IMDb > Husbands (1970)
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Husbands (1970) More at IMDbPro »

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John Cassavetes (written by)
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Release Date:
8 December 1970 (USA) See more »
A comedy about life, death and freedom
A common friend's sudden death brings three men, married with children, to reconsider their lives and ultimately leave together... See more » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Nominated for Golden Globe. See more »
User Reviews:
a little over-long but with plenty of insightful, touching moments about the lack of connecting with others See more (25 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Ben Gazzara ... Harry

Peter Falk ... Archie Black

John Cassavetes ... 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
Bill Britten
Arthur Clark
Gwen Van Dam ... Gwen - "Jeanie" Singer
John Armstrong ... "Happy Birthday" Singer
Charles Gaines (as Chas. Gaines)
Antoinette Kray ... "Jesus Loves Me" Singer
Lorraine MacMartin ... Annie's Mother (as Lorraine Macmartin)
Carinthia West ... Susanna
Edgar Franken ... Ed Weintraub
Joseph Boley ... Minister (as Joe Boley)
Judith Lowry ... Stuart's Grandmother
Joseph Hardy ... Shanghai Lil (as Joe Hardy)
Fred Draper
David Rowlands ... Stuart Jackson
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Nick Cassavetes ... Nick (uncredited)

Xan Cassavetes ... Xan (uncredited)
Marilyn Clark ... (uncredited)
Robert Dahdah ... Crowd (uncredited)
Harry Fielder ... Hippy at Roundhouse (uncredited)
Anne O'Donnell ... Nurse (uncredited)
Rhonda Parker ... Margaret (uncredited)
Ellen Stretton ... (uncredited)
K.C. Townsend ... Barmaid (uncredited)
Gena Wheeler ... Nurse (uncredited)
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Directed by
John Cassavetes 
Writing credits
John Cassavetes (written by)

Produced by
Al Ruban .... producer
Sam Shaw .... associate producer
Cinematography by
Victor J. Kemper (director of photography) (as Victor Kemper)
Film Editing by
John Cassavetes (uncredited)
Makeup Department
Robert Laden .... makeup artist: New York (as Robt. Laden)
Tommie Manderson .... makeup artist: London (as Tommy Manderson)
Production Management
Fred C. Caruso .... production supervisor (as Fred Caruso)
Robert Greenhut .... production manager: New York
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Simon Hinkly .... assistant director: London (as Simon Hinkley)
Alan Hopkins .... assistant director: New York
Philip Mead .... assistant director: London
Art Department
Rene D'Auriac .... art director: New York
Robert Hamlin .... scenic artist: New York (as Robt. Hamlin)
Henry Newman .... props
Thomas Saccio .... props: New York (as Tom Saccio)
Edie Shaw .... graphic artist
Sound Department
Barry Copland .... sound: London (as Barrie Copeland)
Dennis Maitland .... sound: New York
James Perdue .... sound recordist (uncredited)
James Perdue .... sound (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
Michael Chapman .... camera operator: New York (as Mike Chapman)
Len Crowe .... gaffer: London (as L. Crow)
Geoff Glover .... camera operator: London
Edward Gold .... assistant camera: New York (as Eddie Gold)
Dick Mingalone .... camera operator: New York (as Rich Mingalone)
Richard Quinlan .... gaffer: New York (as Rich Quinlan)
Teddy Tucker .... key grip: London (as T. Tucker)
Joseph Williams .... key grip: New York
Casting Department
Tom Busby .... casting: London
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Ed Brennan .... wardrobe: New York (as Edward Brennan)
Lewis Brown .... costume designer: New York (as L. Brown)
Shura Cohen .... wardrobe: London
Joseph W. Dehn .... wardrobe: New York (as Joe Dehn)
Dennis Frun .... wardrobe: London
Editorial Department
Tom Cornwell .... assistant editor (as Tom Cornwal)
Robert Heffernan .... post-production editor (as Robt. Heffernan)
Peter Tanner .... supervising editor
Jack Woods .... post-production editor
Music Department
Jack Ackerman .... musical director: London
Ray Brown .... composer: additional music, London
Stanley Wilson .... musical director: London
Other crew
Fred Draper .... dialogue supervisor: New York
James Joyce .... coordinator
Peggy Lashbrook .... continuity: London
Joe Lustig .... publicist
Henry Newman .... effects
Nancy Norman .... continuity: New York
Kevin O'Driscoll .... accountant
Al Ruban .... presenter
Bert Schneiderman .... controller
Sam Shaw .... presenter
Crew believed to be complete

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies
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Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Husbands: A Comedy About Life, Death and Freedom" - USA (complete title)
See more »
Rated PG-13 for mature thematic elements including sexual situations, language, drunkenness, and brief domestic violence (re-rating)
Japan:131 min | USA:138 min (original release) | USA:131 min (TV version: Sony Pictures Television print) | 154 min (San Francisco Film Festival) | West Germany:142 min (dubbed version: TV)
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Australia:M | Finland:K-16 | Sweden:15 | USA:GP (original rating) | USA:PG-13 (re-rating)
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

