8.2/10
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122 user 91 critic

A Woman Under the Influence (1974)

Trailer
3:00 | Trailer
Although wife and mother Mabel is loved by her husband Nick, her mental illness places a strain on the marriage.

Director:

John Cassavetes

Writer:

John Cassavetes
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Popularity
4,944 ( 225)
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 (as Matthew Laborteaux)
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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Did You Know?

Trivia

Cassavetes initially wrote the film as a play but wife Gena Rowlands talked him out of it, stating the role would be far too harrowing and exhausting to play night-after-night. See more »

Goofs

In the scene at the end of the film when Nick and Mabel are putting the children to bed, the boom mic is visible on the left side of the screen poking out from behind the door frame just after Nick exits the room and Mabel is about to turn off the light. See more »

Quotes

Nick Longhetti: Normal talk. Conversation. Weather. "How are you?" "Where you been?" "Hello." "Too hot." "Too cold."
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Connections

Referenced in Nothing in Los Angeles (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

I Get a Kick Out of You
(uncredited)
Written by Cole Porter
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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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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 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (TCM print)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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