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Husbands and Wives (1992)

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When their best friends announce that they're separating, a professor and his wife discover the faults in their own marriage.


Woody Allen


Woody Allen
Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 12 wins & 13 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Nick Metropolis Nick Metropolis ... TV Scientist
Woody Allen ... Gabe Roth
Mia Farrow ... Judy Roth
Sydney Pollack ... Jack
Judy Davis ... Sally
Jeffrey Kurland ... Interviewer / Narrator (voice)
Bruce Jay Friedman Bruce Jay Friedman ... Peter Styles
Cristi Conaway ... Shawn Grainger
Timothy Jerome Timothy Jerome ... Paul
Rebecca Glenn Rebecca Glenn ... Gail
Juliette Lewis ... Rain
Galaxy Craze Galaxy Craze ... Harriet
Lysette Anthony ... Sam
Benno Schmidt Benno Schmidt ... Judy's Ex-Husband
John Doumanian John Doumanian ... Hamptons' Party Guests


When Jack and Sally announce that they're splitting up, this comes as a shock to their best friends Gabe and Judy. Maybe mostly because they also are drifting apart and are now being made aware of it. So while Jack and Sally try to go on and meet new people, the marriage of Gabe and Judy gets more and more strained, and they begin to find themselves being attracted to other people. Written by Leon Wolters <wolters@strw.LeidenUniv.nl>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and a scene of sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »






Release Date:

18 September 1992 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Maridos y esposas See more »


Box Office


$20,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby SR (Mono)



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Kristy Swanson auditioned for the role of Rain. She was one of the last two considered, but the role went to Emily Lloyd instead, who was later fired. See more »


Camera truck reflection visible on Sally's jeep as she goes to Paul's place. See more »


[first lines]
TV Scientist: [on TV] Einstein was then celebrating, uh, the seventieth birthday anniversary and there was a colloquium given for him. And he said, "God doesn't play dice with the universe".
Gabe: No. He just plays hide-and-seek.
See more »


Referenced in Gossip Girl: Ex-Husbands and Wives (2010) See more »


What Is This Thing Called Love
Written by Cole Porter
Performed by Leo Reisman and His Orchestra (as Leo Reisman & His Orchestra)
Courtesy of Academy Sound & Vision Limited
See more »

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User Reviews

Drifting in and Out of Romance
9 April 2014 | by bkrauser-81-311064See all my reviews

Gabe (Woody Allen) and Judy (Mia Farrow) have invited their good friends Jack (Sydney Pollack) and Sally (Judy Davis) for a small dinner at their quaint Manhattan apartment. Their abode is full of books and knickknacks all pointing to a comfortable urbanite life in the largest city in the world. Then Jack and Sally reveal some surprising news…after years of seemingly happy marriage, the two have agreed to a separation and eventual divorce. After that bomb is dropped the two couples reexamine their relationships with each other, trying to find meaning in romances both current and past while discovering the good, the bad and the ugly in marriage.

Woody Allen is mostly known for his comedies. But while Husbands and Wives has some pretty spot on observational humor, the story is largely somber and dramatic. Not dramatic in the sense of a Wednesday afternoon soap opera but a benign drama that with a few spikes of activity focuses mostly on the characters. There is no clever high concept or narrative liberties here like say, The Purple Rose of Cairo (1985); the film is more straight-laced and character driven along the lines of Interiors (1978) and Crimes and Misdemeanors (1989).

And what of the characters or rather the actors who flesh them out? Judy Davis, Mia Farrow and Juliette Lewis are the obvious standouts, representing three very different women all of which are looking for the same thing; someone to love and someone to love them back. Davis received an Oscar nomination for her role as a bitter divorcée trying to come to terms with her ex-husband's infidelity and being single again. She's continually frustrated and confused by the yearnings of the heart occasionally even lashing out on her boyfriend Gates (Liam Neeson). She's cynical and wary of attachment yet deep down she knows that her entanglements with Jack aren't over.

Mia Farrow is a stark counterpoint to Diane Keaton's brassy personalities of Allen's earlier work. Farrow's intensity lies always below the surface, providing the perked looks and mousiness of a young ingénue with the mind and body language of a veteran in the trials of love. It's a shame that out of the twelve Woody Allen films she has been in (for which Husbands and Wives was most famously her last) she had never received recognition by The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for her stellar work.

Juliette Lewis who plays one of Gabe's young students from his Literature course, has the appearance and vulnerability of a dewy-eyed devotee. Yet when the amiable Gabe discovers he might be the object of desire here and Lewis's Rain the controller, he recoils. There's a scene where the two are in a cab discussing the latest draft of his book. Unable to take criticism, Gabe calls Rain a 20-year-old twit and says "I'd hate to be your boyfriend, he must go through hell." Rain cavalierly responds "Well, I'm worth it."

Those who bemoan Allen's post-Annie Hall (1977) work won't find relief from his more meditative works of the 1980's. While most of the characters are likable they sometimes do unlikeable things, each on their own journey of discovery. I suppose we all do things we regret for love and those with a mature outlook on the subject matter will find a lot to enjoy and a lot to flinch at in Husbands and Wives. I suppose the heart wants what the heart wants.


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