Robert Altman’s Modern Football

Okay, maybe it’s not exactly McCabe and Mrs. Miller, but how many of you know Robert Altman’s first movie is a 1949 short film entitled Modern FootballA little background on how this turned up after so many years:

… Filmmaker and archivist Gary Huggins—a director with his own Kickstarter-funded feature in the works—impulsively bought his discovery along with a bunch of similar instructional films at a flea market in Altman’s hometown of Kansas City. Huggins didn’t know what he had until he finally got around to looking at the movie and recognized the director’s face in a shot. The seeds of Altman’s later greatness may not be readily apparent in Modern Football, but it’s a well-made, fascinating curio—and with its stiff line readings and period haircuts and fashions, ripe material for some Mystery Science Theater 3000 riffing.

You could say his technique (and certainly his budget) improved over the next twenty years.  He stopped using a pseudonym, too.

Fun stuff…


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6 responses to “Robert Altman’s Modern Football

  1. Mayor of Dawgtown

    Goodness!!! This looks exactly like football practice when I was in HS!!!! After seeing this I am checking to see if I am still have a pulse….Checking….Yes, but very feeble.


  2. Spence

    Pretty sure I saw Willie Martinez as a coach in there. Same techniques at least.


  3. awesome, Willie MArtinez looks very coool as a coach.


  4. Cojones

    Who could forget the classic M.A.S.H. football game? “Spearchucker” Jones to player “refreshments” on the bench to their version of player enhancement drugs. Well before today’s version and 20 years after “Modern Football”.

    Had a big party in the Alaskan wilderness with Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry (PPCLI) and our supporting MASH unit, complete with hot and cold running nurses, in my mid 20s. Purple Passions in a patient field wash tub, all the Canadien Club you could drink and a few shots of “Old Methusalah” provided by the doctors and our attached priest. Nearly everyone got laid including the priest. We had to search for the Colonel commanding the MASH unit the next morning. Found him passed out in an arctic bag in the patient ward. The movie, made 4yrs later, brings tears to my eyes.


  5. 69Dawg

    Saw MASH at the fort theater at Ft. Lost -in -the Woods MO in 1970. The Army at first would not let it be shown in post theaters but later did. The enlisted stitches screen drew the biggest laugh.


  6. Go Dawgs!

    I love that Charlie Trippi gets a shoutout in the locker room scene.