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California Split (1974)

George Segal , Elliott Gould , Robert Altman  |  R |  DVD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)

Price: $39.99 & FREE Shipping. Details
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Product Details

  • Actors: George Segal, Elliott Gould, Ann Prentiss, Gwen Welles, Edward Walsh
  • Directors: Robert Altman
  • Writers: Joseph Walsh
  • Producers: Joseph Walsh, Robert Altman, Aaron Spelling, Leonard Goldberg, Robert Eggenweiler
  • Format: Color, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 encoding (US and Canada only)
    PLEASE NOTE:
    Some Region 1 DVDs may contain Regional Coding Enhancement (RCE). Some, but not all, of our international customers have had problems playing these enhanced discs on what are called "region-free" DVD players. For more information on RCE, click .
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: November 2, 2004
  • Run Time: 108 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0002XNSZE
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #177,583 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "California Split" on IMDb

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

OK, so it's coming out as what appears to be a bare-bones disk instead of a juiced-up Criterion collection title (doubly sad since other Altman classics like "Secret Honor," "Tanner 88" and "Short Cuts" are getting the CC treatment the same month) but that doesn't matter.\r\n\r\nWhat does matter is that I'm finally going to get to see my favorite film in widescreen. \r\n\r\nI taped "Split" off cable years and years ago. I remember setting up the recording at some ungodly hour (3:25 a.m. or something) because I didn't want to miss it and I ended up watching the movie in its entirity. \r\n\r\nElliott Gould gives an amazing, lived-in performance as a lucky card player who takes a liking to a less fortunate gambler and, through a series of episodes, we watch them pass a few weeks hitting the track, going to boxing matches, playing poker, drinking, getting beat up and using a neat home remedy on their bruises over Fruit Loops. Their friendship is one of the best I've seen on-screen. Screenwriter Joseph Walsh appears briefly as Sparkie the shylock and it's a perfect cameo, a pre-"Sopranos" portrait of a crook haggard by the life ("Didn't I tell you that I've got busts happening all over the city, that my parents are in town, and you come in here and you don't have dollar one?") \r\n\r\nThis is a woefully underseen Altman classic, mostly because it's not available on tape or DVD, it's pretty rare. But it's a great movie -- I even have the one-sheet for "Split" hanging over my computer -- and I'm very, very pleased that I'll finally be able to see something *besides* the opening and closing credits in letterbox (it always seemed to underline the cruelty of pan-and-scan when, after the credit "Directed by Robert Altman" my beloved black bars disappeared).

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
41 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My favorite film finally shows up on DVD August 27, 2004
Format:DVD
OK, so it's coming out as what appears to be a bare-bones disk instead of a juiced-up Criterion collection title (doubly sad since other Altman classics like "Secret Honor," "Tanner 88" and "Short Cuts" are getting the CC treatment the same month) but that doesn't matter.

What does matter is that I'm finally going to get to see my favorite film in widescreen.

I taped "Split" off cable years and years ago. I remember setting up the recording at some ungodly hour (3:25 a.m. or something) because I didn't want to miss it and I ended up watching the movie in its entirity.

Elliott Gould gives an amazing, lived-in performance as a lucky card player who takes a liking to a less fortunate gambler and, through a series of episodes, we watch them pass a few weeks hitting the track, going to boxing matches, playing poker, drinking, getting beat up and using a neat home remedy on their bruises over Fruit Loops. Their friendship is one of the best I've seen on-screen. Screenwriter Joseph Walsh appears briefly as Sparkie the shylock and it's a perfect cameo, a pre-"Sopranos" portrait of a crook haggard by the life ("Didn't I tell you that I've got busts happening all over the city, that my parents are in town, and you come in here and you don't have dollar one?")

This is a woefully underseen Altman classic, mostly because it's not available on tape or DVD, it's pretty rare. But it's a great movie -- I even have the one-sheet for "Split" hanging over my computer -- and I'm very, very pleased that I'll finally be able to see something *besides* the opening and closing credits in letterbox (it always seemed to underline the cruelty of pan-and-scan when, after the credit "Directed by Robert Altman" my beloved black bars disappeared).
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28 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Character & Behaviour Over Plot & Story December 7, 2004
By Cubist
Format:DVD
In the 1970s, Elliott Gould and Robert Altman were an unbeatable team. They first worked together on M*A*S*H, a savage satire of the military, then again on a radical, contemporary reworking of Raymond Chandler's novel, The Long Goodbye, and finally completed the hat trick with California Split, an ode to obsessive gamblers. For years, this film has been relegated to obscurity, showing up occasionally on TV and tied up in legal issues over the music which delayed its release on DVD. Finally, all of these entanglements have been resolved and the movie is presented the way it was meant to be seen.

California Split is one of Altman's trademark character-driven films. It is less concerned with plot than behaviour as we watch the friendship between Bill and Charlie develop over a mutual love of gambling. As the film progresses and the two men hang out more, Bill starts to become more addicted to the gambling lifestyle. He blows off work early to meet Charlie at the track and sells his possessions for money. Bill and Charlie are gambling addicts who ride the high arcs and the low valleys, never passing up a bet. At a boxing match they put money on the outcome of the fight with a fellow spectator.

