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

$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…
Mikey and Nicky: Difficult Men
Mikey and Nicky: Difficult Men

In her long-unsung masterpiece, Elaine May takes an unflinching, darkly comic look at the forces of toxic masculinity that play out in an eroding friendship between two mobsters.

By Nathan Rabin

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

10 Things I Learned: Mikey and Nicky
10 Things I Learned: Mikey and Nicky

Though it’s taken time for critics and audiences to catch up with it, Elaine May’s gangster film is now widely recognized as one of her most uncompromising explorations of human relationships.

By Kim Hendrickson

Explore

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.