This is a disturbing portrait of a slightly-mad housewife. Its serious treament of a downbeat subject is hypoed by a fine performance from Peter Falk and a bravura one from Gena Rowlands.

This is a disturbing portrait of a slightly-mad housewife. Its serious treament of a downbeat subject is hypoed by a fine performance from Peter Falk and a bravura one from Gena Rowlands.

Rowlands plays a lower middle-class LA housewife whose sense of identity is so impoverished she defines herself only in terms of her husband’s love and the devotion of her children.

Rowlands’ performance in the title role is one of those tour de force numbers available only to screen players of alcoholics and lunatics.

Falk is outstanding in a role which calls for him to be loving and callous at the same time. He, too, retains audience sympathy.

Film is technically superior to any of John Cassavetes’ previous works.

1974: Nominations: Best Director, Actress (Gena Rowlands)

A Woman Under the Influence

Production

Faces International. Director John Cassavetes; Screenplay John Cassavetes; Camera Mitch Breit; Editor Bob Heffernan; Music Bo Harwood; Art Director Phedon Papamichael

Crew

(Color) Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1974. Running time: 155 MIN.

With

Peter Falk Gena Rowlands Matthew Cassel Matthew Laborteaux Christina Grisanti Katherine Cassavetes
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