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A Woman Under the Influence (1974)

 -  Drama  -  18 November 1974 (USA)
8.2
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Ratings: 8.2/10 from 10,711 users  
Reviews: 90 user | 75 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.

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Title: A Woman Under the Influence (1974)

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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 9 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

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
Mario Gallo ...
Harold Jensen
Eddie Shaw ...
Dr. Zepp
Angelo Grisanti ...
Vito Grimaldi
Charles Horvath ...
Eddie
James Joyce ...
Bowman
...
Clancy
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Storyline

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 <pcfe2151@cybercom.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

18 November 1974 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Uma Mulher Sob Influência  »

Box Office

Gross:

SEK 2,455,317 (Sweden)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (TCM print)

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

One of three films written and directed by John Cassavetes that got Oscar nominated. Gloria (1980) received one nomination for Best Actress (Gena Rowlands) who was also nommed for Cassavetes' A Woman Under the Influence (1974), which got two nominations, with Cassavetes also getting a Best Director nom. Faces (1968) received three nominations, two for acting in supporting roles, and one for Cassavetes for screen-writing. Cassavetes also was nominated for Best Supporting Actor for The Dirty Dozen (1967) in a film he neither wrote nor directed. Neither Rowlands nor Cassavetes ever won an Academy Award. See more »

Goofs

In the scene at the end of the film when Nick and Mabel are putting the children to bed, the boom mic is visible on the left side of the screen poking out from behind the door frame just after Nick exits the room and Mabel is about to turn off the light. See more »

Quotes

Mabel Longhetti: All of a sudden, I miss everyone...
See more »

Connections

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

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User Reviews

 
A Bruising Portrait of Mental Illness
10 July 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Eeesh, what a tough movie to sit through.

This two and a half hour movie left me sweaty, exhausted and hollowed out. In its own way it's an extremely well done film, but I don't know that it's an experience I want to repeat. Director John Cassavetes follows a few months in the life of a family whose mother and wife (Gena Rowlands) is suffering from mental illness, and the movie consists of one long scene after another of her cracking up, or trying not to crack up, and the various family members' reactions to her cracking up. Peter Falk plays the husband and father who thinks that mental illness is just some silly nonsense his wife should be able to stop if she just tried hard enough. Rowlands has the showier role, but Falk is the revelation here. His depiction of a husband who blusters and shouts to hide his overwhelming sense of helplessness and fear is superb.

Cassavetes's camera is relentless. We watch Rowlands suffer again and again in long takes and intimate closeups. There are times when you simply want to look away from the screen to help this poor woman preserve a shred of dignity. The highlight of the film (or low point, depending on your point of view) comes when Rowlands's character returns home from a stay in an institution, and her family works overtime to convince themselves that everything's fine when the audience can see clearly that everything is not.

Bruising is the best word I can think of to describe this film.

Grade: A-


14 of 18 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Recent Posts
Boring, and I blame it on the direction Rrichboy
What was the purpose of this movie? StrangerandPilgrim
Best Actress Oscar tonyfyffe
A Woman Under the Influence or Repulsion? sightless
Possible core of the film. nateedwardsone
Great Movie. Great Performances. fake_shemp
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