Synopsis: A look at the life and work of American film-maker Robert Altman.
Genre: Documentary
Director(s): Ron Mann
Production: Sphinx Productions
  1 nomination.
Rotten Tomatoes:
96 min


Let's begin again

Let's start over from the start

Let's forget the time that

you nearly broke my heart

Everywhere we've been again

Let's begin


Let's begin again

Let's forget about our pride

Pay attention to the way we feel inside

Let's give love a spin again

Let's begin


I equate films with sandcastles.

You get a bunch of mates

and you go down and say,

oh, let's build this great sandcastle.

And you build it.

And if the tide comes in in 20

minutes it's just smooth sand

and that structure you made

is in everybody's memory

and that's it.

What does it mean?


I grew up in Kansas City.

When I was 18 I became a ier

and I went overseas to the South Pacific.

I started writing letters

and I wrote a letter

to a cousin of mine who was a

woman who I didn't know really,

but she was the secretary

to Myron Selznick.

Who was one of the big agents,

David Selznick's brother.

And I'd written her this kind of funny,

cute letter and she wrote

me back and she said,

oh, Bobby, you wrote such a nice letter

you should be... you're a writer.

And I thought, well, yeah,

that's what I'll do.

When I got out of the air force

my dad was living in California.

He rented a house in

Malibu, up in the hills.

And so I move into my father's house.

A guy named George W. George

had the downstairs apartment.

I told him, I said, I'm a writer,

and he said, oh I'm gonna be a director.

We should do something together.

So we wrote a story and we sold it to RKO.

They wouldn't let me write the screenplay.

I said well can I come and

watch the film being made?


So I decided I'd be a playwright.

I wrote a play.

And I got in a car and I

was driving to New York

and I stopped in Kansas

City, which is my hometown.

And I ran in to a guy I had

known slightly in a bar

and he said what are you doing?

I said well I'm a film... film writer.

I'm writing screenplays

and I lied quite a bit.

I said I'm on my way to New York.

I'm doing my [ay-

What are you doing?

And he said I'm directing movies.

I said where?

He said well there's this place

here called the Calvin Company.

It's an industrial film place.

So I went over and I was introduced

and lied about what I had done

some more and they hired me.

Morning, Mr. Jones.

Morning Charlie.

You want me to fill 'er up today?

Yeah, and one more thing,

I'm in kind of a hurry

but I'd like to get an oil

change and a lube job.

My film school was working

in this industrial films.

I mean, I had to shoot, edit the films.

I learned all the tools.

When I was at the Calvin Company

a guy who's father owned a bunch of...

a chain of theatres in

the mid-west, in Roden,

wanted to make a movie.

And, uh, delinquents, a delinquents movie.

And that's what it was

called "The Delinquents".

So I wrote it in about three nights.

I stayed up all night

and wrote this script.

Golly, do we have to go in?

Well let's just go in for a little while.

If we don't like it we

can always leave, okay?

We made it for $65,000 and

it was really terrible.


Where you going?

But Hitchcock saw that film,

he was impressed with it.

So he called me in for a meeting

and he offered me a "Hitchcock Presents".


Mrs. Gould.

This is...


What do you think you're doing?

I'm going to call her and

tell her we're in love

and you're not going to stop me.




What number are you calling?

I did two of those.

So then I got an agent and they

got me this job on Whirlybirds.

Two boys robbed the store

and slit the owner.

Could be the same ones

who killed the old man

at the garage.


Could you intercept? Over.

We'll try, Greendale.

We shot them in two and a half days.

Every five days we would

shoot two episodes.

Tommy Thomson, who was my AD,

would pick me up in the morning

and I'd get in the car

and I'd drive out to...

way out in the valley in California

where we were shooting those things.

I'd say what are we doing today?

He'd say oh this is the thing,

and the two guys are doing this,

and there's a woman who's

cheating on her husband

and she's shot this guy, and

there's some baby chickens,

and they have all these

eggs that are gonna die

unless the helicopter gets

them and there's a dilemma.

Do they take the chickens?

Do they solve the murder?

And I'd say okay, I got it.

I was born and raised in California

and spent a lot of time at the beach.

One day a movie company put out a

call for girls who could swim.

So I tried out and ended

up getting the part.

I started getting work

and one day I got a call to

play a nurse on Whirlybirds.

The director was Robert Altman.

He looked a little hung-over.

When we were introduced

he didn't say hello,

he just said how are your morals?

And I said a little shaky, how are yours?

That was the beginning.

We went right into a fulltime relationship.

I never worked again after Whirlybirds.

He had already been married twice,

but those marriages didn't last very long

and he had three kids...

Christine, Michael, and Steven

from those earlier marriages.

And I had Konni from mine.

When they got married we moved

and my new school was having

this big father daughter dance

and I was so new and completely terrified.

Even though Bob and I didn't

know each other that well,

he came with me as my father.

He was so sweet about it.

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Len Blum

Leonard Solomon "Len" Blum (born 1951) is an award-winning Canadian screenwriter, film producer and film composer. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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