An Unmarried Woman (1978)

R  |   |  Comedy, Drama, Romance  |  26 May 1978 (France)
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 3,132 users  
Reviews: 46 user | 25 critic

A wealthy woman from Manhattan's Upper East Side struggles to deal with her new identity and her sexuality after her husband of 16 years leaves her for a younger woman.



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Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 6 wins & 14 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Patricia Quinn ...
Sue (as Pat Quinn)
Lisa Lucas ...
Linda Miller ...
Andrew Duncan ...
Daniel Seltzer ...
Dr. Jacobs
Penelope Russianoff ...
Ivan Karp ...
Herb Rowan


Erica is unmarried only temporarily in that her successful, wealthy husband of seventeen years has just left her for a girl he met while buying a shirt in Bloomingdale's. The film shows Erica coming to terms with the break-up while revising her opinions of herself, redefining that self in its own right rather than as an extension of somebody else's personality, and finally going out with another man. Erica refuses to drop everything for Saul, an abstract expressionist painter, simply out of love for him because he expects her to. It is not so much loneliness that is her problem, and the problems that men, flitting around this newly "available" woman like moths round a flame, bring to her sense of independence. Written by alfiehitchie

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


She laughs, she cries, she feels angry, she feels lonely, she feels guilty, she makes breakfast, she makes love, she makes do, she is strong, she is weak, she is brave, she is scared, she is... an unmarried woman.


Comedy | Drama | Romance


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

26 May 1978 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Una mujer descasada  »

Filming Locations:

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


Some movie posters for this film featured a long preamble that read: "She laughs, she cries, she feels angry, she feels lonely, she feels guilty, she makes breakfast, she makes love, she makes do, she is strong, she is weak, she is brave, she is scared, she is... an unmarried woman". See more »


Erica orders white wine at the bar. She is given red wine and sips it. When she joins friends at their table, her wine is white. See more »


[first lines]
[Martin and Erica are jogging along the river]
Martin: Jesus Christ! Look at this - my sneaker's ruined!
Erica: They're only thirty-five dollars.
[Erica takes Martin's shoe and cleans it off for him]
Martin: Fucking city's turning into one big pile of DOG SHIT!
[shouting at passing traffic]
Martin: Come on out and take a crap on me - everybody else is. Fuck.
[Martin lights a cigarette]
Erica: ...been jogging for 2 1/2 miles - you're giving yourself lung cancer.
See more »

Crazy Credits

For Betsy See more »


References Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977) See more »


Swan Lake, Op.20
(1877) (uncredited)
Written by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Excerpts danced by Jill Clayburgh
See more »

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User Reviews

My brief review of the film
1 June 2005 | by (Perth, Australia) – See all my reviews

A thoughtful film about human emotions and modern relationships, it is filled with interesting ideas and it is very well acted. At the time of the film's initial release, Jill Clayburgh received a lot of attention for her performance, and indeed she delivers very well, but Michael Murphy cannot be forgotten - he is an actor who is able to convey his emotions very realistically. In 1976 and 1979 he was also brilliant in 'The Front' and 'Manhattan' respectively - with such talent it is a shame that he has not had a better career. The film is also is set to some quite appropriately moody music from Bill Conti, and although technically unimpressive in general, some shots are very well composed by Mazursky. On the down side, the supporting characters are only lightly developed, and it drags a bit towards the end, but generally this is a solidly made film, and if nothing else, it is interesting to see Clayburgh dancing about in her underwear!

10 of 12 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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