is a 1977 film written and directed by Robert Altman
, starring Shelley Duvall
, Sissy Spacek
and Janice Rule.
It depicts the increasingly bizarre, mysterious relationship between a woman (Duvall) and her roommate (Spacek) in a dusty, underpopulated Californian town.
This film provides examples of:
- All Just a Dream: One of the theories, supported by Willie's last line: "I just had the most wonderful dream." — Or Was It a Dream?
- And You Were There: Going with the All Just a Dream interpretation, Willie cast her daughter and granddaughter as different characters in her dream.
- Bad Bad Acting: Pinky, simulating how her back and legs hurt.
- Bungled Suicide: In a kneejerk reaction, after been given a "The Reason You Suck" Speech by Millie, Pinky attempts suicide by jumping off from a banister into the pool. Willie finds her floating unconsciously in the pool and alarms neighbors who rescue her.
- City with No Name: We never learn the name of the desert city. Apparently, the film was shot as Desert Hot Springs and Palm Springs, California.
- Coordinated Clothes: The twins always wear the same dress.
- Creepy Twins: There was a reason why nobody liked them.
- "Freaky Friday" Flip: Pinky and Millie switching personalities.
- Gainax Ending: The last scene poses more questions than it answers. One theory is that the three women finally settle into a new family unit that seems to give each woman what she was searching for.
- Gender-Blender Name: Willie.
- Hourglass Plot: Pinky and Millie suddenly switch power positions (or even personalities) two third into the movie.
- Light Feminine and Dark Feminine: Innocent redhead Pinky and experienced brunette Millie.
- Loss of Identity: The lines of identity get very blurry.
- Mind Screw
- Open Ending: According to Word of God the ending is meant to be ambiguous and open to interpretation. However, Altman's personal opinion was that Edgar was buried under the pile of spare tires shown in the final shot of the film.
- Running Gag: Millie's skirt getting stuck in the car door.
- Screaming Birth: There's a very intense birth giving scene at the end of the movie. It turns out to be a stillbirth.
- Secret Diary: Millie has one, protected by lock and key. Pinky later manages to get a good look inside.
- A Threesome Is Hot: At one point Edgar entertains the idea of having sex with both Millie and Pinky.
- Two Act Structure: There is a sudden Hourglass Plot switch two third into the movie, after Pinky attempts suicide.
- The Unsolved Mystery: What really happened to Edgar? It is implied that Reckless Gun Usage was the official cause of death. But another reason can be assumed.