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A Wedding (1978) Poster

(1978)

Trivia

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Director Robert Altman admits that the whole production of the film came as a joke. A reporter had kept asking him during the middle of shooting 3 Women (1977) what he planned to do next and Altman jokingly replied that he was going to film someone's wedding seeing as that was becoming a more common thing to do at the time. Altman said: "I'm going to make a movie about a great big fancy wedding!" As Altman reflected on it, he decided it was actually quite a good idea, as he had never been to a wedding where something didn't go wrong. Altman's off-hand idea manifested itself in a drinking session with his 3 Women (1977) crew that evening after the meeting with the journalist. Within a couple of weeks, Altman had commissioned screenwriter John Considine to start developing a story and a guest list.
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Mia Farrow has only four lines of dialogue in the whole movie.
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After discussing her role with director Altman, Lillian Gish was quoted as saying, " I've died in every way you can think of, but I've never died and tried to make it funny. I'll try to do this."
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Instead of using a typical boom mike to pick up dialogue, director Altman required all the actors wear portable microphones to assist in creating overlapping dialogue. He used this technique several times since first developing it for this film.
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Robert Altman films are known for multiple plots, overlapping dialogue, black comedy and ensemble casts. In relation to the latter, there are 48 featured characters in this movie.
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This was Lillian Gish's first theatrical feature film in 11 years. She was 82 years old when she appeared in this film.
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[Dina Merrill on working with Lillian Gish] Lillian was the nicest mother one could hope to have in "A Wedding." I just wish we could have had scenes together alive instead of dead.
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Sissy Spacek was offered the role of Buffy Brenner. She couldn't appear in the film due to a scheduling conflict, so the role went to Mia Farrow.
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John Cromwell's final acting role. He had also appeared Robert Altman's previous picture, 3 Women (1977).
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The house featured in the film is the current home of singer Richard Marx and his wife, actress Cynthia Rhodes.
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90% of the picture was filmed at an eighty acre estate which was at the time owned by meat-packing heiress Mrs. Lester Armour. The film was also shot in the Chicago suburbs of Oak Park and Lake Bluff.
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All the co-writers - John Considine, Allan F. Nicholls and Patricia Resnick - all have small roles in the film.
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The film featured seven second-generation performers: Mia Farrow, Geraldine Chaplin, Desi Arnaz Jr., Gavan O'Herlihy, Susan Kendall Newman, Marta Heflin, and John Considine.
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Shelley Duvall passed on the role that went to Pam Dawber.
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The Vittorio Gassman part was originally planned for Ben Gazzara.
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Included among the American Film Institute's 2000 list of the 500 movies nominated for the Top 100 Funniest American Movies.
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Actresses Lauren Hutton and Nina Van Pallandt had appeared in earlier Robert Altman films, in Welcome to L.A. (1976) and The Long Goodbye (1973) respectively.
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Carol Burnett expressed via her agent that she would like a part in this film and got it.
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First of three films that actress Carol Burnett made with director Robert Altman. The films include A Wedding (1978), HealtH (1980) and The Laundromat (1985), the latter being made for television.
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The film became the subject of much critical discussion during its initial release, as it was largely unscripted. The actors were encouraged to ad lib as much as possible throughout the film.
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This was Peggy Ann Garner's first screen performance in 12 years.
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This is one of five late-1970s films that Robert Altman made for 20th Century Fox. The others are HealtH (1980), Quintet (1979), 3 Women (1977), and A Perfect Couple (1979).
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The production shoot for this movie ran for eight weeks. The picture was shot during Summer.
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Virginia Vestoff's final movie.
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Debut feature film of actress Amy Stryker.
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Spoilers 

The trivia item below may give away important plot points.

The film ends with a cover version of the 1968 song "Bird on the Wire" written by Leonard Cohen. It is sung by a girl playing the auto-harp.
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