3 Women



Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 86%
IMDb Rating 7.9 10 0 9174


Uploaded By: LINUS
Downloaded 23,869 times
July 21, 2014 at 09:07 PM



as Millie Lammoreaux
as Pinky Rose
as Willie Hart
as Edgar Hart
1.85 GB
02 hr 04 min
P/S 7 / 115

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Enrique Sanchez 10 / 10

Mix Drama with Black Comedy with Bizarre with Fantasy = Wonderful

Indeed, few movies can haunt you 40 years after you've first seen them. Not only that, even after you've seen them 20 times, still leaving you with a desire to see them again and again? 3 Women is just such a movie. From it's haunting Gerald Busby score, to Bodhi Wind's arresting murals, to the captivating performances by Shelley Duvall and Sissy Spacek to Robert Altman's deft writing and direction. This is a movie which will haunt you and fascinate you.

I knew this movie was no ordinary movie when I seemed to be the only one in that 1977 audience who caught onto Shelley's disobedient skirt. Things began to appear slanted just off center - you just didn't know how off center they were. And that was and is the magic of this film. You never know what utter ridiculous impossibility of life will take hold of you and bring you through such a unusual journey.

Even as the credits start to roll, you begin to wonder: what have I just witnessed? what does this mean? why does it leave me wanting for answers?

Only after you've seen it as many times as I have do you stop asking those questions and accept all of these occurrences as another window in the mind of a genius, which is Robert Altman. With all due respect to Nashville, this is his pinnacle of achievement.

Reviewed by Edgar Soberon Torchia 10 / 10

3 Women

I saw "3 Women" in 1977. I went back to the cinema and saw it two more times, before I wrote a review. Though I have seen it many other times since then, today I do not recall every detail. Nevertheless I remember its story dealt with three women whose solidarity allows them to survive in a world dominated by insensitive men. Two of these women move the story, the third one does not have a direct influence on the events, but she is a key figure. There is no puzzle here, no enigma to decipher. It may be based on Robert Altman's dream, it may have a dream sequence, but it is quite linear and direct, with little relation to dreams' structure (or lack of it). I say this today but after finding my review in my files, I think it's ironic and makes me laugh at myself. By 1977 I had not read Susan Sontag's "Against Interpretation" yet and I was trying to decipher what the butter meant in "Last Tango in Paris". But I must admit that I find interesting some of the research I did and a few interpretations I made. I found then various leitmotivs in the movie: first, the grotesquely erotic murals painted and shot at by Willie (Janice Rule), that illustrate the oppressive situation of woman in phallocratic societies; water, which (according to French philosopher Dane Rudhyar) stands for collective consciousness and astral world, a symbol that for me tacitly connected the three women (and that has played an important role in other Altman films: "McCabe & Mrs. Miller", "Streamers", "Come Back to the 5 and Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean", "The Gingerbread Man", "Dr. T & the Women", frozen in "Quintet", and even in "HealtH", "Popeye" and "O.C. and Stiggs"); the image of twins Peggy and Polly, duplicated in Alcira and Doris, mirroring the Millie-Pinky duplicity; and the clinic, as a metaphor of social and moral decay while its members attempt at efficiency. It may sound crazy but I even made a connection between the pool of the boarding house (owned by Willie) and a woman's womb (Willie's), where the temporary symbiosis of Pinky Rose (Sissy Spacek) into Millie Lammoreaux (Shelley Duvall) takes place. Today I consider all these more hints than cryptic data, and sometimes they are even too obvious ?as the line when Millie says something like "Sometimes Peggy can be Polly, and Polly can be Peggy", gun-crazy Edgar as a symbol of sexual inadequacy and male authoritarianism, and the delivery of the dead child as a metaphor of the sterility of this kind of relationship between men and women. As I remember it today, it is a sad story of female bonding as a means of survival in a consumerist society, narrated in a beautiful cinematic style, with remarkable performances by all. (Funny, although Duvall had won the Best Actress Palm d'Or in Cannes, in my review the one who impressed me the most was Rule, because she was able to transmit so much with less than a dozen of lines). By far, it's my favorite Robert Altman movie and one of his masterpieces.

