Wild Life Of A Little Monster

Others are scared of me because of all the fun I have. Considered a vigilante by my Eponine.

A Native Son

My favorite was "Gosford Park." It was typical Altman. I thought it was very good. I had hoped he'd win the Oscar that year. "Cookie's Fortune" (starring Glenn Close) was fascinating, but I think I was the only person that went to see it. I also liked "The Player." "Prêt-à-Porter" was fun. I only saw "M*A*S*H" as a movie special on tv. Was too young to appreciate it or to have any idea about movie direction.

According to The New York Times, Robert Bernard Altman was born Feb. 20, 1925, in Kansas City, Mo., to Helen and B.C. Altman. The elder Altman was a prosperous insurance salesman for the Kansas City Life Insurance Company. Mr. Altman’s grandfather, the developer Frank G. Altman, built the Altman Building, a five-story retail mecca in downtown Kansas City. The building reportedly was razed in 1974.

He attended school in Kansas City and then went to a military school in a nearby, small Missouri town. He later joined the Air Force and was a bomber pilot. The Times reports that Mr. Altman invented "what he called “Identi-code,” a method for tattooing numbers on household pets to help identify them if they were lost or stolen; he even talked Harry S. Truman into having one of his dogs tattooed."

Mr. Altman attended the University of Missouri in Columbia before taking a job with a Kansas City film company making mostly industrial, corporate films. Although hanging out in Kansas City, his sights were on Hollywood. In 1948 he got his first screen credit for helping write a movie titled "Bodyguard." I promise, it did not star anyone named Whitney or Kevin.

In the 1950s he married (his second marriage; he eventually married a third time) a lady and had two sons. One of their sons wrote lyrics to the “MASH” theme song. If you're my around my age, you likely can hum that theme song right now.

In the mid-1960s, he directed episodes of television series such as "Bonanza" and "Alfred Hitchcock Presents." Alfred Hitchcock and Martin Scorsese are two of four men that are tied with Mr. Altman with five Oscar nominations for Best Direction and have never won.

I saw Robert Altman in the mid-1990s when he was in Kansas City filming the movie "Kansas City." It was an OK movie, but one that bombed. It starred Harry Belafonte, Miranda Richardson, Jennifer Jason Leigh and Dermot Mulroney. It was fun following the film crew about town.

A friend who had moved away to LA came back to town as part of the film's costume crew. During the filming the friend stayed in my home to save bucks. I got to go to one filming where I even got up close enough that I snapped a pic of Mr. Altman sitting in his director's chair. I was in awe. He truly was one in a million.


At November 22, 2006 11:10 PM, Blogger one of us said...

Our Mom loved Gosford Park too and she liked MASH. You are getting lots a dots on your map too. ~Poiland Tribe

At November 23, 2006 8:49 AM, Blogger Eponine's Cowboy said...

But there wasn't one on Hawaii!


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