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Husbands (1970)

 -  Comedy | Drama  -  8 December 1970 (USA)
7.6
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 2,848 users  
Reviews: 26 user | 40 critic

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)

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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

Funding for the picture fell through early on in production and the film had to be re-financed. See more »

Quotes

Archie Black: Well, I'd be a professional athlete because they really put out. And they got no excuses, and they feel good, and they get sweaty. You know, you have a beer, and you're with guys you like.
Gus Demetri: I was gonna be a basketball player. I had all the moves. I was quick enough. Too short.
Archie Black: I love baseball. I love golf. I love pool. I love track. I love Ping-Pong. I love volleyball. I love badminton. What else is there?
Gus Demetri: Football.
Archie Black: Lacrosse! Now there's a hell of a game!
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

Referenced in Crossing Criminal Cultures (2007) See more »

Soundtracks

Show Me the Way to Go Home
(1925) (uncredited)
Written by Irving King
Sung a cappella by Ben Gazzara, Peter Falk and John Cassavetes
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A depressing, brutal experience
14 May 2013 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

There's no doubting the film-making innovation of the pioneer of American independent cinema, John Cassavetes. But if any of his films were to be considered a stain on his CV, it would be Husbands. That is only because his filmography is so highly praised, and Husbands divided the critics between those who hailed it as one of the best films ever made, and those who found the whole experience relentlessly depressing and tediously long. I'm somewhere in the middle, finding the film occasionally dipping into awkward, slightly forced improvisations, while offering some quite distressing and powerful insights into men going through a midlife crisis.

After the death of their friend, three middle-aged men - Harry (Ben Gazzara), Gus (Cassavetes) and Archie (Peter Falk) - find it difficult to cope. We follow them over the course of two days, where they drink heavily, play basketball together, and have a boisterous singing contest with friends and family. After returning home from his binge, Harry is thrown out by his wife, and shortly after announces he is flying to London. Seemingly with nothing better to do, Gus and Archie decide to join him, where they indulge is more drinking, gambling, and womanising. Gus finds himself with a much younger woman named Mary (Jenny Runacre), who is wild and unpredictable.

In the same vein as Faces (1968), Cassavetes adopts a cinema verite style, while taking the story and characters to almost hyper-reality. This is not quite the world we live in, only it feels like it. It's a more extreme world, where everything is just a little bit more depressing and the inhabitants are always loathsome in one way or another. It's as if Cassavetes wants us to take a real look at ourselves, whoever we are, and be repulsed. Harry, Gus and Archie are despicable, taking no second thoughts when committing adultery, and ultimately being loud, angry and disgusting when in the presence of others. They are also empty, devoid of any real emotion, only finding any real solitude in each other's company.

Judging from the title, Cassavetes uses the film to summarise a broad idea as to why men must go through this at some point in their life. The trio are little more than wild children, only with sexual experience, and the camera, as usual, is close, capturing the slightest facial movement, almost to the point of infringement. It's a depressing, brutal experience, where scenes go on for much longer than they should, making us want to get away from these characters. But maybe that's the point, and Cassavetes takes it to the extreme to push his point across. The final scene is certainly worth the wait however, managing to depict a character in one simple close-up as both tragic and pathetic.

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