John Cassavetes

Husbands

Husbands

The trailblazing independent auteur John Cassavetes pushes his raw, uncompromising emotional realism to its limit in this unflinching portrait of masculinity in crisis. Cassavetes joins Ben Gazzara and Peter Falk—both of whom would become key collaborators of the director’s—playing a trio of middle-aged Long Island family men who, following the sudden death of their close mutual friend, channel their grief into an epic, multiday bender that takes them from Manhattan to London in a desperate, debauched quest to feel alive. By turns painfully funny and woundingly perceptive, this “comedy about life, death, and freedom” (as its tagline stated) stands as perhaps the most fearless, harrowingly honest deconstruction of American manhood ever committed to film.

Film Info

  • John Cassavetes
  • United States
  • 1970
  • 142 minutes
  • Color
  • 1.85:1
  • English
  • Spine #1029

Special Features

  • New 4K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • Audio commentary from 2009 featuring critic Marshall Fine
  • New interviews with producer Al Ruban and actor Jenny Runacre
  • New video essay by filmmaker Daniel Raim featuring audio recordings of actor-director John Cassavetes discussing his approach to working with actors
  • The Story of “Husbands”—A Tribute to John Cassavetes (2009), a half-hour program featuring Ruban, actor Ben Gazzara, and cinematographer Victor J. Kemper
  • Episode of The Dick Cavett Show from 1970 featuring Cassavetes, Gazzara, and actor Peter Falk
  • Trailer
  • English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
  • PLUS: An essay by filmmaker Andrew Bujalski

New cover by Eric Skillman

Purchase Options

Special Features

  • New 4K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • Audio commentary from 2009 featuring critic Marshall Fine
  • New interviews with producer Al Ruban and actor Jenny Runacre
  • New video essay by filmmaker Daniel Raim featuring audio recordings of actor-director John Cassavetes discussing his approach to working with actors
  • The Story of “Husbands”—A Tribute to John Cassavetes (2009), a half-hour program featuring Ruban, actor Ben Gazzara, and cinematographer Victor J. Kemper
  • Episode of The Dick Cavett Show from 1970 featuring Cassavetes, Gazzara, and actor Peter Falk
  • Trailer
  • English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
  • PLUS: An essay by filmmaker Andrew Bujalski

New cover by Eric Skillman

Husbands
Cast
Ben Gazzara
Harry
Peter Falk
Archie
John Cassavetes
Gus
Jenny Runacre
Mary
Jenny Lee
Pearl
Noelle Kao
Julie
John Kullers
Red
Meta Shaw
Harry’s wife, Annie
Leola Harlow
Leola
Delores Delmar
The countess
Eleanor Zee
Mrs. Hines
Claire Malis
Stuart’s wife
Peggy Lashbrook
Diana Mallabee
Eleanor Gould
“Normandy” singer
Sarah Felcher
Sarah
Gwen Van
“Jeanie” singer
John Armstrong
“Happy Birthday” singer
Antoinette Kray
“Jesus Loves Me” singer
Lorraine MacMartin
Annie’s mother
David Rowlands
Stuart
Nick Cassavetes
Gus’s child
Xan Cassavetes
Gus’s child
Credits
Director
John Cassavetes
Written by
John Cassavetes
Producer
Al Ruban
Associate producer
Sam Shaw
Director of photography
Victor J. Kemper
Production supervisor
Fred Caruso
Supervising editor
Peter Tanner
Graphic artist
Edie Shaw
Musical director
Stanley Wilson
Musical director
Jack Ackerman
NEW YORK
Art director
Rene
Production manager
Robert Greenhut
Camera operator
Michael Chapman
Camera operator
Dick Mingalone
Continuity
Nancy Norman
Sound
Dennis Maitland
Costumes
Lewis Brown
Makeup
Robert Laden
LONDON
Assistant director
Simon Hinkly
Assistant director
Philip Mead
Camera operator
Geoff Glover
Sound
Barry Copland
Continuity
Peggy Lashbrook
Wardrobe
Shura Cohen
Wardrobe
Dennis Frun
Makeup
Tommie Manderson

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A film of volatile emotions that provides no catharsis, John Cassavetes’s exploration of masculinity finds the director at his most existential and abstract.

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John Cassavetes

Writer, Director

John Cassavetes
John Cassavetes

John Cassavetes’ emotionally naked human dramas are benchmarks of American independent cinema. Having started out in New York as an actor, Cassavetes brought to his directorial efforts the same kinetic, heightened realism that marked his film and theater roles—a wily danger, the sense that at any moment things could explode from the inside. Shadows (1959), the first film he directed, self-financed for a mere $40,000, didn’t find much of an audience upon its small initial release, but it garnered Cassavetes some notice from critics (including a Venice Film Festival Critics Prize)—as well as studios, resulting in a couple of impersonal projects in the 1960s (Too Late Blues, A Child Is Waiting). He dove back into personal filmmaking later in the decade with the devastating domestic drama Faces (1968). Though hardly a crowd-pleaser, that film—made, like Shadows, wholly independently—was an art-house success, resulting in three Oscar nominations. From that point on, Cassavetes was synonymous with uncompromising, anti-studio American fare, working with a rotating cast of brilliant actors like Ben Gazzara, Seymour Cassel, and, of course, his wife, Gena Rowlands, to touch raw nerves with such films as A Woman Under the Influence (1974), The Killing of a Chinese Bookie (1976), and Opening Night (1976). Cassavetes died in 1989.