Down 298 this week

A Woman Under the Influence (1974)

R  |   |  Drama  |  18 November 1974 (USA)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 8.2/10 from 11,749 users  
Reviews: 92 user | 79 critic

Mabel, a wife and mother, is loved by her husband Nick but her madness proves to be a problem in the marriage. The film transpires to a positive role of madness in the family, challenging conventional representations of madness in cinema.



0Check in

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Instant Video


User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 21 titles
created 27 Nov 2011
a list of 42 titles
created 13 Feb 2012
list image
a list of 29 titles
created 23 Nov 2013
a list of 47 titles
created 11 Jan 2014
a list of 29 titles
created 05 May 2014

Related Items

Connect with IMDb

Share this Rating

Title: A Woman Under the Influence (1974)

A Woman Under the Influence (1974) on IMDb 8.2/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of A Woman Under the Influence.
Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 10 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Faces I (1968)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

An old married man leaves his wife for a younger woman. Shortly after, his ex-wife also begins a relationship with a younger partner. The film follows their struggles to find love amongst each other.

Director: John Cassavetes
Stars: John Marley, Gena Rowlands, Lynn Carlin
Opening Night (1977)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

An actress suffers an emotional uproar in her personal life after a fan dies trying to see her.

Director: John Cassavetes
Stars: Gena Rowlands, John Cassavetes, Ben Gazzara
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A proud strip club owner is forced to come to terms with himself as a man, when his gambling addiction gets him in hot water with the mob, who offer him only one alternative.

Director: John Cassavetes
Stars: Ben Gazzara, Timothy Carey, Seymour Cassel
Husbands (1970)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

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 »

Director: John Cassavetes
Stars: Ben Gazzara, Peter Falk, John Cassavetes
Shadows (1959)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Cassavetes' jazz-scored improvisational film explores interracial friendships and relationships in Beat-Era (1950s) New York City.

Director: John Cassavetes
Stars: Ben Carruthers, Lelia Goldoni, Hugh Hurd
Love Streams (1984)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

Two closely bound, emotionally wounded siblings reunite after years apart.

Director: John Cassavetes
Stars: Gena Rowlands, John Cassavetes, Diahnne Abbott
Certificate: GP Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A museum curator falls in love with a crazy parking attendant.

Director: John Cassavetes
Stars: Gena Rowlands, Seymour Cassel, Val Avery
Gloria (1980)
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

When a young boy's family is killed by the mob, their tough neighbor Gloria becomes his reluctant guardian. In possession of a book that the gangsters want, the pair go on the run in New York.

Director: John Cassavetes
Stars: Gena Rowlands, Buck Henry, Julie Carmen
Big Trouble (1986)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.1/10 X  

Insurance agent plots with client to kill her nutty husband.

Director: John Cassavetes
Stars: Peter Falk, Alan Arkin, Beverly D'Angelo
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Ghost is an idealogical musician who would rather play his blues in the park to the birds than compromise himself. However, when he meets and falls in love with beautiful singer, Jess ... See full summary »

Director: John Cassavetes
Stars: Bobby Darin, Stella Stevens, Everett Chambers
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Psychologist Dr. Matthew Clark is the head of the Crawthorne State Training Institute, one of the first boarding schools for developmentally challenged children. Dr. Clark is sympathetic ... See full summary »

Director: John Cassavetes
Stars: Burt Lancaster, Judy Garland, Gena Rowlands
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

An almost accidental romance is kindled between a German woman in her mid-sixties and a Moroccan migrant worker around twenty-five years younger. They abruptly decide to marry, appalling everyone around them.

Director: Rainer Werner Fassbinder
Stars: Brigitte Mira, El Hedi ben Salem, Barbara Valentin


Cast overview, first billed only:
Nick Longhetti
Fred Draper ...
George Mortensen
Lady Rowlands ...
Martha Mortensen
Katherine Cassavetes ...
Margaret Longhetti
Angelo Longhetti
Tony Longhetti
Christina Grisanti ...
Maria Longhetti
O.G. Dunn ...
Garson Cross
Harold Jensen
Eddie Shaw ...
Dr. Zepp
Angelo Grisanti ...
Vito Grimaldi
Charles Horvath ...
James Joyce ...


