Robert Altman takes a scalpel to Hollywood ethics in the 1990s (or the lack thereof) in his acidic satire The Player, adapted from Michael Tolkin's novel. (Tolkin also wrote the screenplay.) The film concerns a sleek and smooth Hollywood studio executive who starts receiving death threats from a disgruntled writer because he has committed the ultimate Hollywood sin -- he promised the writer he would call him back and he never did. This is particularly ironic because the studio executive, Griffin Mill (Tim Robbins), is considered "writer-friendly," spending his days listening to pitches from such noted screenwriters as Buck Henry, who is pushing "The Graduate, Part II" and Alan Rudolph, who is hawking a Bruce Willis action film described as "Ghost meets The Manchurian Candidate." But The Player finds Griffin's comfortable life style in danger of collapse. He is trying to find a way to unload his girlfriend (Cynthia Stevenson) whose independence and intelligence make her a poor candidate for a trophy wife. More importantly, it seems that Larry Levy (Peter Gallagher), a slippery executive from Twentieth Century Fox, is angling for his job. And then there are those nasty postcards and faxes from a screenwriter threatening to kill him. Altman cast over 65 stars in cameo roles as texture for his scabrous tale.
- MPAA Rating: R
- Genre(s): Comedy
- Run Time: 123min.
- Theatrical Release Date: 04/06/1992
- DVD Release Date: 07/16/1997
- Distributor(s): Fine Line Features
- Themes: Office Politics,Ladder to the Top,Success is the Best Revenge,Work Ethics,Filmmaking
- Tone: Paranoid,Stylish,Deadpan,Biting,Cynical,Satirical,Talky
- Keywords: Hollywood,behind-the-scenes,business,career,executive,filmmaker,greed,harassment,industry,investigation,killing,mistaken-identity,murder,power,producer [showbiz],screenwriter,self-protection,suspect,writing
- Country of Origin: USA (04-10-1992)
- Language: English