directed by Robert Altman
USA 1993


The work of two great American artists merge in Short Cuts, maverick director Robert Altman’s kaleidoscopic adaptation of the stories of renowned author Raymond Carver. Epic in scale yet meticulously observed, the film interweaves the stories of twenty-two characters struggling to find solace and meaning in contemporary Los Angeles. The extraordinary ensemble cast includes Tim Robbins, Julianne Moore, Robert Downey, Jr., Jack Lemmon, and Jennifer Jason Leigh—all giving fearless performances in one of Altman’s most compassionate creations.


Theatrical Release: October 1st, 1993 - USA (New York City)

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DVD Review: Criterion (2 disc) - Region 1- NTSC

DVD Box Cover

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Distribution Criterion Collection - Spine # 265 - Region 1 - NTSC
Runtime 3:07:48
Video 2.39:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 5.46 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s   

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.


Audio English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Dolby), English (Dolby Digital 5.1 Dolby)
Subtitles English, None

Release Information:
Studio: Criterion Collection - Spine # 265

Aspect Ratio:
Original aspect Ratio 2.39:1

Edition Details:

• New high-definition digital transfer, with restored image and sound, and enhanced for widescreen televisions, supervised by editor Geraldine Peroni and approved by director Robert Altman
• New Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack
• Isolated music track
• Reflections on Short Cuts, a new 25-minute videotaped conversation with Robert Altman and Tim Robbins
• Luck, Trust, and Ketchup: Robert Altman in Carver Country, a 90-minute documentary on the making of Short Cuts
• Segment from BBC television’s Moving Pictures tracing the development of Raymond Carver’s short story “Jerry and Molly and Sam” for the film
• A 50-minute audio interview with Raymond Carver
• Deleted scenes
• A look inside the marketing of Short Cuts, featuring trailers and more than sixty print advertising campaigns
• Special reprint of Short Cuts, the Vintage Books companion collection of Raymond Carver short stories
• An essay by film critic Michael Wilmington and a guide to the music

DVD Release Date: November 16th, 2004

Packaging - See above image
Chapters: 37




There are some very vibrant colors in this 'director approved' Criterion DVD. Although they appear extravagant at times I suspect it was as theatrically shown. This may not be as crisp as other Criterion offerings but it comes in a stupendous 2-disc package with a host of extra features. The erratic image quality is absolutely a function of Altman's shooting methods. Contrast is good, aspect ratio is maintained, subtitles are perfect - nothing for Altman fans to complain about. Another gem from Criterion -  out of  .

Gary W. Tooze


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Gary Tooze