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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.

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Special Features New 4K digital restoration, with 2.0 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray Audio commentary from 1992 featuring director Robert Altman, writer Michael Tolkin, and cinematographer Jean Lépine Interview with Altman from 1992 New interviews with Tolkin, actor Tim Robbins, associate producer David Levy, and production designer Stephen Altman Cannes Film Festival press conference from 1992 with cast and crew Robert Altman’s Players, a short documentary about the shooting of the film’s fund-raiser scene Map to the Stars, a gallery dedicated to the cameo appearances in the film Deleted scenes and outtakes The film’s opening shot, with alternate commentaries by Altman, Lépine, and Tolkin Trailers and TV spots More PLUS: An essay by author Sam Wasson

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CC812 Player, The DVD (1992/Robert Altman) $29.95 $26.99