IMDb > A Woman Under the Influence (1974)
A Woman Under the Influence
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A Woman Under the Influence (1974) More at IMDbPro »

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A Woman Under the Influence -- John Cassavetes' devastating drama details the emotional breakdown of a suburban housewife and her family's struggle to save her from herself. Starring Peter Falk and Gena Rowlands (in two of the most harrowing screen performances of the 1970s) as a married couple deeply in love yet unable to express that love in terms the other can understand, the film is an uncompromising portrait of domestic turmoil. The Criterion Collection is proud to present one of the benchmark films of American independent cinema--a heroic document from a true maverick director.

Overview

User Rating:
8.2/10   11,636 votes »
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Director:
Writer:
John Cassavetes (written by)
Contact:
View company contact information for A Woman Under the Influence on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
18 November 1974 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Plot:
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. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Awards:
Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 10 wins & 4 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
A Bruising Portrait of Mental Illness See more (92 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Peter Falk ... Nick Longhetti

Gena Rowlands ... Mabel Longhetti
Fred Draper ... George Mortensen
Lady Rowlands ... Martha Mortensen
Katherine Cassavetes ... Margaret Longhetti

Matthew Labyorteaux ... Angelo Longhetti

Matthew Cassel ... 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

John Finnegan ... Clancy
Vincent Barbi ... Gino (as Vince Barbi)
Cliff Carnell ... Aldo
Frank Richards ... Adolph
Hugh Hurd ... Willie Johnson
Leon Wagner ... Billy Tidrow

Dominique Davalos ... Dominique Jensen

Xan Cassavetes ... Adrienne Jensen
Pancho Meisenheimer ... John Jensen
Sonny Aprile ... Aldo
Ellen Davalos ... Nancy
Joanne Moore Jordan ... Muriel
John Hawker ... Joseph Morton
Sylvester Words ... James Turner (as Sil Words)
Elizabeth Deering ... Angela
Jackie Peters ... Tina
Elsie Ames ... Principal
N.J. Cassavetes ... Adolph

Directed by
John Cassavetes 
 
Writing credits
John Cassavetes (written by)

Produced by
Sam Shaw .... producer
 
Original Music by
Bo Harwood 
 
Cinematography by
Mitch Breit (uncredited)
Al Ruban (uncredited)
 
Film Editing by
David Armstrong 
Sheila Viseltear 
 
Art Direction by
Phedon Papamichael 
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Jack Corrick .... first assistant director
Roger Slager .... second assistant director
Gary Graver .... second unit director (uncredited)
 
Art Department
Steve Hitter .... graphics
Kevin Joyce .... props
 
Sound Department
Michael Denecke .... sound mixer (as Henry Michael Denecke)
Nick Spaulding .... boom operator (as Nick Spalding)
Bo Harwood .... sound (uncredited)
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Mitch Breit .... in charge of lighting (as Mitchell Breit)
Cliff Carnell .... key grip
Merv Dayan .... lighting technician
Caleb Deschanel .... additional photographer
Frederick Elmes .... assistant camera (as Fred Elmes)
Michael Ferris .... camera operator (as Mike Ferris)
Gary Graver .... additional camera operator
David V. Lester .... gaffer (as David Lester)
David B. Nowell .... camera operator (as David Nowell)
Leslie Otis .... assistant camera
Anthony R. Palmieri .... assistant camera (as Tony Palmieri)
Larry Silver .... assistant camera
Bo Taylor .... lighting technician
Chris Taylor .... lighting technician
Brian Hamill .... still photographer: special assignment (uncredited)
R. Michael Stringer .... additional photographer (uncredited)
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Carole K. Smith .... wardrobe (as Carole Smith)
 
Editorial Department
Tom Cornwell .... supervising editor
Robert Heffernan .... executive in charge of post-production
 
Other crew
Elaine Goren .... continuity
Carole K. Smith .... production secretary (as Carole Smith)
 
Crew believed to be complete


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Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
155 min | USA:146 min (TCM print)
Country:
Language:
Color:
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Certification:
Argentina:16 | Australia:M | Brazil:12 | Finland:K-16 | Norway:16 | Portugal:M/12 (Qualidade) | Sweden:15 | UK:AA (original rating) | UK:15 (video rating) (1992) | USA:R | West Germany:16
Company:

Did You Know?

Trivia:
Cassavetes initially wrote the film as a play but wife Gena Rowlands talked him out of it, stating that the role would be far too harrowing and exhausting to play night after night.See more »
Goofs:
Continuity: 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 »
Quotes:
Mabel Longhetti:All of a sudden, I miss everyone...See more »
Movie Connections:
Soundtrack:
Swan LakeSee more »

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
14 out of 21 people found the following review useful.
A Bruising Portrait of Mental Illness, 10 July 2007
Author: evanston_dad from United States

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-

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Recent Posts (updated daily)User
Boring, and I blame it on the direction Rrichboy
A couple of questions about this film makoto2
song question mutedaaa
Great Movie. Great Performances. fake_shemp
Possible core of the film. nateedwardsone
Best Actress Oscar tonyfyffe
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