Peter Falk is a blue collar man trying to deal with his wife's mental instability. He fights to keep a semblance of normality in the face of her bizarre behavior, but when her actions affect their children, he has her committed. Written by BA Jacobson <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

18 November 1974 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Uma Mulher Sob InfluĂȘncia  »

Box Office


SEK 2,455,317 (Sweden)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (TCM print)

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Actress Gena Rowlands and writer-director John Cassavetes in real life were married. See more »


At the end of the film after they put the children to bed. Nick follows Mabel down the stairs but in the next shot Nick comes out of the stairway first. See more »


Mabel Longhetti: Die for Mr. Jensen, kids!
See more »


Referenced in Go Get Some Rosemary (2009) See more »


La Boheme
Music by Giacomo Puccini
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Cinematic Diarrhea
13 April 2014 | by (Texas) – See all my reviews

Another IMDb reviewer, Dolly_Lo, wrote a review in September 2009, titled "Don't Accept It". See below:

"Cassavetes was clearly an intelligent, sensitive man with bold new ideas about making films. He wanted to be an auteur, to break away from the confines of the system and bring a new realism to the American cinema. For that, I applaud him.

Unfortunately, as a member of his audience, I cannot applaud A Woman Under the Influence. Cassavetes took what could have been a fascinating topic (an insane woman) and somehow managed to craft a dull film, filled with lengthy, ad-libbed ranting and drawn-out scenes. He seems to have had a gift for capturing the dullest moments of a person's life on film, and it often appears as though he simply turned the camera on his family and let the motor run and run. This tactic would be acceptable if Cassavetes had captured something devastatingly REAL -- or even a kernel of something so real it touched the heart in ways a conventional film could not. Yet I found the performances, particularly Rowlands', to be artificial. I never believed for a moment that she was really insane. I have met people who are truly mentally disturbed, yet I've never seen any of them act quite like Gena Rowlands in A Woman Under the Influence. She played it like a very obnoxious, uninhibited woman who drinks a lot, and even that was confusing because we only see her drink once (at the beginning), but she acts drunk for the remainder of the film. There are some moments in which she taps into something real, but those moments are few and far between; she fails to sustain a seamless mentally disturbed character. Again, I applaud her efforts, but effort alone is not enough to make the performance ring true.

Novice audiences who happen upon this film and see its high IMDb rating will no doubt feel compelled to love it and rate it highly, just to prove that they 'get it.' But don't be brainwashed by the hype -- judge for yourself. You don't have to pretend to like it.

Like Woody Allen, John Cassavetes could be accused of solipsism in his film-making, seeming to find his own psyche and his own life experiences so endlessly fascinating that he couldn't imagine that to others they appeared presumptive and tortuously self-indulgent. But Woody Allen at least has demonstrated a gift for keeping an audience entertained -- he knows that a compelling story structure and a good dose of humor are essential to any movie. If Cassavetes had employed some self-discipline (and a sharp pair of editing shears!), A Woman Under the Influence could have stood a chance. But what's the point of making a 'realistic' film if the only people who can stand to sit through it are the art-house devotees and film students who worship Cassavetes as some sort of anti-establishment deity? Without dumbing anything down, I believe Cassavetes could have made A Woman slightly more accessible by keeping the pace moving with an actual plot, instead of presenting a string of 30 minute-long scenes of ad-libbed arguments. If you just make films for yourself and a few of your fans, you're just reaching the already converted. Watch this movie with your own set of eyes and make your own decisions about it. If you are truly moved and fascinated by it, good for you."

I don't think I can improve on this review as it exactly reflects my own independent impression of this film. Dolly_Lo, however, has already read my mind and written it herself so I'll just site her and leave it at that. I would only add this. Take a hatchet and chop this film up. Put it back together anyway you like and it won't make a bit of difference it the outcome unless you choose to discard about 75% of it before reassembling. That would be an improvement.

7 of 8 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Boring, and I blame it on the direction Rrichboy
Best Actress Oscar tonyfyffe
A Woman Under the Influence or Repulsion? sightless
Possible core of the film. nateedwardsone
Great Movie. Great Performances. fake_shemp
Dad, will you please stand up for me runamuckinkent
Discuss A Woman Under the Influence (1974) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: