Director: Robert Altman
Screenwriters: Joan Tewkesbury

Institute History

  • 1991 Sundance Film Festival


Nashville remains Altman's masterpiece. On the largest canvas he's ever attempted, Altman interweaves strands from twenty-four separate lives in a portrait of the manipulative interrelationship between political opportunism and individual arrogance and ambition in America today. The time is the 1970s; the place, Nashville, the home of country-and-western music and a mecca for those who are talented, those who would like to be, and those who fawn on the famous. What plot there is hangs on the organizing of a concert and rally to support conservative candidate Hal Philip Walker by political huckster John Triplette (Michael Murphy), but as is usual with Altman, the real story emerges from the encounters between the characters, some deliberate, some only chance. Altman's innovative, panoramic use of multiple sound tracks totally immerses the audience in the world of Nashville, with its hollow recording studios, noisy bars and chaotic, clamoring concert halls. The final moments, when Albuquerque (Barbara Harris) jumps onstage, grabs a mike and begins singing It Don't Worry Me" to stave off potential disaster, are some of the most powerful in recent American cinema.

— Barbara Bannon

Screening Details

As you use our Online Archives, please understand that the information presented from Festivals, Labs, and other activities is taken directly from official publications from each year. While this information is limited and doesn't necessarily represent the full list of participants (e.g. actors and crew), it is the list given to us by the main film/play/project contact at the time, based on the space restrictions of our publications. Each entry in the Online Archives is meant as a historical record of a particular film, play, or project at the time of its involvement with Sundance Institute. For this reason, we can only amend an entry if a name is misspelled, or if the entry does not correctly reflect the original publication. If you have questions or comments, please email [email protected]