IMDb > Opening Night (1977)
Opening Night
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Opening Night (1977) More at IMDbPro »

Photos (See all 17 | slideshow) Videos (see all 2)
Opening Night -- Broadway actress Myrtle Gordon rehearses for her latest play, about a woman unable to admit that she is aging. When she witnesses the accidental death of an adoring young fan, she begins to confront the personal and professional turmoil she faces in her own life.
Opening Night -- Broadway actress Myrtle Gordon rehearses for her latest play, about a woman unable to admit that she is aging. When she witnesses the accidental death of an adoring young fan, she begins to confront her personal and professional turmoil.


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8.1/10   5,391 votes »
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Up 11% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
View company contact information for Opening Night on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
17 April 1978 (Sweden) See more »
An actress suffers an emotional uproar in her personal life after a fan dies trying to see her. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Nominated for 2 Golden Globes. Another 2 wins & 1 nomination See more »
(4 articles)
Jude Has Star Support on His Broadway Hamlet Opening Night
 (From Popsugar. 7 October 2009, 7:45 AM, PDT)

2 or 3 Things I Learned at Nyff Opening Night
 (From Thompson on Hollywood. 26 September 2009, 1:10 PM, PDT)

Light Camera and Action! Opening night at Tiff .09
 (From Filmicafe. 11 September 2009, 1:16 AM, PDT)

User Reviews:


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Gena Rowlands ... Myrtle Gordon

John Cassavetes ... Maurice Aarons

Ben Gazzara ... Manny Victor

Joan Blondell ... Sarah Goode

Paul Stewart ... David Samuels
Zohra Lampert ... Dorothy Victor

Laura Johnson ... Nancy Stein

John Tuell ... Gus Simmons
Ray Powers ... Jimmy

John Finnegan ... Bobby
Louise Lewis ... Kelly (as Louise Fitch)
Fred Draper ... Leo
Katherine Cassavetes ... Vivian
Lady Rowlands ... Melva Drake
Carol Warren ... Carla
Briana Carver ... Lena
Angelo Grisanti ... Charlie Spikes
Meade Roberts ... Eddie Stein
Eleanor Zee ... Sylvia Stein
David Rowlands ... Doorman
Sharon Van Ivan ... Shirley
Jimmy Christie ... News Stand Operator

James Karen ... Bellboy
Jimmy Joyce ... Bartender
Sherry Bain ... Barmaid
Sylvia Davis Shaw ... Hotel Maid
Peter Lampert ... Maitre d'
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Josh Becker ... Audience Member (uncredited)

Peter Bogdanovich ... Peter Bogdanovich (uncredited)

Seymour Cassel ... Seymour Cassel (uncredited)

Peter Falk ... Peter Falk (uncredited)
Jana Howard ... Young Girl (uncredited)
William Kramer ... Rabbi (uncredited)

Patrick Labyorteaux ... Child Actor Playing Vito (uncredited)
Robert Leader ... Larry Stein (uncredited)

Naomi Stevens ... Crying Mourner (uncredited)
Robert von Dassanowsky ... Audience Member (uncredited)

Directed by
John Cassavetes 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
John Cassavetes 

Produced by
Michael Lally .... associate producer (as Michael Lally)
Al Ruban .... producer
Sam Shaw .... executive producer
Original Music by
Bo Harwood 
Cinematography by
Al Ruban 
Film Editing by
Tom Cornwell 
Casting by
Prometheus Patient 
Production Design by
Bryan Ryman 
Art Direction by
Brian Ryman 
Costume Design by
Aleka Corwin  (as Alexandra Corwin-Hankin)
Production Management
Edward Ledding .... production manager (as Ted Lenning)
Foster H. Phinney .... production manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Lisa Hallas-Gottlieb .... second assistant director (as Lisa Hallas)
Art Department
Verna Bagby .... chief set construction
Richard Upper .... graphic artist
Robert Vehon .... property master
Abraham Zwick .... set construction assistant
Richard Upper .... main title design (uncredited)
Sound Department
Crew Chamberlain .... boom operator
Bo Harwood .... sound
Joanne T. Harwood .... sound assistant
Bill Varney .... sound mixer
Joe Woo Jr. .... sound editor
Special Effects by
Jaime Fernandez .... rainmaker (uncredited)
Conrad Rothmann .... special effects crew (uncredited)
Donna Garrett .... stunts
Victor Paul .... stunt driver
Charlie Picerni .... stunt driver (as Charles Picerni)
Charlie Picerni .... stunt coordinator (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
Pat Don Aroma .... best boy
Larry Baughman .... best boy
Catherine E. Coulson .... assistant camera
Donne Daniels .... gaffer
Larry Dean .... best boy
Frederick Elmes .... camera operator
Michael Ferris .... camera operator
Emmett O'Connell .... best boy
Joseph L. Rezwin .... gaffer
Son Robinson .... gaffer
Richard Ross .... gaffer
Jed Skillman .... assistant camera
Richard Upper .... still photographer
Dave Walker .... best boy
R. Michael Stringer .... additional photographer (uncredited)
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Charles Akins .... wardrober
Miles Ciletti .... wardrober
Editorial Department
Kathleen Barker .... post-production
Kent Beyda .... assistant editor
Hal Bowers .... assistant editor
Music Department
Lee Houskeeper .... musical consultant
Booker T. Jones .... conductor
Booker T. Jones .... music arranger
Booker T. Jones .... musical director
Other crew
Robert Bogdanoff .... production assistant
Esme Chandlee .... publicist
Tom Cornwell .... script supervisor
Arlene Harris .... production secretary
Michelle Hart .... production secretary
Susan Howell .... production accountant
Jack Krupnick .... location manager
Adria Later .... teacher/welfare worker
Eve Siegel .... publicist
Teresa Stokovic .... production coordinator
Sharon Van Ivan .... assistant to producer
Raymond Vellucci .... production assistant
Rick Schmidlin .... production assistant (uncredited)
Rick Schmidlin .... production runner (uncredited)
Harland Sanders .... thanks (as Colonel Sanders)
Crew verified as complete

