26 user 44 critic

Wanda (1970)

GP | | Crime, Drama | 14 January 1971 (UK)
Wanda, a lonely housewife, drifts through mining country until she meets a petty thief who takes her in.


Barbara Loden


Barbara Loden

On Disc

at Amazon

2 wins. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Barbara Loden ... Wanda Goronski
Michael Higgins ... Norman Dennis
Dorothy Shupenes Dorothy Shupenes ... Wanda's Sister
Peter Shupenes Peter Shupenes ... Brother In Law
Jerome Thier ... John
Marian Thier Marian Thier ... Miss Godek
Anthony Rotell Anthony Rotell ... Tony
M.L. Kennedy M.L. Kennedy ... Judge
Gerald Grippo Gerald Grippo ... Court Clerk
Milton Gittleman Milton Gittleman ... Factory Owner
Lila Gittleman Lila Gittleman ... His Wife
Arnold Kanig Arnold Kanig ... Traveling Salesman
Joe Dennis Joe Dennis ... Joe
Charles Dosinan Charles Dosinan ... Father
Jack Ford Jack Ford ... Mr. Anderson


In the coal mining region of Pennsylvania, Wanda Goronski is constantly drinking to shut out the problems in her life. Having deserted her husband and infant children, Wanda sleeps on her sister's couch - when she isn't sleeping with the latest man who bought her a drink - and is unemployed with no long term job prospect. Her drinking and her life in combination have made her an emotionless woman. Her life changes when she meets Norman Dennis in a bar. She initially believes he's the bartender, but in reality he's a petty criminal who just held up the bar in question. Even after she learns Mr. Dennis' occupation and despite he treating her poorly, she willingly goes along with him and his petty crimes as a way to get through life. Mr. Dennis, on the other hand, sees her as a conduit to bigger and better things. Although things don't turn out quite the way either of the two envision, Wanda does at least begin to feel once again. Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama


GP | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »






Release Date:

14 January 1971 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Ванда See more »


Box Office


$115,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$10,679, 22 July 2018, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$45,122, 19 August 2018
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Foundation for Filmakers See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


This film was shot with a crew of only four people. See more »


[All goofs for this title are spoilers.] See more »


Norman Dennis: If you don't want anything you won't have anything, and if you don't have anything, you're as good as dead.
See more »


References The Brainiac (1962) See more »

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User Reviews

cult semi classic...kinda slow...
31 December 2007 | by ksf-2See all my reviews

...as I recall, this one was recommended as a cult classic by John Waters, the co-king of cult movies; he is only matched by Andy Warhol, who produced all those movies with Paul Morrissey; Wanda (written, directed, starring Barbara Loden) shows a couple days in the true story of a life of a lazy, un-motivated mother, who finds trouble, and is just glad to be included in the conversation. It starts out with the husband divorcing her, then sinks down from there... I should have known how it was going to go when there was more writing in the DVD liner notes than in the actual script itself. L-O-N-G pauses in the script, and Wanda hooks up with Norman (Michael Higgins, who had been in TV and film for 20 years already)who is robbing a bar, and she goes along for the ride. He's about 50, treats her like crap, and sure doesn't look like the usual young crook. Reading the liner notes, the story ends a little differently than it did in real life, but c'est la vie! Not a lot going on, but extra credit for being the cult classic that it is! Too bad Barbara Loden died so young;she might have gone on to do more - she was married to Elia Kazan (Streetcar Named Desire, East of Eden, America America) and was in the process of divorce when she died of cancer.

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