What is Sally Kellerman famous for?

Ensemble vs one-man show

Patton-Director Franklin J. Schaffner (1920–1989) had proven time and again in his career that he was also available for unusual topics, for example in The War Lord (1965), which showed the time of the Normans more realistically and harder than usual in Hollywood at the time and, of course, with the dystopian hit Planet of the Apes (1968). Schaffner was definitely not an iconoclast, his productions are classic and epic. In 1967 he formulated his credo to the "Los Angeles Times" as follows: "As you mature you learn that the story is the most important thing."

Robert Altman (1925-2006), who had his roots in television like Schaffner, relied on actors who were still unknown at the time (including Donald Sutherland, Elliott Gould, Robert Duvall, Sally Kellerman), who act on an equal footing, and an episodic structure. With MASH The unconventional filmmaker demonstrated his ensemble style for the first time, for which he would later become famous: overlapping dialogue, in which one sometimes overhears something, a documentary-like zoom, the avoidance of overly aesthetic images and a critical view of society. The characters were everyday characters who fought against the madness of war with black humor. How unusual Altman's methods - which were only engaged after 15 directors had rejected the project - can be seen from the fact that Sutherland and Gould complained to the studio: Altman would endanger their careers with his way of directing. Sutherland, many years later in a making-of: "We thought that Bob should probably be put in an institution for the mentally unbalanced."

 

Clean war, dirty war

The budget of the films also differed enormously: while the expensive one Patton was filmed with great logistical effort in six countries (including Spain and Morocco) MASH on a studio lot in California. Altman wanted to achieve camaraderie among the actors, and so some of them even lived in the hospital tents that had been set up. “It was a very crazy camp. It was a very mad set. Robert Altman allowed us to be foolish, ”recalled actor Tom Skerritt, who played the role of Duke. In addition, the filming location had been devastated by storm and rain shortly before and looked a bit like a jungle landscape. Altman: "We did everything to diffuse this and make it dirty". Altman had his cameraman Harold E. Stine use fog filters to make the image look even more blurred. The director's strategy was to stay under budget and not attract too much attention from studio executives in order to get away with the film, so to speak; an ally was producer Ingo Preminger, who always supported Altman. But it was not entirely without attention, as Altman continues in the audio comment: The studio bosses saw the dailies of the film and commented that the soldiers looked too dirty. The order: The uniforms should appear cleaner. Halfway through both films, Altman learned that the studio had the Patton-Crew in Spain and criticized the soldiers in Patton looked too clean ...

While Patton Its budget is not hidden and its extensive running time of 170 minutes presents detailed war scenes (an impressive effort in times long before CGI), but the loss of human life is presented rather tame: Certainly, you see many soldiers falling, but almost no blood . At MASH In return, there are no war scenes to be seen, but there is an extremely high amount of blood in the operating room (Altman gave instructions to make the color of the blood as realistic as possible) - and the doctors make one joke after the other. For example, when Hawkeye is doing an amputation, he asks a nurse to scratch his nose, which he really enjoys. Not only the war is criticized here, but also the army as an institution - subservience to authority and patriotism anyway. Incidentally, the surgical scenes were almost cut because the studio was initially of the opinion that they could not be expected of the audience. When Zanuck watched the rough cut with his girlfriend and a couple of friends, however, it was precisely the women who said that these scenes had to stay in the film because they were the heart of MASH would form. Zanuck trusted the feeling of the younger generation, and the scenes stayed in the film. Speaking of editing: Altman only got the idea for the numerous loudspeaker announcements that structure the film at the very end, when it was time to edit the film.

Has eccentric and bizarre humor Patton to offer in places, which is almost always due to the dazzling title figure: During the campaign in Africa, the general observed with binoculars how his tanks were increasingly pushing back the National Socialists and roared enthusiastically: “Rommel, you magnificent bastard! I read your book! ”(An allusion to a book on tactics that the German published after the First World War). When Patton later found out, however, that the "desert fox" had already left Africa at the time of the battle and that he was "dueling" an unknown general, his disappointment was boundless - he saw himself as being deprived of fame, so to speak.

