Posted on Thursday, June 14th, 2018 by Bryan Young
(Welcome to The Movies That Made Star Wars, a series where we explore the films that inspired George Lucas’ iconic universe. In this edition: Robert Altman’s 1971 film McCabe & Mrs. Miller)
Roger Ebert called 1971’s McCabe & Mrs. Miller Robert Altman’s only perfect film. Altman had made a lot of great films, but Ebert insisted that this was his only perfect one. It tells the story of the dopey McCabe (Warren Beatty) who arrives in the small, muddy mining town of Presbyterian Church to open a brothel. Soon, he’s visited upon by Mrs. Miller, a much smarter person than he is, a woman who knows how to run a brothel and knows a lot more about the world than he does.
Described as an anti-western, it’s really more of a character study, though it does fall into classic western tropes at the end with a shootout and a fire. I’m not sure I’m ready to declare the film perfect, but it’s certainly very good and its surprising influence on Solo: A Star Wars Story is undeniable. More than anything, it will help you understand Solo a lot better and make that film a richer experience.