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A Woman Under the Influence (1974)

Mabel, a wife and mother, is loved by her husband Nick but her mental illness proves to be a problem in the marriage.

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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 9 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Lady Rowlands ...
Katherine Cassavetes ...
Margaret Longhetti
...
Angelo Longhetti
...
Tony Longhetti
Christina Grisanti ...
Maria Longhetti
George Dunn ...
Garson Cross (as O.G. Dunn)
...
Harold Jensen
Eddie Shaw ...
Dr. Zepp
Angelo Grisanti ...
Vito Grimaldi
...
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 | Romance

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

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Release Date:

18 November 1974 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Eine Frau unter Einfluß  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (TCM print)

Sound Mix:

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Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Cassavetes initially wrote the film as a play but wife Gena Rowlands talked him out of it, stating the role would be far too harrowing and exhausting to play night-after-night. See more »

Goofs

After returning from the hospital, as Mabel enters the living room where Nicky and the others are, Nicky's position relative to the couch changes between shots. See more »

Quotes

Nick Longhetti: Mabel is not crazy, she's unusual. She's not crazy, so don't say she's crazy.
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Connections

Referenced in 73 Questions: 73 Questions with Olivia Munn (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

Song of My Mother
(uncredited)
Written by Angelo Grisanti
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User Reviews

Brava, Mabel!
19 September 2004 | by See all my reviews

Everyone views movies differently. I for one didn't think we were meant to wonder who was crazier Mabel or her husband. Cassavetes makes a strong, bold (and rarely voiced) point...it is the husband! Mabel loved her children, loved to dance and sing and for that she was committed. Her "unidentified mental illness" seems to intensify when her husband mistreated her and was physically or verbally violent...in my opinion going a bit crazy after someone slaps you is probably healthier and saner than being polite, demure, and rational.

Mabel loves life, shows her love without apology, and is severely punished for it. Everyone else in the movie struggles to calm everyone down and avoid showing too much emotion. While this may be more socially acceptable it isn't sane or even healthy. Humans are emotional beings...I for one say Brava! Mabel.

I think the director tips his hand and proves his point when Mabel's character comes home from the institution. She hasn't seen her children, husband, and family for 6 months and people assault her, some she has never even met, before she even leaves the car. When she does get inside the safety of her own home the people who put her away and told to forget the past greet her with small talk and politeness! Then when she finally sees her children after being told to "wait a minute" she says to herself that she wants to remain calm and show "no emotions." It seems obvious that this is a perfectly acceptable time to be emotional but fresh from the institution she know being normal doesn't allow you to be emotional. Emotions are scary, messy, and inconvenient and I for one am thrilled that John Cassavetes didn't shy away from them.

This movie is a true original.


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