Opening Night Opening Night
  • United States
  • 1977
  • 144 minutes
  • Color
  • 1.85:1
  • English
  •  
  • Spine #255

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.

Cast

Myrtle Gordon Gena Rowlands
Maurice AaronsJohn Cassavetes
Manny VictorBen Gazzara
Sarah GoodeJoan Blondell
David Samuels Paul Stewart
Dorothy Victor Zohra Lampert
Nancy SteinLaura Johnson
Gus SimmonsJohn Tuell

Credits

DirectorJohn Cassavetes
WriterJohn Cassavetes
ProducerAl Ruban
Executive producerSam Shaw
Associate producerMichael Lally
Sound/Composed musicBo Harwood
CinematographyAl Ruban
Camera operatorsFrederick Elmes and Michael Ferris
EditingTom Cornwell
Art directorBryan Ryman

Disc 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

Film Essays

Openingnightessay_current_thumbnail

Opening Night: The Play’s the Thing

By Dennis Lim October 25, 2013

The most self-reflexive film of John Cassavetes’s career is a backstage melodrama about a woman’s search for truth in performance. Read more »

Clippings

Current_704_364_thumbnail

Did You See This?

November 11, 2016

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 . . . Read more »


Clippings

Screen_shot_2016-07-11_at_5.48.34_pm_thumbnail

An Actor’s Actor: Gena Rowlands in Conversation

July 11, 2016

This Friday, the Metrograph theater in Manhattan kicks off a tribute to the film legacy of writer-director John Cassavetes and actor Gena Rowlands, who together pioneered a style of filmmaking . . . Read more »


Clippings

Pretender_thumbnail

Film Picks from Agnès Varda, Arnaud Desplechin, Olivier Assayas, and More

November 06, 2015

As part of the launch of the new French streaming video service La Cinetek—which was founded by the filmmakers Pascale Ferran (Bird People), Cédric Klapisch (Chinese Puzzle), and Laurent Cantet . . . Read more »


Interviews

Harwood_thumbnail

A Conversation with Bo Harwood

By Sam Wasson August 20, 2014

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


Photo Galleries

Cassavetes’s Company

By Tom Charity October 30, 2013


Film Essays

Openingnightessay_current_thumbnail

Opening Night: The Play’s the Thing

By Dennis Lim October 25, 2013

The most self-reflexive film of John Cassavetes’s career is a backstage melodrama about a woman’s search for truth in performance. Read more »


Clippings

Grand Opening

March 28, 2011

We never pass up an opportunity to send you over to Blogdanovich, and we have the perfect excuse to do so today: in Peter Bogdanovich’s latest entry, the filmmaker-writer-raconteur reminisces . . . Read more »

Close

Log in to your Criterion.com account

Close