Short Cuts

Synopsis: Short Cuts is a 1993 American comedy-drama film, directed by Robert Altman. Filmed from a screenplay by Altman and Frank Barhydt, it is inspired by nine short stories and a poem by Raymond Carver.
Genre: Comedy, Drama
Production: Fine Line Features
  Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 17 wins & 17 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
188 min

[Helicopter Blades Whirring]

[Helicopter Blades Whirring]

[Man] The time has come

to go to war again.

Not with Iraq, international terrorists,

or what was once Yugoslavia...

but with the medfly...

a potentially devastating insect...

that has chosen to make California

its new home.

Despite assurances that spraying poses

no significant health risks to the public...

the public is not convinced.

People sense they're being

kept in the dark purposely.

Furthermore, there is no consensus...

as to whether the objectives

are even realistic.

[Commentator Continues]

Is this a war that can be won?

Some say no.

Are wejust going through the motions

so certain people can cover themselves?

- [Man] Honey, it's on.!

- [Commentator] Some say yes.

- Okay, I'm coming.

- How is this war fought?

It's like fishing.

We use bait.

Actually, the bait is spread over our city

at night, like a glaze.

This is very discriminate bait...

- Do you have to wear your glasses on TV?

- like smart bombs...

- Shh.

- that destroy one thing, but nothing else.

The bait attracts the hungry,

newly hatched medflies...

and poisons only them.

[Commentator Continues]

The war's objective is clear-

destroy the medfly

before it has a chance to destroy us.

[Commentator Continues, Fades]

Cello, Strings]

All right.

- [Whispering] Look over there.

- [Continues]


Marian, what's so interesting?

Isn't that Alex Trebek?

- Alex Trebek? Where?

- Over there, next to the woman

with the white hair.

[Woman Gasps]

Is that Alex Trebek?


Yes, I'm sure it is.

Who's Alex Trebek?



[Helicopter Blades Whirring]

[Helicopter Blades Continue Whirring]

[Commentator]... taken their time adopting

a policy of coexistence with the medfly...

'cause that's the only

realistic course open to us.

[Woman] Oh, Andy,

you're a long ways away.

I'm in L.A.

Can you hear the helicopters?

Commentator Continues]

What are you wearing?



That was fast.

[Piano, Jazz Band]


If you're looking for a rainbow

You know there's gonna be some rain

One minute

you're filled with happiness

Next minute there's nothing but pain

When you're a prisoner

And I'm a prisoner

I'm a prisoner oflife

One day your man is here

The next day

he's walked out and gone

But no matter what happens

You simply somehow

gotta carry on

When you're a prisoner

And I'm a prisoner

I'm a prisoner oflife


- What are you doing here?

- Just give me some coffee, will you, babe?

- Are you working, Earl?

- Yeah.

- You got somebody in the car?

- Yeah.

- How come you got 'em here?

- They're passed out.

It's one of those drive-arounds.

You're not drinkin', are ya?

Just give me some coffee, baby.

I come all the way down here to see you.

I'd think you'd be happy to see me.

Life's good

It's bad

It's somewhere in between

But it's the unexpected

and the uncertainty

That keeps us goin'

You know what I mean

Yesterday you owned the world

The next day the world owns you

One day everything's a lie

The next day

you swear it's all true

That's what happens

when you're a prisoner

And I'm a prisoner

Rate this script:5.0 / 2 votes

Robert Altman

Robert Bernard Altman (February 20, 1925 – November 20, 2006) was an American film director, screenwriter, and film producer. A five-time nominee of the Academy Award for Best Director and an enduring figure from the New Hollywood era, Altman was considered a "maverick" in making films with a highly naturalistic but stylized and satirical aesthetic, unlike most Hollywood films. He is consistently ranked as one of the greatest and most influential filmmakers in American cinema. more…

All Robert Altman scripts | Robert Altman Scripts

0 fans

Submitted on December 05, 2016

Discuss this script with the community:



    Translate and read this script in other languages:

    Select another language:

    • - Select -
    • 简体中文 (Chinese - Simplified)
    • 繁體中文 (Chinese - Traditional)
    • Español (Spanish)
    • Esperanto (Esperanto)
    • 日本語 (Japanese)
    • Português (Portuguese)
    • Deutsch (German)
    • العربية (Arabic)
    • Français (French)
    • Русский (Russian)
    • ಕನ್ನಡ (Kannada)
    • 한국어 (Korean)
    • עברית (Hebrew)
    • Gaeilge (Irish)
    • Українська (Ukrainian)
    • اردو (Urdu)
    • Magyar (Hungarian)
    • मानक हिन्दी (Hindi)
    • Indonesia (Indonesian)
    • Italiano (Italian)
    • தமிழ் (Tamil)
    • Türkçe (Turkish)
    • తెలుగు (Telugu)
    • ภาษาไทย (Thai)
    • Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)
    • Čeština (Czech)
    • Polski (Polish)
    • Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian)
    • Românește (Romanian)
    • Nederlands (Dutch)
    • Ελληνικά (Greek)
    • Latinum (Latin)
    • Svenska (Swedish)
    • Dansk (Danish)
    • Suomi (Finnish)
    • فارسی (Persian)
    • ייִדיש (Yiddish)
    • հայերեն (Armenian)
    • Norsk (Norwegian)
    • English (English)


    Use the citation below to add this screenplay to your bibliography:


    "Short Cuts" STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 17 Jun 2024. <>.

    We need you!

    Help us build the largest writers community and scripts collection on the web!

    Watch the movie trailer

    Short Cuts


    The Studio:

    ScreenWriting Tool

    Write your screenplay and focus on the story with many helpful features.