Reviewed by zetes 10 / 10

Altman's second best?

Three Women is an utterly fascinating film, and, by my calculations, is Altman's second best after Nashville, which few films can beat. However, whereas I am so familiar with Nashville that I am actually arrogant enough to believe I can understand it, Three Women does not inspire that sort of confidence in me. I have no clue what exactly it is about.

Basically, it is one of those movies where a woman, Pinky, admires her roommate Millie so much that she wishes to emulate her in every way, apparently even trying to steal her identity. In doing so, she freaks her roommate out, as can certainly be expected. She also freaks the audience out. It isn't all just a bunch of shivering, though. This movie contains a lot of humor which can only be called 'Altmanesque.' The great irony is that Pinky's object of admire is nothing but a bag of hot air. Millie is such a loser. At the film's opening, she is training Pinky for her new job at the nursing home. To any normal person, two weeks into the job, you'd be amazed at how much a moron the person is who showed you the ropes. She brags about men whom she rejects, but all the hot dates she claims to be going on never come to fruition. Millie also overreacts to Pinky's actions, yelling at her for very petty transgressions. When Millie does something that is grossly irresponsible and morally wrong, she attacks Pinky for judging those actions. Meanwhile, Pinky is creepily reciting passages from Millie's diary with the passion of a high school drama student.

Taking Ingmar Bergman's Persona as its major inspiration, around halfway through the film, after Pinky has an accident and goes into a coma, the two women begin to switch roles. Millie becomes the passive and protective roommate while Pinky becomes the aggressive vixen. Actually, Pinky becomes the mythic version of Millie.

But I have purposely left out the third woman of the title. I really am not sure about her, or the climax and the ending, in which she plays a major part. Her name is Willie, a pregnant woman married to a man named Edgar (who will, through the course of the film, also sleep with both Millie and Pinky). They run a bar where Millie likes to hang out, and they also live in the same apartment complex as Millie and Pinky. Edgar is an outgoing joker, and has no problem sleeping around on his wife. Willie is mostly silent, which is why she is easy to forget in the proceedings. She paints in a Native American style all over the bar and the apartment complex. She does so seemingly because she is compelled to. She despises complements about them. Throughout the film, her paintings comment on the situation between Millie and Pinky (they're used in a masterful fashion, but the pan-and-scan version that I saw on TV (it was also edited for time and content, dag nabbit) screws this up a bit). I don't know if she serves much more of a purpose than that for most of the film.

It is the ending which is especially peculiar, and it also most effectively channels Persona. Pinky has convinced Millie that she ought to have their apartment's master bedroom to herself (and Millie ought to sleep in the living room). Pinky has a surreal dream, which is punctuated by the camera's filming through a fish tank whose blue waters are undulating like a snake, in which she goes through the events of the past few months. She becomes frightened, and, much as Elisabeth Volger does in Persona, she wanders into Millie's bedroom. Here, though, she wakes Millie up, asking if she would mind sharing a bed tonight. As they try to sleep, Edgar wanders into their apartment, drunk off his rocker and spouting that Willie is giving birth all alone. Millie and Pinky race to her side. Millie tells Pinky to drive away and fetch a doctor, while she herself helps Willie deliver the child. Pinky, fascinated or frightened (she had earlier expressed fear about being pregnant herself), just stands there and stares. When the child is born, it is still. Willie cries in her bed, and Millie smacks Pinky for not getting a doctor.

The next scene takes place at a restaurant where Pinky is apparently a waitress. She bizarrely refers to Millie as her mother. We find out that Edgar accidentally killed himself with his gun, but the audience suspects differently (all three women had individual scenes where they shot at targets at the bar; they also all have reason to despise him). Millie and Pinky then leave the restaurant and walk back to their house, where Willie sits on a porch swing. Pinky talks to her as if they were sisters. They appear to be living together as a family.

Who else could end a film like that besides Altman? I've only lately come to notice this, but his endings are always enormously original. I just lately saw his latest film, Dr. T and the Women, which many people hated because of the ending. I cringe imagining what they would do with this one. If anyone has any ideas, please contact me. I will have to watch it again. Perhaps soon they will release it on DVD where I can watch it in its true form. 10/10.

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