A Woman Under the Influence

A Woman Under the Influence

DVD - 2008
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A drama detailing the emotional breakdown of a suburban housewife and how her family struggles to save her from herself.
Publisher: Irvington, NY : Criterion Collection ; Chicago, IL : Distributed by Home Vision Entertainment, 2008.
Edition: Widescreen ed.
ISBN: 9780780029200


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ArapahoeAlison Mar 28, 2018

One of my favorite John Cassavetes films of all times. Peter Falk and Gena Rowlands shine as a couple who love each other but cannot quite get it together. The improvisational style with the documentary camera work makes it unlike any other film despite all the imitations that have followed.

Oct 10, 2017

Any movie written and directed by John Cassavetes requires intelligence on the part of the viewer because he never made things easy for us. He was truthful and that truth sometimes manifested in high drama, and at other times in the minute details of everyday life. Gena Rowlands is the perfect actress to accomplish this range of acting demands without "acting" all over the place. She is heartbreaking as she desperately begs her children to tell them what they really think of her, and truly funny serving her husband's co-workers at an (Peter Falk) impromptu breakfast gathering. This is Cassavetes and Rowlands at their best, complimented by wonderful performances by Falk and all of the supporting players. It is the first movie you should own if you are a serious collector of films that matter. Gena is golden.

Franln May 28, 2017

I felt so sorry for Gena Rowlands' character and the lunacy and despair her angry, insensitive, inconsiderate, loud-yelling husband drove her to. How can a person stay sane when always being yelled at over everything and nothing. What a prick. Gena Rowlands was amazing in this roll. Peter Falk portrayed a furious idiot who threatened everyone in the movie.

Apr 05, 2017

A Woman Under The Influence' may be a misnomer. It seems to me this is an entire family under the influence. The story of a family living in LA, and trying to live a life of quiet and not so quiet desperation. Peter Falk plays Nick Longhetti, he works for the city, and he is on call all the time to help fix the water works and anything else that breaks down. Gena Rowland's plays Mabel, a woman put together on a tight string. They have three children, and after viewing this film you wonder if they will grow up as alcoholics in a disheveled world.
John Cassavettes directed this film, and a superb film it is. The director's mother and Gena Rowland's mother also play the mother-in-laws. But the performance to behold is Gena Rowland. She has become Mabel, the woman trying to find her life in a crazy world. Her husband, Nick is also has problems,abusive at times, unclear in his mind, trying to understand his wife,but unable to see the big picture. No one in the family knows how to deal with Mabel, and they bring in the family doctor, who has no presence.
This is a film of a family on the brink, and the performances are so well done, it is difficult to think through the entire film without reacting to the performances. This film stays with you.

Mar 08, 2015

In today's times, this movie would be called "A Man Under the Influence". The only problem Mabel has with her sanity is in staying with this clearly abusive husband who beats his wife and threatens to kill his children. She is a creative mother who obviously loves her children. Seems to me that she is trapped here with this abusive jerk and his meddling mother. It made me sick to watch them and her "caring" doctor gang up on her. He needs to go to anger management class and yes, Mabel's father, mother, and mother-in-law all need to stand up for her.

Jan 03, 2015

How can a person function in a society where the rules of proper behaviour often appear mystifying and at odds with one another? How can a person function in a relationship filled with double bind messages and contradictory demands? Rowlands brings a tragic authenticity to her portrayal of the beleaguered Mabel, trying in vain to juggle all the various roles expected of her and receiving nothing but criticism and scornful stares in return. Falk excels as the boorish husband.....at once denouncing Mabel’s bizarre behaviour and yet secretly encouraging it. Cassavetes deftly moves his characters towards a painful finale that practically explodes with suppressed rage....and then ends the film with a sadly ironic scene of domestic banality. An American masterpiece that is perhaps more relevant today than it was 30 years ago.

Aug 26, 2014

Excellent film.....very real and life-like.
Excellent acting by Gena Rowlands and Peter Falk! John Cassavetes is a wonderfully talented director! Love his style of directing......you can really see it in this. A must watch!

Jan 02, 2014

this is a Cassavetes movie with Gena Rowlands, not Bergman Island as pictured.

Jan 02, 2013

A distressing tale of a married couple with major relationship problems. The wife of three children has a mental illness and finds coping with real life difficult. The husband, a rough and crude working man, has trouble dealing with his wife as well as controlling his own emotions. What follows is an emotional roller coaster ride throughout the movie.


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