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California Split

Four years after Robert Altman packed theatres with his biggest hit M*A*S*H, he brought Elliott Gould and George Segal together as a couple of gamblers in 1974's CALIFORNIA SPLIT.

Segal plays Bill Denney, a guy with a respectable job and home who has more than a bit of a gambling habit. One evening at a bar, he meets Charlie Waters (Gould) who seems to kind of have a house with two hookers, no job at all and a hilarious, if reckless life.

Soon Segal and Gould are betting on anything and everything, from every card game they can find to how many of the 7 Dwarfs they can name!

The first hour I really had a hard time getting drawn in, becuase basically there aren't too many things to like about these two, but the film draws pulls you in slowly & quietly.

By the final half hour with Segal playing for both of them in a very high stakes game in Reno, the suspense was really well done!

Damned if Altman didn't make me care about what happened.

The film is populated with real gamblers and many real people that make it seem almost like a documentary at times.

Funny, a bit maddening, but pretty damn good.

We'll deal it a full house and a B.

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