Although MASH is a black satire and Patton appears "more realistic" at first glance, as the first film has the famous Altman touch of naturalism to offer. The characters in this satire have a "relatable" effect, as the American says, due to the way they are staged. Patton is most likely to appear approachable in the scenes with his friend General Omar Bradley (Karl Malden; the real Bradley acted as military advisor during the battle scenes): “I have a lot of faults, Brad. But ingratitude is not one of them. I owe you a lot. Hell, I know I'm a primadonna. I even admit it. "

 

Faith, love, fatherland

In MASH the doctors resort to sex, alcohol and pranks to escape the madness - for Altman the secret theme of the film. In Patton this madness is addressed indirectly: The general visits, historically vouched for, wounded soldiers in a hospital and sees a young man who does not show any external injuries. When the soldier said that he was in shock due to the war, the general slapped him and said that he had lost nothing among the other, the wounded heroes. Patton had to apologize for the assault. And then there is the matter of faith: the historical Patton had a specially written prayer distributed to the soldiers during the siege of Bastogne in 1944, in which they should pray for better weather - a circumstance that can also be found in a film scene.

MASH on the other hand, he never misses an opportunity to rail against religion: First, Frank Burns (Robert Duvall) is ripped off by Hawkeye (Donald Sutherland) and Trapper (Elliott Gould) for his bigoted nature, and finally, after an affair with the hypocritical doctor is exposed , provoked until he beats up Hawkeye - and is taken away in a straitjacket by the military police. But the scene in which the dentist “Painless Pole” (John Schuck) - who failed once in bed and therefore suspects latent homosexuality and wants to commit suicide - is “adopted” has become really legendary: Altman posed Leonardo's for this scene famous "Last Supper" after ("Painless", by the way, celebrates resurrection after a woman is placed in his "coffin"). Conservative critics condemned Altman's disrespect for religious sentiments, besides was MASH, what a scandal, one of the first studio films in which the word "fuck" was heard.

The younger generation, however, loved the spirit of this film and made it MASH Third best-selling film of the year in North America in year of release. Patton followed in fourth place on the list (Torah! Torah! Torah! took eighth place, Mike Nichols ’for Paramount filmed war satire Catch-22 Ninth place; So a total of four war films in the top ten if you look at David Leans Ryan’s daughter in seventh place is not rated as a war film). With the reviews too Patton The focus was on Scott's acting tour de force, although it was occasionally noted that the second half of the film was repetitive and provided too little historical context for individual decisions by the main character.

In any case, there was a reputation for both films: Both MASH (who won the Palme d'Or in Cannes in 1970) as well Patton were awarded an Oscar in 1971. Interestingly, the triumphs were not untroubled: George C. Scott simply rejected the leading actor's Oscar because he did not feel he was in competition with other actors (there were another six statuettes for Best Picture, Best Director and Best Original Screenplay, among others). Who knows, maybe this kind of "rebellion" would have pleased the general - on the other hand: Would this man striving for fame have turned down a medal?

And in the case of MASH The award went to screenwriter Ring Lardner Jr. (for the best adapted screenplay), who didn't like the film very much because Altman and the ensemble didn't really stick to his script, but rather used it like a kind of jazz score. Altman was genuinely sorry that the "old school" author Lardner, who initiated the film, was disappointed with the "lax" handling of the script, especially because the author was one of the "Hollywood Ten" in McCarthy -Era had been banned from the profession for a number of years.

While Patton was rather not a major popular cultural phenomenon (with the exception of the opening scene that is occasionally quoted or parodied), this was the case MASH different: Not only was the film the inspiration for two long-running television series (MASH, 1972-1983, and Trapper John, M.D., 1979–1986), the film logo was also found on many T-shirts in the 1970s. The brilliant theme song "Suicide Is Painless", in which the cheerful music by Johnny Mandel and the cynical lyrics of the then 14-year-old Altman's son Mike create a macabre contrast, has also been covered several times, including by Marilyn Manson. It is unlikely that Fox would produce such a disrespectful film these days - the company was swallowed up by the family-friendly Disney group in 2019. The many deliberately tasteless jokes alone would probably trigger a shit storm and censorship calls from the politically correct pack.

It remains to quote the film ends: Patton ends with a monologue by the general (who died at the end of 1945 as a result of a car accident) in which he ponders the triumphal procession of the Roman generals: “A slave stood behind the conqueror, holding a golden crown and whispering in his ear a warning that all glory is fleeting ... "

And in MASH says Staff Sergeant Gorman played by Bobby Troup: "Goddamn army."