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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Overview

User Rating:
8.2/10   10,487 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 9 wins & 4 nominations See more »
User Reviews:

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
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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: On the ride home from the beach, the can jumps from Angelo's hand to Nicky's.See more »
Quotes:
Nick Longhetti:Mabel is not crazy, she's unusual. She's not crazy, so don't say she's crazy.See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in Go Get Some Rosemary (2009)See more »

FAQ

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44 out of 59 people found the following review useful.
9/10, 24 April 2005
Author: desperateliving from Canada

This is just another confirmation that Cassavetes, along with Dreyer and Tarkovsky, is one of the very small number of geniuses in film, whose every film is an extension of their genius -- some more mature than others, but impossible to be "bad"; they are beyond terms like "good" or "bad" -- they are the great art works of the century.

This film isn't about a "crazy" lady; it's not about putting a woman in an institution; and it's not about people talking about your crazy wife, though all of this happens in the film. Those are merely the events that take place over the course of the film; what it's really about is our misunderstanding, our experience as an audience. Just like the characters, we misunderstand Mable's childlike actions. What Cassavetes does is turn *us* into children -- it's as if we're experiencing things for the first time all over again, because it's a totally new experience, the same with watching a movie like "Andrei Rublev." That is an amazing thing to pass onto an audience. That's why I've never been bored watching a Cassavetes film -- something is always happening, things are always changing. The reality of what we're seeing is always undergoing augmentation, so we can never get fully situated.

It's never unrelenting gloom the way many so-called realistic films are (and this film goes far beyond mere "realism"); it's devastating watching it, watching Mable ask people if they want spaghetti one by one. But it's loving when Nick jokes about someone hugging her too long. It's communal during a scene at a dinnertable where Mable takes a pride in feeding "her boys." But each scene goes through a transformation as it happens. When Mable goes home with another man, he makes it clear that he's not to be used, but also that she shouldn't punish herself. It's not a screamy moment with a woman hiding in the bathroom; his avuncular twang is disarming.

There's a complete lack of self-consciousness in the film, and I mean that in terms of the characters (during Mable's key freak out scene, Rowlands does, I think, go too far) -- that's why the kids are s terrific in the film. When a boy says, "It's the best I can do, mom," it's an incredible moment because it's managed to be included without being offensive, mugging for the camera with cuteness. The film has such a strange relationship with kids -- they're like little people. And if that sounds odd, you'll understand when you see the film. The characters are constantly changing their minds; they're so aware of themselves that they're unaware -- Mable doesn't realize she's giving off a sexual aura (despite the fact that Rowlands can at times look like a blond beach babe). As with Julianne Moore in "Safe," we don't know what's wrong with her. She's a frenetic, guideless woman trying to do the guiding.

The way Cassavetes sets up the film, with ominous piano music that comes in when Falk is trying to speak, blinded by frustration; or setting the film inside this house with gigantic rooms, makes everything feel larger and emptier at the same time. It's like the scariness of the echo of something you'd rather not hear. Someone said that they wouldn't want a single frame of "2001" to be cut, lest the experience be changed. I think that applies more aptly to Cassavetes' films, because he never treads over the same thing twice, even when he's doing exactly the same thing he's just done. It's always something new. 9/10

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What was the purpose of this movie? StrangerandPilgrim
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