Most curious to me is that the book has reignited the Julie Christie obsessing I was doing when Away From Her was around rather than renewing my lifelong Beatty drooling. Beatty has been out of the big picture for a decade now. I wanted to fall back in love since I haven't seen him in so long, apart from occassional red carpet trips to escort The Bening. Instead, I keep waiting for Julie Christie -- a supporting player -- to return to steal more scenes. She's so fascinating. It's almost like she's the 60s/70s version of Garbo. But instead of running away from stardom, she drifts in and out of it like some indifferent hippie muse.
Beatty & Christie made three films together, making her his most common screen partner (Gene Hackman equals that record but he was a supporting player). All three Beatty/Christie films were in the 1970s (McCabe and Mrs Miller and Shampoo and Heaven Can Wait) and are well worth watching. Between them those films have 14 Oscar nominations and two statues. Even after their last film together, Christie remains a spectral presence. Beatty dedicated his Oscar winning classic Reds (1981) to her.
Curiously, Beatty don't seem to have anything like affection for McCabe and Mrs Miller (1971) and it reads like neither star was happy on set. I have an admittedly limited working knowledge of the western genre (not my favorite) but McCabe is in my top ten for sure [editors note: other favs... using "western" loosely I suppose are Red River (1948), Giant (1956), Hud (1963) and Brokeback Mountain (2005)]. It's yet another reminder that actors don't always know what's best for them. McCabe is a total classic. Whether or not the stars understood what Altman was after, they're both terrific in it.