Those who know Elliott Gould and George Segal only from their contemporary sitcom appearances (Friends and Just Shoot Me, respectively), should see California Split if only to see these guys in their prime and working with a master filmmaker at the top of his game. Gould and Segal have never been better and play well of each other. There is good chemistry between them as Gould plays the more experienced gambler in contrast to Segal's more naïve one.

Altman fans will enjoy the audio commentary included on this DVD.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Egyptian Femme! Egyptian Femme! November 21, 2004
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
OK...if you had told me ten years ago this film would be on DVD i would've been shocked...first I would've said 'what's a dvd'? then i would have said 'i can't believe anyone remembers this film besides myself' (i've been trumpeting it for years...if that's a word) It might not look like it, but this film is a true masterpiece, one of Mr. Altmans best films (up there with Nashville, McCabe and Mrs. Miller, etc...) The story is a little ramshackle...but that's part of the charm. You follow two gamblers as they roam around California looking for action, they win...sometimes...and lose...more...get beat up a couple times...and eventually travel to Reno for the grand finale. The acting is perfect, Elliot Gould has never been better and George Segal gives a great haggard performance. The sound is Altman at his most layered. The whole film is rich in detail and heavy on atmosphere and most viewers will need to watch a couple times to really enjoy. If you think 'Rounders' is a great poker film...see this one. And for once he commentary on this DVD is great (too often commentary is boring 'oh yeah, that actor was wonderful, that actress was amazing, etc.. without explaining how the film got made, etc) They don't make 'em like this anymore.

Also: when will Altmans "A Wedding" come out on DVD, a true lost classic (similar to Gosford Park and Nashville in style). It's been out of print for years and needs to be seen!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Refreshingly Mature Guy Film January 25, 2010
By Acid
Format:DVD
The main thing that struck me while watching this film is how (like many 70s films) it would never be made today. Today it would be re-written with vulgar potty jokes and immature geek humor a la "The Hangover", "bromance" (god, I hate that word)-style homo-erotic humor and chick-flick melodrama, and would be chock full of hip music montages, unrealistically sexy women, and would have a flase happy ending. It reminded me of how seldom REAL men are portrayed on the screen. They're usually reduced to testosterone-packed meat puppets, frat-boy washouts, or geeky Peter Pans. Today the characters would be 5-10 years younger, much more attractive, and thoroughly unbelievable.

Instead, we get Robert Altman long before he and his fans became pretentious, Elliot Gould and George Segal (two GREAT 70s actors) at the top of their game, a story that NEVER condescends, and some wonderful widescreen cinematography.

It's not a classic, but it's not trying to be. It's just a funny, smart, touching portrait of a couple of down on their luck, but not quite broken, gamblers. Gets an extra star for having balls. SO refreshing.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Altman.
Another unique movie from the genius that is Robert Altman. The narrative just sort of floats along; no formulaic Hollywood crap here.
Published 4 months ago by Lonas Taylor
4.0 out of 5 stars Great gambling movie for the collection!
Not all about poker but just a gambling story in general... Stud, horse racing, craps. Starts in so cal and ends in Reno. Really liked this older flick.
Published 6 months ago by Sean J Twyford
5.0 out of 5 stars Fractured Fairy Tale
This movie may not be for everybody but it is one of my personal favorites. Slice of life set in the Southern California gambling world of the 1970's decades before "Texas Hold'em"... Read more
Published 12 months ago by Brian Bennett Jr
4.0 out of 5 stars Wish I had known this movie was available for free on crackle!
It's a very slow moving slice of life type 70's film. By today's standards it's probably thought to be boring. You have to be in the right mood to watch it.
Published 15 months ago by Marion Douglas
4.0 out of 5 stars OK
it wasnt great but it was entertaining, good for a night when you just want to kick back and be entertained.
Published 17 months ago by bob signoracci
1.0 out of 5 stars Uninterruptedly stupid, punctuated by inappropriate music.
Uninterruptedly stupid, punctuated by inappropriate music.

I admired these actors (Gould; ONeal) in their other work, but don`t think I will again. Read more
Published 17 months ago by V. R. Padgett
4.0 out of 5 stars Classic funny movie
A funny movie that is a must see for any gambler. It has many great one liners and sight gags that help it move along.
Published 22 months ago by Steve
5.0 out of 5 stars Deserves Criterion Collection re-issue treatment!
This is a gem of a movie. You have to respect Altman's movie making to really love it but it's a fun 70's look at gambling and it's grasp on folks. Read more
Published on June 25, 2011 by Perfik
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Fast Shipping! Thanks!
I was happy to find it on Amazon at a fairly reasonable price considering it's out of print.
Published on September 22, 2010 by skilletlicker
4.0 out of 5 stars california split DVD
a very boring movie unless you enjoy watching 2 guys gamble for over an hour. At the end, you kinda say, "That's it? I don't get it!" i bought it because my mom was an extra.
Published on September 17, 2010 by pogonut48
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