Following 24 characters through 5 days in the country music capital, Robert Altman's 1975 epic presents a complexly textured portrayal (and critique) of American obsessions with celebrity and power. Among the various stars, aspirants, hangers-on, observers, and media folk are politically ambitious country icon Haven Hamilton (Henry Gibson) and his fragile star protegée Barbara Jean (Ronee Blakley); Tom (Keith Carradine), a self-absorbed rock star who woos lonely married gospel singer Linnea Reese (Lily Tomlin); Sueleen Gay (Gwen Welles), a talentless waitress painfully humiliated at her first singing gig; Albuquerque (Barbara Harris), a runaway wife with dreams of stardom; nightclub owner Lady Pearl (Barbara Baxley), who reminisces about "those Kennedy boys"; single-minded groupie L.A. Joan (Shelley Duvall); vapid BBC commentator Opal (Geraldine Chaplin); and campaign guru John Triplette (Michael Murphy), who is trying to organize a concert rally for the unseen but always heard populist presidential candidate-cum-demagogue Hal Phillip Walker. Everything comes to a head during a climactic concert at Nashville's replica of the Parthenon temple, as the entertainment-hungry audience is momentarily woken out of its stupor by unexpected violence, only to be lulled into a restorative sing-along to "It Don't Worry Me."
|Allan F. Nicholls|
|James Dan Calvert|