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?


According to 'Halliwells', "although there is no mention of it in the credits [for the later Gloria (1999)], the movie is a remake of Gloria (1980)". See more »


Gloria Swenson: ...Had to shoot me with a Magnum!
See more »


Referenced in Julia (2008) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

I was favorably impressed; certainly outdoes -Leon-
5 August 2004 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Tastes may vary on this one, but there's much about this film that's endearing to viewers. It strikes you that the story isn't exactly the only of its kind (I see it as a precursor to -Leon- and probably takes cues from the delightful -Paper Moon-, but others of its "kind" are hard to think of), but it's about as well-done as you might expect. Some may not care for the Cassavetes stylistic touches, but here they are not especially intrusive. Gloria's a tough and likeable "bitch" with a moral compass, rightfully the center of the story. It outdoes -Leon- by not investing too much script capital in "developing" the child character. (It was primarily that aspect of -Leon- that annoyed me most.) This is straightforward, without the frills and gimmicks, emotional or otherwise. I do plan on watching the recent version with Sharon Stone, but don't expect to be as satisfied as with this.

I'd give it a minimum of 7/10 on my own, tough scale. I am surprised this is so little-known compared to -Leon-.

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

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