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Husbands (1970)

PG-13 | | Comedy, Drama | 8 December 1970 (USA)
After the death of a common friend, three married men leave their lives together, seeking pleasure and freedom and ultimately leaving for London.

Director:

John Cassavetes

Writer:

John Cassavetes
Reviews

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Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Ben Gazzara ... Harry
Peter Falk ... Archie Black
John Cassavetes ... Gus Demetri
Jenny Runacre ... Mary Tynan
Jenny Lee Wright Jenny Lee Wright ... Pearl Billingham
Noelle Kao Noelle Kao ... Julie
John Kullers John Kullers ... Red
Meta Shaw Stevens Meta Shaw Stevens ... Annie (as Meta Shaw)
Leola Harlow Leola Harlow ... Leola
Delores Delmar Delores Delmar ... The Countess
Eleanor Zee Eleanor Zee ... Mrs. Hines
Claire Malis Claire Malis ... Stuart's Wife
Peggy Lashbrook Peggy Lashbrook ... Diana Mallabee
Eleanor Cody Gould Eleanor Cody Gould ... 'Normandy' Singer
Sarah Felcher Sarah Felcher ... Sarah
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Storyline

A common friend's sudden death brings three men, married with children, to reconsider their lives and ultimately leave together. But mindless enthusiasm for regained freedom will be short-lived. Written by Fabrizio Sabidussi

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

A comedy about life, death and freedom

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for mature thematic elements including sexual situations, language, drunkenness, and brief domestic violence | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | French | Italian | Cantonese

Release Date:

8 December 1970 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Husbands: A Comedy About Life, Death and Freedom See more »

Filming Locations:

London, England, UK See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Faces Music See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(original) | (TV) | | (dubbed)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The production shoot for this film ran for around six months during the first half of the 1969 year. See more »

Quotes

Gus Demetri: [Waiting while Harry is at home taking a shower] That's the difference between him and us.
Archie Black: If my wife opens her mouth to me about anything, I finish that fast. I walk in there...
Gus Demetri: You're right.
Archie Black: I know I'm right. And I spell it out. And that's what you have to do.
Gus Demetri: Right. That's what you have to do.
Archie Black: I'm not going to shower for her. If I want to stink, I'll stink. That's my privilege, and I'm not showering for him.
[pointing at Harry's home]
Gus Demetri: Right.
Archie Black: I wouldn't shower for you.
Gus Demetri: Don't.
[...]
See more »

Crazy Credits

There are no closing credits and no "THE END" title card. The screen just goes black. In the opening credits, everyone involved in the film (even the "little people") are credited on two "tell all" title cards, right on down from the actors to the grips, a total of 82 credits. See more »

Alternate Versions

The original theatrical release ran 154 minutes. The out-of-print VHS release from Columbia/Tristar runs 132 minutes. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Os Filmes Estão Vivos (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

Jeanie with the Light Brown Hair
(1854) (uncredited)
Written by Stephen Foster
Sung a cappella by Gwen Van Dam
See more »

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User Reviews

A Classic of it's Type
21 November 2004 | by dj_bassettSee all my reviews

Three men (Falk, Cassavettes, and Gazzara) mourn the death of a friend by going on a long-weekend bender, during which they talk about life, experience masculine pleasures, and try to understand the meaning of it all.

This was the first Cassavettes movie I've ever seen. I liked it, which was surprising because this is not the sort of movie I'm generally interested in. There's almost no plot to speak of, most of the movie feels improvised (although improvised along certain set themes -- one does feel the heavy hand of the director here and there). It's a slice of life movie that still feels pretty rough and daring; I imagine in 1970, when this came out, people couldn't make hide nor hare of it.

Like most movies of this type, the big flaw is structure. The movie takes forever to get going, and doesn't really seem to know when to quit: the last reel, in particular, felt a little long to me. Plus, as I said, there is here and there a sense of a structure being imposed from without: the guys don't just do anything, they do certain set things for "character revelation" sake.

The acting, which is the crucial thing in a movie like this, of course, doesn't disappoint. All three men are very believable: they delineate their macho world quite well, with it's romanticism, bathos, insecurities and obnoxiousness. They're similar types of guys, which bothered me a lot at first but upon reflection made a lot of sense, since in real life we tend to be friends with people like us. Still, there are gradations and variations: Falk is inarticulate and sensitive, Gazzara despairing, Cassavettes is fumbling toward some kind of self-recognition.

The cinematography is absolutely stunning -- I might have seen a particularly nice print but this took me by surprise. Most of the movie is shot in warm, earthy, romantic tones, which sets the mood of nostalgia and dreams well, I think. Every now and then, though, we get a cold, full-on daytime shot where everyone looks naked and blinking under a frigid sun; it's a good counterpoint.

This is an important film by an important director. He'll never be a favorite of mine, but I'll definitely check out other work of his. You'll be doing yourself a favor if you do the same.


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