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The Player

The Player

Director:Robert Altman
Cast:Tim Robbins, Greta Scacchi, Fred Ward, Whoopi Goldberg, Peter Gallagher, Brion James, Cynthia Stevenson, Vincent D'Onofrio, Dean Stockwell, Richard E.
Release Date:1992

At the Johns Hopkins Medical Institute June 14 at 7:15 p.m

By Bret McCabe | Posted 6/7/2006

The comeback that revitalized a decade-long career slumber, Robert Altman’s 1992 The Player felt like a feel-good poisoned dart aimed squarely at Hollywood when it first came out, hitting every target squarely and cheerfully. Tim Robbins’ vain, egomaniacal studio exec has to contend with Peter Gallagher’s competitive young upstart and threats from some screenwriter he snubbed. He thinks he knows who it is, and deals with him abruptly, then gets a little sidetracked when he starts sniffing around an earthy, sensual painter (Greta Scacchi). Throughout, celebrities and character actors pop in for screwball cameos and knife-edged lampoons—Richard E. Grant’s intense, overeager screenwriting hopeful remains a monument to perfectly pitching satire as madcap sincerity—and manages to skewer conventions while fulfilling them in with a bitter panache. From here begins Altman’s rejuvenated 1990s—and it has aged remarkably well.

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