A Prairie Home Companion

Synopsis: A final live variety show broadcast via radio becomes a metaphor for the natural order of life. A concept and script by Garrison Keilor uses every natural and technical element of working with a tight and close ensemble producing a weekly show to sooth us and guide us through the natural but difficult transitions of aging, becoming less relevant and then dying as new, young life develops and strengthens during our final "performances." This is a rare film for it's remarkable cast and crew and one wonders how the great Robert Altman was able to gather them all at the same place and time to shoot this film.
Genre: Comedy, Drama, Music
Director(s): Robert Altman
Production: Picturehouse
  5 wins & 21 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
105 min

Market reports today...

barrows and gilts at 220 to 260 pounds

are lower at $40.

Sows are steady.

Goin' over to the feeder cattle,

beef steers, $120 to $150...

The way I like to do it...

is I take one can

of cream of mushroom soup...

and then one package of egg noodles.

I like the egg noodles

better than the Italian ones.

I like to put...

If we look at what the Lord said

in the book of Revelation...

you can be sure

that there's a price to pay...

for the way of the flesh

and that price will be paid if you don't...

Here's the wind-up and the pitch.

And it's two and two, two and two...

Before you just say,

'Honey, I think we have to have...

'some couple's counseling.

I mean, I think we have a problem.

'I can't leave a cup here for...'

All right. It's time for traffic on the fives...

and let's find out

what's going on with your drive.

Let's go to Chopper.

Chopper, what's happening?

All right, Lettie.

We got a fifteen-minute, uh, wait... 494.

There's an accident working

at the spaghetti junction.

at 630, but it still

will make a very slow go...

A quiet night in a city that knows

how to keep its secrets.

But one man is still looking for

the answers to life's persistent questions.

That's me.

Or it used to be.

It was a rainy Saturday night in St. Paul...

and I had just finished off

a grilled cheese sandwich...

with beans for a chaser...

and it was time to head

for work across the street.

I'm a private eye.

Noir's the name.

Guy Noir.

But I'd taken temporary employment

about six years before...

doing security for a radio show

called A Prairie Home Companion...

on account of a serious

cash-flow problem...

due to a lack of missing heiresses

and dead tycoons lying in the solarium...

with lipstick stains

on their smoking jackets.

In other words, I was broke.

This radio show was done

out of an old theater called the Fitzgerald...

and it had been on the air

since Jesus was in the third grade.

But it was still pulling in

a few hundred people on Saturday nights.

It was a live radio variety show,

the kind that died fifty years ago...

but somebody forgot to tell them

until this night.

A big corporation down in Texas

had bought up the radio station...

and their axeman,

a guy named Cruett...

was on his way to St. Paul

to shut the thing down...

and turn the theater

into a parking lot.

It was curtains and everybody knew it,

but nobody said so.

They were Midwesterners.

They felt like if you ignored bad news,

it might go away.

Not my philosophy,

but I'm not from here.

Stay on the edge of the crowd.

Keep your eyes open.

That's my motto.

It was my last night

of gainful employment...

and I had a feeling

it was maybe going to be interesting.

# I used to work in Chicago #

# At a convenience store #

# I used to work in Chicago #

# I did, but I don't anymore #

Ladies and gentlemen, we are now

at ten minutes from broadcast, please.

Ten minutes.

# A lady walked in

with some porcelain skin #

# And I asked her what she came in for #

# 'Liquor,' she said, and lick her I did #

# And I don't work there anymore #


What... OK, OK.

Jesus, the schedule.


Where's my pencil?

I gotta show you some changes.

Where's my pencil?

I just put it down here a second ago.

Where'd you put it last?

I just had it here a second ago.

Oh, it's... it's...

Don't mess with those.

Hey, hey, hey.

Please, move that back.

This one will make the...

This will make the wife

green-eyed with envy.


One more.

Do you think

she's coming by the studio?

Cuddle up a little bit.

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Garrison Keillor

Gary Edward "Garrison" Keillor (born August 7, 1942) is an American author, storyteller, humorist, voice actor, and radio personality. He is best known as the creator of the Minnesota Public Radio (MPR) show A Prairie Home Companion (called Garrison Keillor's Radio Show in some international syndication), which he hosted from 1974 to 2016. Keillor created the fictional Minnesota town Lake Wobegon, the setting of many of his books, including Lake Wobegon Days and Leaving Home: A Collection of Lake Wobegon Stories. Other creations include Guy Noir, a detective voiced by Keillor who appeared in A Prairie Home Companion comic skits. In November 2017, Minnesota Public Radio cut all business ties with Keillor after an allegation of inappropriate behavior with a staff member. On April 13, 2018, MPR and Keillor announced a settlement that will allow archives of A Prairie Home Companion and The Writer's Almanac to be publicly available again. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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