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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 Scorsese, who had 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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Included among the "1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die", edited by Steven Schneider.
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This is one of eleven films that 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), Two-Minute Warning (1976), Shadows (1959), Gloria (1980), Tempest (1982) and Love Streams (1984).
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Katherine Cassavetes (Margaret Longhetti) was the mother of the writer and director John Cassavetes.
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Lady Rowlands (Martha Mortenson) played the mother of her real life daughter Gena Rowlands (Mabel Longhetti).
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This is one of three films written and directed by John Cassavetes to receive Oscar nominated. Gloria (1980) received 1 nomination for Best Actress, (Gena Rowlands), who was also nominated 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 screenwriting. Cassavetes was also 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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Xan Cassavetes (Adrienne Jensen) is the daughter of the writer and director John Cassavetes and the star Gena Rowlands (Mabel Longhetti).
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The film is included on Roger Ebert's "Great Movies" list.
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The seventh feature film directed by John Cassavetes.
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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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Last film of Elsie Ames.
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