It’s generally agreed that Nashville (’75) is one of Robert Altman‘s three best films, the other two being M.A.S.H. (’69) and The Player (’92). (In my eyes Altman’s golden six are these three plus California Split, McCabe and Mrs. Miller and The Long Goodbye.) Nashville is also regarded as a cornerstone of ’70s cinema, and yet for some odd reason I’ve never seen it since catching it at the Carnegie Hall Cinema in ’79 or thereabouts. There’s a reason for that but what? When I think of the film four bits always come to mind — Henry Gibson singing “Two Hundred Years,” Jeff Goldblum tooling around on a three-wheeled motorcycle, Keith Carradine singing “I’m Easy” and whatsername getting shot in the end. In any event I’m ripe for a re-viewing when the Criterion Bluray streets in early December.

Wiki synopsis: “The film takes a snapshot of people involved in the country music and gospel music businesses in Nashville, Tennessee. It has 24 main characters, an hour of musical numbers, and multiple storylines. The characters’ efforts to succeed or hold on to their success are interwoven with the efforts of a political operative and a local businessman to stage a concert rally before the state’s presidential primary for a populist outsider running for President of the United States on the Replacement Party ticket. In the film’s final half-hour, most of the characters come together at the outdoor concert at the Parthenon in Nashville.

“The large ensemble cast includes David Arkin, Barbara Baxley, Ned Beatty, Karen Black, Ronee Blakley, Keith Carradine, Geraldine Chaplin, Robert DoQui, Shelley Duvall, Allen Garfield, Henry Gibson, Scott Glenn, Jeff Goldblum, Barbara Harris, David Hayward, Michael Murphy, Allan F. Nicholls, Cristina Raines, Bert Remsen, Lily Tomlin, Gwen Welles and Keenan Wynn.”