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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Cast

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
...
Riverside Drive Man #4
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

She attempted to beat the mob at their own game. See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »
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Details

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Language:

Release Date:

1 October 1980 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

One Summer Night  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

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Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Described by executive producer Sam Shaw as "a poor man's Dakota", the filming location of an apartment at 800 Riverside Drive was an equally remarkable building that still retained traces of its former elegance and the charm of a more leisured era. Like the Concourse Plaza, it suffered a period of decline, then was taken over by the city, which recently sold it to the tenants. With the help of federal funds, the owners were working to restore it to its original glory. Even in its condition at the time, the apartments would turn the average city-dweller green with envy. They were large, airy and high ceilinged, most with two or more bathrooms, full-sized dining rooms and many closets. The kitchens were spacious and usually adjoined by pantries. Three different apartments in 800 Riverside Drive serve as Gloria's sister's pad (a temporary hideout for Phil and Gloria), mob leader Tony Tanzini's headquarters, and a hotel room. The imagination and taste of production designer Rene D'Auriac, assistant art director John Dapper, and set decorator John Godfrey, transformed the rooms in both the Concourse Plaza and 800 Riverside Drive into appropriate settings for the movie's characters. Writer-director John Cassavetes, who supervises every detail from make up to lighting on his films, chuckled: "In the beginning, I had to instruct them in bad taste, but now they're beginning to revel in it". Cassavetes wouldn't allow D' Auriac to touch the graffiti in the Concourse Plaza."You'll win an Academy Award", Cassavetes told D' Auriac. See more »

Goofs

When Phil boards the train, the shot has been reversed, as evidenced by backwards lettering on the signs on the train and the platform. See more »

Quotes

Gloria Swenson: In exactly twenty seconds I'm going to start shooting through that door, so get down on your stomachs!
Phil Dawn: Gloria, what are you doing?
Gloria Swenson: I'm saving your life, stupid.
See more »

Connections

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

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Gena Rowlands would kick Sharon Stone's butt
6 May 2000 | by See all my reviews

I have not seen the remake of GLORIA yet, and needless to say, I'm not looking forward to it. Not to say that Sharon Stone can't play a tough female, who's self-imposed as a bodyguard for a kid running from mobsters. It is just that Gena Rowlands is so much more versatile, and her range so much wider, and I just KNOW that Stone won't be able to cut it. So, I will stop speculating, and get to the facts.

GLORIA is a film that Cassavete's made as an antidote to brainless, violent action films. All of the violence has dramatic purpose, and nothing is pointless here. This may be off-putting to fans of the action genre, but Cassavetes' contempt for the genre is what makes GLORIA more interesting. There are several unexpected twists.

When the film begins, Gloria is a street-smart woman who is kind of "married" to the mob. Gloria has a tomboyish quality that lends credibility to the fact that she has lived this long. She looks out for herself, first and foremost.

This changes when a weasel, and friend,of Gloria's (Buck Henry) is murdered by her mobster friends. Henry and his wife are killed, leaving behind a scared child. The little boy is a witness to the murder, and the mobsters make chase.

Gloria feels her maternal instincts begin to take over, and begrudgingly protects the boy. As the film progresses, however, she becomes more sincere in her protection, and she draws the line further for the mobsters. She has survived in the harsh city for this long, so it is easy to assume that she knows how to stay alive.

GLORIA is by no means Cassavete best film. There are long stretches that test your patience, that can sometimes seem static. But, as much as I dislike this quality, I am familiar with several Cassavetes' films, and understand what he is trying to achieve. Cassavetes is a very emotional director. He doesn't focus on tragedy; he is more interested in survival and the baggage that that brings. GLORIA is a thinking-person's thriller, and if you prefer big explosions and high body-counts, go and see DIE HARD 2 again. But, if you want to see something different, check this one out.


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