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A Woman Under the Influence (1974) Poster

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John Cassavetes could not find any distributor for the film after completion, and was at one point literally carrying the reels under his arm, from one theater to another, in hopes of getting one to play his movie. Finally, Martin Scorcese, who'd recently become a critically acclaimed, following his film Mean Streets (1973), happened to be a huge fan of Cassavetes' work threatened to pull his film Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore (1974) from a major New York film festival unless they accepted this film.
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.
To help fund the film, John Cassavetes remortgaged his home. Peter Falk also chipped in with some of his earnings from Columbo (1971). When no one wanted to buy "Influence" , Cassavetes spent $750,000, most of it his own money, to release it, with the sage guidance of young distributor Jeff Lipsky. He helped to "four-wall" or rent out movie theaters to show the film and it ended up playing around the world, eventually grossing $12 million.
Richard Dreyfuss claimed he found the film so harrowing when he first saw it, it caused him to vomit.
The film represents actor/writer/director John Cassavetes' only Academy Award nomination for directing.
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One of eleven movies John Cassavetes and Gena Rowlands made together. The other films are A Child Is Waiting (1963), Faces (1968), Machine Gun McCain (1969), Minnie and Moskowitz (1971), A Woman Under the Influence (1974), Two-Minute Warning (1976), Shadows (1959), Gloria (1980), Tempest (1982) and Love Streams (1984).
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Included among the "1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die", edited by Steven Schneider.
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One of 3 films written and directed by John Cassavetes to got Oscar nominated. Gloria (1980) received 1 nomination for Best Actress, (Gena Rowlands), who was also nommed for Cassavetes' A Woman Under the Influence (1974), which got 2 nominations, with Cassavetes also getting a Best Director nod. Faces (1968) received 3 nominations - 2 for acting in supporting roles, and 1 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.
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Actress Gena Rowlands and writer:director John Cassavetes were husband and wife.
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Last film of Elsie Ames.
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The seventh feature film directed by John Cassavetes.
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Lady Rowlands and Gena Rowlands, mother and daughter in real life, play mother and daughter in this film.
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The film was nominated for two Academy Awards but failed to win an Oscar in either category.
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