Long before Robert Altman gave us MASH (1970), Nashville (1975), The Player (1992) and Gosford Park (2001), he paid his dues in the film industry, shooting 65 “industrial movies” during the 1950s. One such film recently surfaced in a Kansas City flea market, and it’s believed to be Altman’s first film. Gary Huggins, also a filmmaker, told SF Weekly, “I bought a stack of old instructional films for $10 and never got around to screening them.” “Modern Football [the title of the discovered footage] sounded really dull. But when I recently did, I glimpsed Altman, who cameos as a sports reporter, and knew I had something incredible.” Find the 26-minute film above, and the cameo at the 2:37 mark. Then consider catching up with Altman six years later when he c0-directed The James Dean Story at the start of his Hollywood career. Watch the Dean documentary online, or find it housed in our collection of 450 Free Movies Online.
I’m fuzzy. How do you know that this is a film Altman did versus one he just appeared in?
That tracking shot at 3:26 is pretty sweet considering the era in which the film was produced.
Yes! Finally someone writes about happy birthday guitar chord.