John Cassavetes

Opening Night

Opening Night

While in the midst of rehearsals for her latest play, Broadway actor Myrtle Gordon (Gena Rowlands) witnesses the accidental death of an adoring young fan, after which she begins to confront the chaos of her own life. Headlined by a virtuoso performance by Rowlands, John Cassavetes’s Opening Night lays bare the drama of a performer who, at great personal cost, makes a part her own, and it functions as a metaphor for the director’s singular, wrenched-from-the-heart creative method.

Film Info

  • John Cassavetes
  • United States
  • 1977
  • 144 minutes
  • Color
  • 1.85:1
  • English
  • Spine #255

Special Features

  • New, high-definition digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition
  • New conversation between actors Gena Rowlands and Ben Gazzara
  • New interview with producer and director of photography Al Ruban
  • Audio interview with director John Cassavetes from the 1970s
  • Trailers

Available In

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 uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition
  • New conversation between actors Gena Rowlands and Ben Gazzara
  • New interview with producer and director of photography Al Ruban
  • Audio interview with director John Cassavetes from the 1970s
  • Trailers

Opening Night
Cast
Gena Rowlands
Myrtle Gordon
John Cassavetes
Maurice Aarons
Ben Gazzara
Manny Victor
Joan Blondell
Sarah Goode
Paul Stewart
David Samuels
Zohra Lampert
Dorothy Victor
Laura Johnson
Nancy Stein
John Tuell
Gus Simmons
Credits
Director
John Cassavetes
Writer
John Cassavetes
Producer
Al Ruban
Executive producer
Sam Shaw
Associate producer
Michael Lally
Sound/Composed music
Bo Harwood
Cinematography
Al Ruban
Camera operators
Frederick Elmes
Camera operators
Michael Ferris
Editing
Tom Cornwell
Art director
Bryan Ryman

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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.