7.2/10
3,948
48 user 24 critic

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

The "hen" sessions between Erica (Jill Clayburgh) and her 'divorced' friends were once described as being "part Ingmar Bergman, part Mary Hartman". See more »

Goofs

Erica orders white wine at the bar. She is given red wine and sips it. When she joins friends at their table, her wine is white. 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 Saturday Night Live: Jay Leno/The Neville Brothers (1986) See more »

Soundtracks

Maybe I'm Amazed
(1970) (uncredited)
Written by Paul McCartney
Performed by Jill Clayburgh and Lisa Lucas
See more »

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User Reviews

terrific acting
24 January 2001 | by azefferSee all my reviews

Jill Clayburgh gives a brilliant performance as a married wife and mother left for a younger woman. The movie touches all the different emotions felt and her rebirth as an independent individual. The scene in which Erica's husband tells her he has been cheating is great, and when Erica turns the corner and breaks down is really something to see.

This movie was made when divorce was still a hot topic and women were just coming into the workforce and still tied into identifying themselves through marriage. But the film is still relevant today (we all deal with rejection of one sort or another). The rest of the cast is superb and there are great shots of New York circa 1978.

Ten stars.


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