Scorsese threatened to withdraw his film unless the festival organizers gave Cassavetes's film a chance. An abusive, narcissistic and controlling husband tries to gaslight his wife into feeling like she's going crazy, threatening her with commitment and with the loss of her children. Fandango Screen Reader Users: To optimize your experience with your screen reading software, please use our Flixster.com website, which has the same tickets as our Fandango.com and MovieTickets.com websites. More than being crazy, I think she's just socially inept.". It wound up making $6.1 million (as of 1976, according to Variety), all of which went back to Cassavetes, his investors, and the cast and crew, none to any studio. He was also burned out on making four movies in a row without studio help. Instead, Cassavetes mortgaged his house and took up a collection among actor friends to finance the film. Peter Falk is a blue collar man trying to deal with his wife's mental instability. I'm not crying, because I enjoy it. Screen Reader Users: To optimize your experience with your screen reading software, please use our Flixster.com website, which has the same tickets as our Fandango.com and MovieTickets.com websites. I think she's just frustrated beyond belief. A Woman Under the Influence (1974) Plot Summary (4) Mabel, a wife and mother, is loved by her husband Nick but her mental illness proves to be a problem in the marriage. Increasingly unstable, especially in the company of others, she craves happiness, but her extremely volatile behavior convinces Nick that she poses a danger to their family and decides to commit her to an institution for six months. That gave him access to eager young people who wanted all the practical moviemaking experience they could get. "—but the director laughed and said, "He can say what he wants. Most of his crew consisted of these students, working for free or for deferred salaries, some of whom quit before it was over (hey, you get what you pay for). I went home and vomited." Mabel Longhetti (Gena Rowlands), desperate and lonely, is married to a Los Angeles municipal construction worker, Nick (Peter Falk). Mabel Longhetti (Gena Rowlands), desperate and lonely, is married to a Los Angeles municipal construction worker, Nick (Peter Falk). Enter your location to see which I went crazy. A Woman Under the Influence made me wonder: What’s the point of only showing a mentally challenged character’s distress? 2 hr 35 min. From the beginning, we know that something bad has happened in Helen’s life, and that it involves her former friend Ava. Is it fair to reduce Mabel to her rock-bottom experiences? A Woman Under the Influence's big break came when it was screened to great acclaim at the 1974 New York Film Festival, some 18 months after Cassavetes finished it. (Note: In some tellings of this anecdote, it was Scorsese's Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore, also playing at the 1974 NYFF, that he threatened to withdraw. There’s a scene in 1980’s Ordinary People in which Timothy Hutton’s depressed son is trying to connect with his repressed mother, played by Mary Tyler Moore. Nick too knows the perception others have of Mabel, he who tries to do whatever he needs to to protect her. She tries to be both a perfect wife to his every whim and a wonderful caring mother but his violence and then public blaming of her sends her to the hospital. Making an independent, low-budget film means being resourceful. Movies. But I am saddened by the fact that I have physical limitations.". Rowlands loved what her husband wrote but realized it was too intensely emotional for her to perform it night after night without having a nervous breakdown herself. Cassavetes retooled it into a screenplay, sparing Rowlands's sanity. Rack up 500 points and you'll score a $5 reward for more movies. Asked if he did any research into mental illness or nervous breakdowns when he wrote the film in an interview included on the Criterion Blu-ray, Cassavetes said, "No, because I don't think it's about that. Edit Report This. Alone with a trio of kids to raise on his own, he awaits her return, which holds more than a few surprises. A Women Under The Influence. During the commercial, Falk telephoned Cassavetes in a panic—"He's telling everyone how terribly dark and scary the movie is! Sign up for a FANALERT® and be the first to know when tickets and other exclusives are available in your area. Not sure what that was about but it’s a minor quibble.) McNally followed up. "I can't like making films anymore if they're this tough," he said. Woman Under the Influence. Under the Influence got my attention from the beginning, and then it kept me reading – with an impending sense of dread. "If that means I'll never make [a] film again, then I'll never make another film again," he said. —claire tailyour. Most films tell us what to know and feel, what things mean. We know life happens, so if something comes up, you can return or exchange your tickets up until the posted showtime. Though they didn't win, Rowlands's performance as a housewife having a nervous breakdown is still regarded as a master class in acting, and Cassavetes's sensitive, naturalistic style influenced everyone from Jim Jarmusch to Martin Scorsese. Cassavetes gives us experiences as complex, demanding, and intense as life itself. (Cassavetes had guest-starred a couple years earlier.) 2020 Toronto International Film Festival Preview, What to Watch on FandangoNOW: Smiths-Inspired ‘The More You Ignore Me,’ Horror Movie Collections and More, This Week in Family Movie News: ‘Thomas & Friends’ Coming Down the Track, First ‘Addams Family 2’ Teaser and More, R, He replied: "Right now all I can hope is that [A Woman Under the Influence] is extremely successful. Ever the do-it-yourselfer, Cassavetes personally called theater owners to get them to book it, relying on his good reputation in the art-house community (A Woman Under the Influence was his seventh film, his fourth as an independent producer). The New York-born writer/director/actor was successfully making and distributing his own films decades before the indie boom of the 1990s, nearly always to critical acclaim, and sometimes even for financial gain. ", Additional sources: Many people who look at the family from the outside believe Mabel is crazy, her behavior which Mabel largely attributes to her exuberance in trying to be who she thinks Nick wants her to be to put their family in a good light in whatever social situation. (Falk piped up, "It's also funny! ), Cassavetes gave a long interview to journalist Judith McNally at the New York Film Festival, after he'd spent 18 months trying to find a distributor. "You don't have any plans at all for another film?" SEE DETAILS. Rowlands and Falk give very naturalistic performances, often seeming like they're having unscripted conversations. Looking for movie tickets? Cassavetes was then serving as the first filmmaker-in-residence at the American Film Institute's Center for Advanced Film Studies, in Los Angeles. He did, in fact, go on to make five more films before his death in 1989. Yet working with profit-minded studios was hard, too, since Cassavetes refused to bend on his artistic principles. It's a funny movie!") Not only did none of the studios want to finance the film, they weren't interested in distributing it when it was finished, either. A Woman Under the Influence This uncompromising portrait of domestic turmoil details the emotional breakdown of a suburban housewife and her family’s struggle to save her from herself. A Woman Under the Influence's big break came when it was screened to great acclaim at the 1974 New York Film Festival, some 18 months after Cassavetes finished it. See All Now Playing; … 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. Fandango helps you go back to the movies with confidence and peace of mind. Peter Falk is a blue collar man trying to deal with his wife's mental instability. Now Playing. movie theaters are playing A Woman Under the Influence near you. An incident involving Mabel may cross that line for Nick of what he believes he can handle on his own, versus needing the assistance of medical professionals, all in protecting the children and Mabel from herself, but equally what he believes is the good Longhetti name.
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