John Cassavetes

A Woman Under the Influence

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. Gena Rowlands and Peter Falk give unforgettably harrowing performances as a married couple deeply in love but unable to express their ardor in terms the other can understand. This landmark American film is perhaps the most beloved work from the extraordinary John Cassavetes.

Film Info

  • John Cassavetes
  • United States
  • 1974
  • 147 minutes
  • Color
  • 1.85:1
  • English
  • Spine #253

Special Features

  • New, high-definition digital restoration, with newly restored uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition
  • Audio commentary by sound recordist and composer Bo Harwood and camera operator Mike Ferris
  • New video conversation between actors Gena Rowlands and Peter Falk
  • Audio interview with director John Cassavetes from 1975
  • Stills gallery
  • Trailer
  • PLUS: An essay by film critic Kent Jones and an interview with Cassavetes from 1975 (DVD release)

New cover by Lucien S. Y. Yang

Purchase Options

Collector's Sets

Collector's Set

John Cassavetes: Five Films

John Cassavetes: Five Films

Blu-Ray Box Set

5 Discs

Ships Nov 14, 2018

$99.96

Special Features

  • New, high-definition digital restoration, with newly restored uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition
  • Audio commentary by sound recordist and composer Bo Harwood and camera operator Mike Ferris
  • New video conversation between actors Gena Rowlands and Peter Falk
  • Audio interview with director John Cassavetes from 1975
  • Stills gallery
  • Trailer
  • PLUS: An essay by film critic Kent Jones and an interview with Cassavetes from 1975 (DVD release)

New cover by Lucien S. Y. Yang

A Woman Under the Influence
Cast
Peter Falk
Nick Longhetti
Gena Rowlands
Mabel Longhetti
Fred Draper
George Mortensen
Lady Rowlands
Martha Mortensen
Katherine Cassavetes
Mama Longhetti
Matthew Labyorteaux
Angelo Longhetti
Matthew Cassel
Tony Longhetti
Christina Grisanti
Maria Longhetti
O. G. Dunn
Garson Cross
Mario Gallo
Harold Jensen
Eddie Shaw
Dr. Zepp
Angelo Grisanti
Vito Grimaldi
Charles Horvath
Eddie
James Joyce
Bowman
Credits
Director
John Cassavetes
Writer
John Cassavetes
Producer
Sam Shaw
Music
Bo Harwood
In charge of lighting
Mitchell Breit
Additional photography
Caleb Deschanel
Camera operators
Michael Ferris
Camera operators
David Nowell
Supervising editor
Tom Cornwell
Editors
David Armstrong
Editors
Beth Bergeron
Editors
Sheila Viseltear
In charge of postproduction
Robert Heffernan
Art director
Phedon Papamichael

From The Current

Peter and Gena Under the Influence
Peter and Gena Under the Influence

In 2004, actors Peter Falk and Gena Rowlands sat down in Rowlands’s home to discuss their landmark collaboration on John Cassavetes’s A Woman Under the Influence, in a conversation for Criterion. In the seventeen-minute dialogue, Falk (who die…

/
A Woman Under the Influence: The War at Home

A Woman Under the Influence: The War at Home

If there’s one quality that separates John Cassavetes’s movies from almost everybody else’s, it’s the density of detail in the storytelling. His films need to be read closely, from beginning to end. There are no lulls with Cassavetes, no laps…

By Kent Jones

/
A Sound for Love and Loss: Bo Harwood on A Woman Under the Influence
A Sound for Love and Loss: Bo Harwood on A Woman Under the Influence

With just piano and guitar, longtime Cassavetes collaborator Bo Harwood created a score that highlights the melancholy in the director’s acclaimed domestic drama.

/
Sloane Crosley’s Top 10

Sloane Crosley is the author of the New York Times best-selling essay collections I Was Told There’d Be Cake and How Did You Get This Number, and the novel The Clasp.


Sebastián Lelio’s Top 10

The Oscar-winning Chilean filmmaker picks favorites that highlight his love of intense performances, extreme stylization, and explosive emotions.


Barry Levinson’s Top 10

Born and raised in Baltimore, Maryland, Barry Levinson is an Academy Award–winning director, screenwriter, and producer.


