three more times in the early part of the decade, including starring roles in The Long Goodbye and California Split. With an informal, rough-around-the-edges charm, the hirsute Gould straddled the line between everyman and New Hollywood chic. Not all of his appearances were box office sensations, but he holds the distinction of being the first Hollywood actor to star in an Ingmar Bergman film (The Touch). A closer look at his career reveals how Elliott Gould rode the highs and lows of American film with aplomb, making even the smallest roles entirely his own.

This month, Lightbox salutes the inimitable Elliott Gould with eight classics from the decade that made him a star.

Photo credit: Lightbox Film Center

Arts and Culture