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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
Screenwriter John Cassavetes wrote the film's dialogue after doing improvisations with actors Ben Gazzara and Peter Falk. Reportedly, Cassavetes built the film's three main central characterizations around the real-life personalities of the film's three main actors one of whom included himself. See more »
[Arriving at the funeral]
I suppose this is proper, all these big cars and chauffeurs. Black shiny cars. Seems dopey for a guy like that. Well, I guess that's what they do. People get symbolic over death. They get very formal, and it's really ridiculous. Because it's probably the most humiliating thing in the world. But I feel very relaxed. People die of tensions. That's all they die of, Gus. That's the truth. Did you know that? I know it, and it's something I'm never gonna forget.
[...] See more »
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 »
A Cassavetes film is like good jazz music: both are largely improvisational with the actor/musicians playing off each other. With Cassavetes, a basic written theme is provided and the actors embellish upon it; rhythms, tempos and emotional counterpoint are deftly manipulated. In HUSBANDS, Cassavetes is the bandleader, and Peter Falk and Ben Gazzara prove themselves to be two of the best "jazz actors" ever. HUSBANDS is "a guy film." Women have their "girl films," but here's one for we men (and for women who want to understand men). Cassavetes, Falk and Gazzara play three best friends who have just lost their fourth to a sudden death. The surviving three, all 40-something, run away from their marriages, jobs and other shackles for a few days in search of themselves, meaning, purpose. Along the way, we are intimately exposed to their fears, dreams, passions, disgusts, and their love for each other (expertly depicted male bonding: guys who understand each others' emotions, with masculinity remaining intact). Perhaps no other filmmaker/actor combo than Cassavetes and his "company" of actors have ever succeeded as well at depicting so uncompromisingly life's emotional truth. Mind you, Cassavetes' style and camera paints in broad loose strokes, so be forewarned if you dislike a hand-held shaky camera and sometimes out-of-focus shots as the camera operator tries to follow the improvising actor. But HUSBANDS has far less of this than, say, Cassavetes' FACES. And this is not all a downer film; there's much humor, too, in its sometimes bittersweet mood (for example, the Countess scene: "take your hand off my hand") All in all, and though a little long, a great film; well worth the time.
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