Composing for Cassavetes
Composing for Cassavetes

In a new documentary on FilmStruck, composer and sound recordist Bo Harwood discusses his close collaboration with John Cassavetes and the music he composed for six of his films.

/
The Author’s Signature: A Conversation with Michael Haneke
The Author’s Signature: A Conversation with Michael Haneke

The great Austrian filmmaker spoke with us about his early experiences falling in love with cinema and the films that have shaped his singular aesthetic.

By Hillary Weston

/
Stephen Cone’s Top 10

Stephen Cone is a Chicago-based filmmaker whose latest, Princess Cyd, opens in theaters November 2017.


Gotham Nod for Cameraperson, Yang Restored, Scorsese on Brando

The Daily

Gotham Nod for Cameraperson, Yang Restored, Scorsese on Brando

Legendary French cinematographer Raoul Coutard, who created some of the most indelible images in film history, has passed away at the age of ninety-two. The BFI pays tribute to him by republishing an article from the winter 1965–1966 issue of Sight…

/
Matías Piñeiro on Reimagining the Rhythms of Shakespeare
Matías Piñeiro on Reimagining the Rhythms of Shakespeare

Before the New York Film Festival premiere of Hermia and Helena, his 2016 riff on A Midsummer Night’s Dream, the Argentine director stopped by to discuss the Bard and the movies that shaped him as a filmmaker.

By Hillary Weston

/
Andrew Ahn’s Top 10

Born and raised in Los Angeles, Andrew Ahn is a Korean-American filmmaker whose debut feature, Spa Night, premiered at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival.


An Actor’s Actor: Gena Rowlands in Conversation
An Actor’s Actor: Gena Rowlands in Conversation

In anticipation of a retrospective tribute to the collaborations of Rowlands and filmmaker John Cassavetes, we look at a candid conversation with the actor.

/
Sean Baker’s Top 10

Sean Baker is a writer/director and cocreator of the television show Greg the Bunny. His movies include Prince of Broadway (2008), Starlet (2012), and Tangerine (2015).


Josh and Benny Safdie’s Top 10

The New York–born–and–raised directors Josh and Benny Safdie’s films have earned them awards from around the world.


Jesse Malin’s Top 10

After playing in hard-core and glam bands throughout the 1980s and ’90s, Queens-born singer-songwriter Jesse Malin released his first solo album, The Fine Art of Self Destruction, in 2002.


Ben Wheatley’s Top 10

Ben Wheatley is the director of Down Terrace, Kill List, Sightseers, and A Field in England.


Alex Ross Perry’s Top 10

“I have been collecting Criterion Collection DVDs almost as long as I have owned a DVD player,” writes Alex Ross Perry, the director of Impolex (2009), The Color Wheel (2011), and Listen Up Philip (2014).


A Conversation with Bo Harwood
A Conversation with Bo Harwood

One of John Cassavetes’s loyal troupe of collaborators reminisces about working with the fearless filmmaker.

By Sam Wasson

/
Jonathan Caouette’s Top 10

Jonathan Caouette is the director of several feature-length documentaries: the award-winning personal diary film Tarnation (2004), produced by John Cameron Mitchell and Gus Van Sant; All Tomorrow’s Parties (2009), about the music festival; and Walk


Aki Kaurismäki’s Top 10

Our favorite Finn didn’t have an easy time picking his ten favorite titles in the Criterion Collection.


The Leopard and The Tin Drum in MoMA Preservation Fest
The Leopard and The Tin Drum in MoMA Preservation Fest

The Museum of Modern Art in New York has announced the lineup of its eighth annual To Save and Project, an international festival of film preservation. This year’s program features more than thirty-five titles from thirteen countries and runs from …

/
Iron and Wine’s Top 10

Samuel Beam is an American singer-songwriter (and former film studies professor!) better known by the stage name Iron and Wine. His last album was 2007’s The Shepherd’s Dog, and a follow-up is in the works.


Götz Spielmann’s Top 10

Götz Spielmann is the director of Revanche.


James Franco’s Top 10

“I am obsessed with the Criterion Collection . . . Basically, I have every disc in the collection, and I am making my way through them all. It’s rare that I watch one I don’t like.”


David Hudson’s Top 10

David Hudson lives in Berlin and translated screenplays until his blog, GreenCine Daily, swallowed him whole.


Explore

John Cassavetes

Writer, Director

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.