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Husbands (1970)

 -  Comedy | Drama  -  8 December 1970 (USA)
7.6
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 2,765 users  
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A common friend's sudden death brings three men, married with children, to reconsider their lives and ultimately leave together. But mindless enthusiasm for regained freedom will be ... See full summary »

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Title: Husbands (1970)

Husbands (1970) on IMDb 7.6/10

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Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Harry
...
Archie Black
...
Gus Demetri
Jenny Runacre ...
Mary Tynan
Jenny Lee Wright ...
Pearl Billingham
Noelle Kao ...
Julie
John Kullers ...
Red
Meta Shaw Stevens ...
Annie (as Meta Shaw)
Leola Harlow ...
Leola
Delores Delmar ...
The Countess
Eleanor Zee ...
Mrs. Hines
Claire Malis ...
Stuart's Wife
Peggy Lashbrook ...
Diana Mallabee
Eleanor Cody Gould ...
'Normandy' Singer
Sarah Felcher ...
Sarah
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Storyline

A common friend's sudden death brings three men, married with children, to reconsider their lives and ultimately leave together. But mindless enthusiasm for regained freedom will be short-lived. Written by Fabrizio Sabidussi

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

A comedy about life, death and freedom

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for mature thematic elements including sexual situations, language, drunkenness, and brief domestic violence | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

| | |

Release Date:

8 December 1970 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Husbands: A Comedy About Life, Death and Freedom  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$1,000,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(original release) | (TV) | | (dubbed)

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The "husbands" of the film's Husbands (1970) title refer to the three central characters played by Peter Falk, Ben Gazzara and John Cassavetes. See more »

Quotes

Harry: Like I've been telling my wife for years. Aside from sex, and she's very good a it, God damn it; I like you guys better.
See more »

Crazy Credits

There are no closing credits and no "THE END" title card. The screen just goes black. In the opening credits, everyone involved in the film (even the "little people") are credited on two "tell all" title cards, right on down from the actors to the grips, a total of 82 credits. See more »

Connections

References Jules and Jim (1962) See more »

Soundtracks

Dancing in the Dark
(1931) (uncredited)
Music by Arthur Schwartz
Lyrics by Howard Dietz
Sung a cappella and danced by Ben Gazzara and Peggy Lashbrook
See more »

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User Reviews

A Classic of it's Type
21 November 2004 | by (Philadelphia) – See all my reviews

Three men (Falk, Cassavettes, and Gazzara) mourn the death of a friend by going on a long-weekend bender, during which they talk about life, experience masculine pleasures, and try to understand the meaning of it all.

This was the first Cassavettes movie I've ever seen. I liked it, which was surprising because this is not the sort of movie I'm generally interested in. There's almost no plot to speak of, most of the movie feels improvised (although improvised along certain set themes -- one does feel the heavy hand of the director here and there). It's a slice of life movie that still feels pretty rough and daring; I imagine in 1970, when this came out, people couldn't make hide nor hare of it.

Like most movies of this type, the big flaw is structure. The movie takes forever to get going, and doesn't really seem to know when to quit: the last reel, in particular, felt a little long to me. Plus, as I said, there is here and there a sense of a structure being imposed from without: the guys don't just do anything, they do certain set things for "character revelation" sake.

The acting, which is the crucial thing in a movie like this, of course, doesn't disappoint. All three men are very believable: they delineate their macho world quite well, with it's romanticism, bathos, insecurities and obnoxiousness. They're similar types of guys, which bothered me a lot at first but upon reflection made a lot of sense, since in real life we tend to be friends with people like us. Still, there are gradations and variations: Falk is inarticulate and sensitive, Gazzara despairing, Cassavettes is fumbling toward some kind of self-recognition.

The cinematography is absolutely stunning -- I might have seen a particularly nice print but this took me by surprise. Most of the movie is shot in warm, earthy, romantic tones, which sets the mood of nostalgia and dreams well, I think. Every now and then, though, we get a cold, full-on daytime shot where everyone looks naked and blinking under a frigid sun; it's a good counterpoint.

This is an important film by an important director. He'll never be a favorite of mine, but I'll definitely check out other work of his. You'll be doing yourself a favor if you do the same.


9 of 11 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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