This was the first film that writer-director John Cassavetes made after his critically acclaimed award winning Faces (1968/I) which had garnered three Academy Award nominations.See more »
Gus Demetri:[Waiting while Harry is at home taking a shower] That's the difference between him and us.
Archie Black:If my wife opens her mouth to me about anything, I finish that fast. I walk in there...
Gus Demetri:You're right.
Archie Black:I know I'm right. And I spell it out. And that's what you have to do.
Gus Demetri:Right. That's what you have to do.
Archie Black:I'm not going to shower for her. If I want to stink, I'll stink. That's my privilege, and I'm not showering for him.
[pointing at Harry's home]
Gus Demetri:Right.
Archie Black:I wouldn't shower for you.
Gus Demetri:Don't.
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My Best GirlSee more »


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7 out of 12 people found the following review useful.
a little over-long but with plenty of insightful, touching moments about the lack of connecting with others, 5 March 2007
Author: MisterWhiplash from United States

John Cassavetes has a wonderful yet also curious way of how he deals with his protagonists- not just in Husbands but in elsewhere- that brings to mind someone like Bergman but not at the same time. His characters, to me anyway, seem like they're full of life and vigor and laughs and what may be called braggadocio behavior, but it also is a cover for something missing for them too. Husbands casts its main male characters in the light of what should be a time of mourning, for one of the friends in their tight-knit group that dies suddenly in middle age. We never hear about who this guy was or how much significance he had in specifics to them, but one can just tell the impact it's made on them as they have to hide away- maybe on some kind of "guy" instinct- not to show what they really mean to say or feel. Even when they're drunk, they end up having to put an affront, which can sometimes be pretty amusing and very typical of a New York style of 'hey, whaddaya want from me' communication. But outside the confines of a comfortable marriage and kids, these guys are to one degree or another emotional wrecks. Where Bergman had religion and the margin of death as the backdrop usually used, Cassavetes has the suburban malaise and childish, male camaraderie where having a good time seems to be all there is.

Here, Cassavetes acts as well, and to me his character has one of the most important scenes, if not the most important, in the film dealing with this matter. He, Gus, is with Harry (Ben Gazzara, who got robbed of an Oscar nomination) and Archie (Peter Falk, who is, as usual, Peter Falk), when they decide sort of impulsively to break off of their jobs in the days following their friend's death to go to London. What they're their for isn't totally clear, until they start to hit on women at a ritzy casino. They take back the women to the hotel rooms they've rented, and Gus seems to be having the most fun of all with the woman he sweet talked (which is a nice little scene of charm and sexual interplay with just words), and they tussle around in a bed, with that thin line between joking and seriousness being ebbed every which way. This is in line with other scenes in the film like this, little ones that show Gus's attitudes towards life as being sort of a gas even in the more serious moments. But then Gus and the lady go to a little café the next morning, and she- obviously the more adult one of the two- wants to know straight-out what he really wants from her. He can barely say anything, as he's sort of stopped in his tracks by her serious "I'm serious" talk to him. The kidding subsides, and what's left is that tense sensation that reality of his own lack of expressing himself completely has smacked him right in the face, and getting aggressive only will make it worse.

This tends to be something of a common thread with the other characters, however in different degrees. Gazarra's Harry is probably the most flawed, if one had to pick out flaws out of these totally human characters (no clichés precisely attached), who is so torn from himself that he lashes out at his wife when expecting her to say to him "I love you". You almost can't believe he can treat her this way, but it's how it is, in the Cassavetes world. Falk too is playing a guy who is sort of torn from himself emotionally, only he is somewhat more able to express it, and is more contradictory perhaps than the others. Like with his "liason" with the Asian girl when in London; we think he's really after some sexual contact from all of his asking the women in the casino, like a kid after some candy or something, but once he has this woman (who doesn't speak a word of English) in his reach, and a very intimate reach (in typically intimate Cassavetes long-take close-up) he resists. This is a little more awkward a reaction than with the other characters, but it does keep in with his own thread, even if he is able to express his own complete emotional cluster-f*** following his friend's death.

So, at the core, Cassavetes gives us some memorable characters here, even if his film seems to be lacking the overwhelming feeling of seeing a classic. He has his goals set, sort of, but he also takes some time meandering to get there too, and a great scene may be followed by a sort of sloppily timed scene where the strengths of the script (and I do think, unlike Ebert's assertion, that it was mostly scripted) were brushed aside for the rata-tat-tat improvisation. For example, towards the end when Harry invited the other guys back in for more fun with NEW women that he's brought up, it goes on in a stilted kind of way, like Cassavetes wanted one more scene of these guys in a form of pretend with themselves and those around them. And actually when he does have a fairly amazing set of moments, like in that very long scene when they're at the bar and everyone's taking turns showing how much 'life' they have in singing a particular song, with one woman not reaching their mark of quality, there's some spots that drag too. The fire and creative pull of Cassavetes in his prime as a filmmaker is present, if not the overall urgency and tightness of narrative. It's worth the viewing, though, more-so if you're looking to find one of Cassavetes's films not on DVD, or for a good, 'indie' mid-life crisis drama.

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