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Robert Altman’s SoundtracksFilm, Music, and Sound from M*A*S*H to A Prairie Home Companion$
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Gayle Sherwood Magee

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199915965

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199915965.001.0001

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Battling the Empire

Battling the Empire

(p.129) Chapter 5 Battling the Empire
Robert Altman’s Soundtracks

Gayle Sherwood Magee

Oxford University Press

As the 1970s ended, Altman rushed to complete five films under contract with Fox, as the studio underwent changes in leadership and Altman became concerned about losing funding. Altman tried to reclaim critics and elite audiences through art films, on one hand, and mainstream audiences through comedies and musicals on the other. Throughout, Altman was fighting a larger battle to prove that intelligent, independent films aimed at adults could remain viable. Within two years, the enormous profits generated by Spielberg and Lucas blockbusters had changed the film industry from a business of modest incomes accrued from many large-, medium-, and low-budget films to an industry looking for fewer, bigger, expensive hits almost guaranteed to generate outrageous profits. In the wake of the record success of Star Wars (1977) and The Empire Strikes Back (1980), Altman attempted to regain a footing in Hollywood with the family musical Popeye.

Keywords:   blockbusters, Buffalo Bill and the Indians, 3 Women, A Perfect Couple, Popeye, disco musical

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