Gloria (1980)

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When a young boy's family is killed by the mob, their tough neighbor Gloria becomes his reluctant guardian. In possession of a book that the gangsters want, the pair go on the run in New York.



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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 4 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Jeri Dawn
Tony Knesich ...
1st Man - Gangster
Gregory Cleghorne ...
Kid in Elevator
Jack Dawn
John Adames ...
Phil Dawn
Lupe Garnica ...
Margarita Vargas
Jessica Castillo ...
Joan Dawn
2nd Man - Gangster
Ronald Maccone ...
3rd Man - Gangster
George Yudzevich ...
Heavy Set Man
Gary Howard Klar ...
Irish Cop (as Gary Klar)
William E. Rice ...
TV Newscaster
Frank Belgiorno ...
Riverside Drive Man #5
J.C. Quinn ...
Riverside Drive Man #4


Mild mannered Jack Dawn has been secretly working as an accountant for the mob. He, his Puerto Rican wife Jeri, his teen-aged daughter Joan and his mother-in-law, all who were planning on going on the run, are murdered by the mob because Jack was going to inform on them to the FBI. Before they're killed, Jack and Jeri are able to send their six-year old son Phil to Jeri's friend and their neighbor, Gloria Swenson, for safe keeping. Also with Phil is the book which contains all the information Jack was going to turn over. Gloria and Phil have an antagonistic relationship, not so much for who they are but what they are, Phil a kid, and Gloria a strange white woman who hates kids. As an ex-mistress of a mobster, Gloria learns that the people that killed the Dawns are old friends of hers. As Gloria and Phil go on the run both from the mob and from the authorities (who believe she kidnapped Phil) throughout New York City, Gloria has to come up with a plan on how best to save themselves, ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


She's tough...but she sides with the little guy. See more »


Crime | Drama | Thriller


PG | See all certifications »




Release Date:

19 September 1980 (West Germany)  »

Also Known As:

Glória  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


One of eleven movies 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), A Woman Under the Influence (1974), Two-Minute Warning (1976), Shadows (1959), Opening Night (1977), Tempest (1982) and Love Streams (1984). See more »


Gloria Swenson: If I'm gonna get you out of here, I gotta have your help.
Phil Dawn: How can I help you?
Gloria Swenson: They're gonna kill us, you little jackass... I don't wanna die!
See more »


Referenced in An American Werewolf in London (1981) See more »

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User Reviews

"I am the man! I am the man!"
18 December 2002 | by (NYC) – See all my reviews

This film's cinematography and musical score captures the seedy underbelly of 1970's New York City in the same way "Taxi Driver" and "The French Connection" do. Gloria takes on the mob after they murder her friend's family and seek out the little boy who Gloria helped escape his families execution and who hold's a valuable item. The unlikely pair weave through the streets of NYC until they figure out what to do. Some great Stylistic suspense throughout. Directed and written by the late John Cassavetes.

Don't waste your time on Sharon Stone's remake - this is the one to see.

19 of 21 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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