Production CompaniesDistributorsSpecial EffectsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
144 min
Color (Metrocolor)
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

Director John Cassavetes had major problems getting the picture distributed in the USA. When it did get released, the seasons were limited, with the film performing very poorly at the box-office. After Cassavetes had passed away in early 1989, the film was acquired in 1991 by a major American distributor for re-release .See more »
Errors in geography: A bus rolls by the New Haven theater with an ad for KBIG FM 104, a Los Angeles station.See more »
Maurice Aarons:You're not a woman to me anymore. You're a professional. You don't care about anything, do you? You don't care about personal relationships, love, sex, affection.
Myrtle Gordon:Okay.
Maurice Aarons:I have a small part. It's unsympathetic. The audience doesn't like me. I can't afford to be in love with you.
Myrtle Gordon:Good night.
Maurice Aarons:Yeah, good night.
See more »
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This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
33 out of 38 people found the following review useful.
10/10, 8 March 2005
Author: desperateliving from Canada

It was once suggested by Pauline Kael, never a fan, that Cassavetes thought not like a director, but like an actor. What Kael meant was his supposed lack of sophistication as a filmmaker; to take that comparison further, to me, it never feels like Cassavetes is directing himself in a film, it feels like Cassavetes implanting himself inside his own creation, like Orson Welles. Cassavetes is just as much of a genius as Welles, but far more important as a true artist (as opposed to a technician or rhetorician). This is like a cross between Italian passion (though Cassavetes was actually Greek) and Scandinavian introversion. Never before have inner demons been so exposed physically.

It's about the mystery of becoming, performing, and acting. Like a haunted Skip James record, it's got the echoes of ghosts all around. Rowlands' breakdowns, which are stupefying and almost operatic, surprising coming from Cassavetes, are accompanied by a jumpy, unsettling piano. Who is this dead girl? The metaphysical possibilities are endless, and it's amazing to find this kind of thing in a Cassavetes film, just the overt display of intelligence (there is also a brief bit of voice-over at the beginning). But then, he always was intelligent, he just never flapped it around for easy praise. This is not "Adaptation"; here, the blending of reality and fiction and drama is not to show cleverness but to show the inner turmoil and confusion it creates.

There's so much going on. The pure, joyous love when Rowlands greets her doorman; the horror when she beats herself up... The scene where the girl talks about how she devoted her life to art and to music is one of the most effective demonstrations of understanding what it means to be a fan of someone. You can see some roots of this in "A Star Is Born," and Almodovar borrowed from it for "All About My Mother." I think the ending is a little bit of a disappointment because of the laughing fits, but the preparation leading up to it is almost sickening. (You can shoot me, but I think the alcoholism, despite its urgency in many of the scenes, is a relatively small point about the film.)

It's a living, breathing thing, and it feels like a process: it could go any direction at any time. Like "Taste of Cherry," we are reminded that "you must never forget this is only a play." Yet it is dangerous: when Rowlands says that line, is it great drama? How will the audience take it? Is she being reflexive or does she just not care? Her (character's) breakdowns are incorporated into the performances, and ultimately the film, in such a way that it's like witnessing a female James Dean. 10/10

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Recent Posts (updated daily)User
No Oscar for Rowlands? chevelless67
i think it was boring chrissy_13
Slapped Actress/The Hold Steady ManWhoSoldTheWorld
Cassavetes's best! And the orhers... wwolf-8
Dead Girl: Ghost or Imagnation? kino66
John C's jazzy cutting style noelartm
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