I’ve written two or three times about an extremely rare one-sheet for The Presbyterian Church Wager, which is what Robert Altman‘s McCabe and Mrs. Miller (’71) was called before it was twice re-titled. After learning of the original title certain Presbyterian Church honchos objected to their church being associated with the superficially tawdry subject matter (prostitution, gambling, opium use). The initial re-title was John Mac Cabe (the last name strangely spelled as two separate words), and then it became McCabe and Mrs. Miller.

What I’ve never conveyed until this moment was that I first learned of the existence of the Presbyterian Church Wager one-sheet when I saw it hanging in the interior lobby of the Beverly Canon theatre (205 No. Canon), a renowned art house for which the late Jerry Harvey (later of Z Channel fame) was the programmer and manager in the ’70s.

Posted on 4.16 20: “As a proud owner of a Presbyterian Church Wager poster (along with Larry Karaszewski, Anne Thompson and Svetlana Cvetko), I’m wondering if anyone has ever seen this French-market poster for sale (can’t find it online) or if they know somebody who has one on their wall? How odd that the designer decided to change the last name of Warren Beatty‘s character from John McCabe to John Mac Cabe.

Posted on 5.6.19: A couple of days ago on Facebook, Larry Karaszewksi, the renowned screenwriter (along with partner Scott Alexander), director, producer and co-chair of the Academy’s Foreign Language Oscar executive committee, posted a photo of a rare cultural artifact — a framed poster for Robert Atman‘s The Presbyterian Church Wager, which later became McCabe and Mrs. Miller.

Until Larry posted this I was under the impression that only three Los Angelenos owned mint-condition TPCW postersIndiewire‘s Anne Thompson, myself and dp Svetlana Cvetko.

The poster hanging in my living room is an expensively scanned digital copy of an original that Thompson loaned me in 2008. Three copies were made. I asked Warren Beatty if he would be good enough to sign them. I dropped them off at Beatty’s home, and after two or three weeks I was told they hadn’t been signed. I waited another week or two, and then, not wanting Beatty’s gracious pledge to become a thing of any kind, I decided it would be better to just say “okay, no worries but let’s forget it…I’ll just come by and pick them up un-signed…no harm, no foul…thanks for pledging assistance but it’s totally okay if it can’t work…you’re a good fellow and thank you.”

The next day his assistant told me the one-sheets had finally been signed. I said “thanks enormously” and picked them up later that day.