7.2/10
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An Unmarried Woman (1978)

A wealthy woman from Manhattan's Upper East Side struggles to deal with her new identity and her sexuality after her husband of 16 years leaves her for a younger woman.

Director:

Paul Mazursky

Writer:

Paul Mazursky
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Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 6 wins & 14 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jill Clayburgh ... Erica
Alan Bates ... Saul Kaplan
Michael Murphy ... Martin
Cliff Gorman ... Charlie
Patricia Quinn ... Sue (as Pat Quinn)
Kelly Bishop ... Elaine
Lisa Lucas ... Patti
Linda Miller ... Jeannette
Andrew Duncan ... Bob
Daniel Seltzer Daniel Seltzer ... Dr. Jacobs
Matthew Arkin ... Phil
Penelope Russianoff Penelope Russianoff ... Tanya
Novella Nelson ... Jean
Raymond J. Barry ... Edward
Ivan Karp Ivan Karp ... Herb Rowan
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Storyline

Erica is unmarried only temporarily in that her successful, wealthy husband of seventeen years has just left her for a girl he met while buying a shirt in Bloomingdale's. The film shows Erica coming to terms with the break-up while revising her opinions of herself, redefining that self in its own right rather than as an extension of somebody else's personality, and finally going out with another man. Erica refuses to drop everything for Saul, an abstract expressionist painter, simply out of love for him because he expects her to. It is not so much loneliness that is her problem, and the problems that men, flitting around this newly "available" woman like moths round a flame, bring to her sense of independence. Written by alfiehitchie

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

She laughs, she cries, she feels angry, she feels lonely, she feels guilty, she makes breakfast, she makes love, she makes do, she is strong, she is weak, she is brave, she is scared, she is... an unmarried woman.

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

26 May 1978 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Una mujer descasada See more »

Filming Locations:

New York City, New York, USA

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$24,000,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

Due to delays in filming Luna (1979), actress Jill Clayburgh missed attending a number of awards ceremonies for which she had been nominated for An Unmarried Woman (1978). Around the same time, dubbing sessions for Luna (1979) had to be postponed until Clayburgh had finished work on Starting Over (1979). See more »

Goofs

Erica tells Martin they've had sex around 2000 times (twice a week for 16yrs). Before having sex with Charlie, she tells him that she's only slept with 1 man in the past 17 years. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
[Martin and Erica are jogging along the river]
Martin: Jesus Christ! Look at this - my sneaker's ruined!
Erica: They're only thirty-five dollars.
[Erica takes Martin's shoe and cleans it off for him]
Martin: Fucking city's turning into one big pile of DOG SHIT!
[shouting at passing traffic]
Martin: Come on out and take a crap on me - everybody else is. Fuck.
[Martin lights a cigarette]
Erica: ...been jogging for 2 1/2 miles - you're giving yourself lung cancer.
[...]
See more »

Crazy Credits

For Betsy See more »

Connections

Referenced in Parenthood: The Ring (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

A Place in the Sun
(1977) (uncredited)
Written by Bud Cockrell and Cory Lerios
Performed by Pablo Cruise
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A Time Capsule of the late 70s
21 June 2007 | by boiler74See all my reviews

Somehow I missed "An Unmarried Woman" when I was a senior in college, but I remember hearing about it. Finally, about five years ago, I was flipping through the channels, and I happened upon this gem. I realize some people might consider this film "dated," but other than period pieces, all movies are eventually "dated" in one aspect or another.

I thought Jill Clayburgh was gorgeous and showed herself to be quite a feisty "Erica Benton." Michael Murphy as her husband Martin was extremely annoying and self-centered, but that was his role and the whole reason wife Erica was sent into the world of unmarried women.

I enjoyed the music, the setting, and the general feeling of having lived through that time (1977-1978). Sadly, several key actors from the film are gone (Alan Bates, Cliff Gorman, Penelope Russianoff), but this movie will live on as it captured the post-Vietnam era quite well. It sounds odd now to say the movie was a breakthrough for women, but for its time, it was pretty controversial.

It's nice to see Jill Clayburgh active on Broadway and the silver screen once again. I'm looking forward to her role on the upcoming TV series "Dirty Sexy Money." I can't wait to see her in scenes with "Six Feet Under" star Peter Krause!


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