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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
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 »
The original theatrical release ran 154 minutes. The out-of-print VHS release from Columbia/Tristar runs 132 minutes. See more »
Some of John Cassavetes' films can be hard to watch. OPENING NIGHT is an interesting experiment, top-heavy with subplots. GLORIA was an aborted attempt at a more commercial film. Although Gena Rowlands would kick Sharon Stone's butt if both of their films were compared, the pace to Cassavetes' GLORIA is languid. Not what you'd expect from an action film.
This is, however, one of the Cassavetes' traits: the element of surprise.
There are alot of surprises in HUSBANDS. The film begins with a funeral, as Falk, Gazzara, and Cassavetes put their friend to rest. This event depresses these men, and they go on a drinking binge that seems to last the rest of the movie. There is drinking, carousing, horseplay, sex with female strangers, and a conspicuous tendancy to ignore the wives. These are married men, but until their conscious returns to them, they seem to forget that.
HUSBANDS is what I would term as a humble classic. The main reason why I consider myself a Cassavetes fan is because his films are humble. They are always ambitious, mind you, but I love the choices that Cassavetes makes in his editing, and his casting. Cassavetes allows the actors to explore the characters as they are acting on camera, and sometimes this leaves the rough edges of improvisation showing. He knows how to draw out un-self-conscious performances, and there is sometimes gold mined from this method.
Along with WOMAN UNDER THE INFLUENCE, this is my favorite of the films in Cassavetes catalogue. While HUSBANDS is Cassavetes "man" film, I suppose...INFLUENCE could be seen as his "woman" film. But, to be fair, Cassavetes made films about both sexes, and usually quite successfully. If you have heard of Cassavetes and are not familiar with his work, this is a good place to start.
HUSBANDS, in its climaxes and anti-climaxes, ends up feeling more and more like reality as you watch it. There are strange moments, and as I said before many surprises. But these are some of the kinds of moments that make up life: When a friend goes from laughter to tears in moments, when a joke is no longer funny, and becomes more serious than a heart attack. HUSBANDS is about common people, and how uncommon they can sometimes be. There is darkness, and there is light. Watch HUSBANDS to know what I'm talking about.
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