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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
There was on-set conflict between writer-director John Cassavetes and production manager Stephen F. Kesten who constantly fought according to Assistant Director Mike Haley (Michael Haley) who has said the pair almost had a punch-up during filming in New Jersey. See more »
There must be a million woman like Gloria. They never got educated but they're smart. They're good looking, but not enough to get that gangster boyfriend to leave his wife. They hostess or maybe they just are table dressing for as long as they can. They make enough to have a decent apartment, and they hock the gift jewelry and furs and stick the money in a safe deposit box for the day they just can't do it any more. Can't smile and nod and be sweet, and the goombas look to the younger girls for attention. They try to keep quiet and keep their nose clean and ignore the young punks that treat them a little worse every year.
But life can mess up your plans, as it does for Gloria when it dumps an orphaned kid in her lap and some of her p***ed gangster pals at her door. And the decision she makes to save the kid's life means she can never go back.
"Gloria" isn't really about stuff like violence or mobsters or guns at all. It's about the hopes and wishes and loneliness of a life that represents the lives of many invisible woman. Gloria has always been a "broad" as she says. Never the Madonna, to be worshipped and respected. Always the Whore to be stepped on. And it sucks to be at the mercy and whim of men. Especially cruel, stupid thugs who don't have the brains or guts to do anything but lie, cheat, steal, and kill women and children.
Gloria reluctantly gives up her old life. She gave years of her life to these slobs and she doesn't want to lose the little she got for her troubles. She just wants peace and quiet and to be left alone. Why give it up to help some annoying kid?
But when she makes the decision to do just that, her rage and resentment explode.
Gena Rowlands gives a flawless performance that burns bright and makes the viewer feel the rage of those who hide their intelligence and personality and try to "get by" in a world of lesser men. Gloria's got more balls and brains than any of the suits that run the racket. And now she's going to prove it.
"Gloria" is what happens when adults make movies for adults. No childish chatter, no idealized and airbrushed world, no moralizing and preaching. This movie has blood in its veins.
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