8.2/10
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A Woman Under the Influence (1974)

Mabel, a wife and mother, is loved by her husband Nick but her mental illness proves to be a problem in the marriage.

Director:

John Cassavetes

Writer:

John Cassavetes
Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 9 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Peter Falk ... Nick Longhetti
Gena Rowlands ... Mabel Longhetti
Fred Draper ... George Mortensen
Lady Rowlands Lady Rowlands ... Martha Mortensen
Katherine Cassavetes Katherine Cassavetes ... Margaret Longhetti
Matthew Labyorteaux ... Angelo Longhetti
Matthew Cassel ... Tony Longhetti
Christina Grisanti Christina Grisanti ... Maria Longhetti
George Dunn ... Garson Cross (as O.G. Dunn)
Mario Gallo ... Harold Jensen
Eddie Shaw Eddie Shaw ... Dr. Zepp
Angelo Grisanti Angelo Grisanti ... Vito Grimaldi
Charles Horvath ... Eddie
James Joyce James Joyce ... Bowman
John Finnegan ... Clancy
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Storyline

Peter Falk is a blue collar man trying to deal with his wife's mental instability. He fights to keep a semblance of normality in the face of her bizarre behavior, but when her actions affect their children, he has her committed. Written by BA Jacobson <pcfe2151@cybercom.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Italian

Release Date:

18 November 1974 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Woman Under the Influence See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$13,336,830
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Faces See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (TCM print)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Katherine Cassavetes (Margaret Longhetti) was the mother of John Cassavetes. See more »

Goofs

When Nick and the kids are sitting in the back of the truck on their way back from the beach, A radio microphone is visibly taped to Tony's shoe. You can also follow the cables coming off the mic which are visible too. See more »

Quotes

Mabel Longhetti: Dad... will you stand up for me?
George Mortensen: Sure.
[stands up]
Mabel Longhetti: No, I don't mean that. Sit down, Dad. Will you please stand up for me?
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Lion: A Pride of Lions - Casting the Film (2017) See more »

Soundtracks

Swan Lake
(uncredited)
Music by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
See more »

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User Reviews

Brava, Mabel!
19 September 2004 | by watt1975See all my reviews

Everyone views movies differently. I for one didn't think we were meant to wonder who was crazier Mabel or her husband. Cassavetes makes a strong, bold (and rarely voiced) point...it is the husband! Mabel loved her children, loved to dance and sing and for that she was committed. Her "unidentified mental illness" seems to intensify when her husband mistreated her and was physically or verbally violent...in my opinion going a bit crazy after someone slaps you is probably healthier and saner than being polite, demure, and rational.

Mabel loves life, shows her love without apology, and is severely punished for it. Everyone else in the movie struggles to calm everyone down and avoid showing too much emotion. While this may be more socially acceptable it isn't sane or even healthy. Humans are emotional beings...I for one say Brava! Mabel.

I think the director tips his hand and proves his point when Mabel's character comes home from the institution. She hasn't seen her children, husband, and family for 6 months and people assault her, some she has never even met, before she even leaves the car. When she does get inside the safety of her own home the people who put her away and told to forget the past greet her with small talk and politeness! Then when she finally sees her children after being told to "wait a minute" she says to herself that she wants to remain calm and show "no emotions." It seems obvious that this is a perfectly acceptable time to be emotional but fresh from the institution she know being normal doesn't allow you to be emotional. Emotions are scary, messy, and inconvenient and I for one am thrilled that John Cassavetes didn't shy away from them.

This movie is a true original.


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