Gloria (1980)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Gloria (Gena Rowlands), a self-involved woman in her forties who was once a mobster's mistress, is asked to look after Philip (Juan Adames), the son of her Mafia-connected Puerto Rican neighbors. This temporary set-up becomes permanent when the neighbors are killed in a mob hit. Philip has in his possession a diary containing a record of illegal Mafia activities; thus the boy is as good as dead unless Gloria takes decisive action. With Philip in tow, Gloria leads the hit men on a frantic chase around Manhattan, and during the various gunfire exchanges, more than holds her own. Offering to exchange the diary for the boy's life, Gloria is rebuffed by the vendetta-driven assassins. Where once she was content squirreling herself away in her lonely apartment, Gloria now must face a lifetime on the run. Directed on a more commercial level than was customary for John Cassavetes (with a subversive streak of self-parody in the bargain), Gloria served as an excellent showcase for Cassavetes' wife Gena Rowlands. The film won the Golden Lion Award at the 1980 Berlin Film Festival. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi
Action & Adventure , Comedy , Drama , Mystery & Suspense
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Columbia Pictures Corporation

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Gena Rowlands
as Gloria Swenson
John Adames
as Phil Dawn
Buck Henry
as Jack Dawn
Julie Carmen
as Jeri Dawn
Lupe Guarnica
as Margarita Vargas
Lupe Garnica
as Margarita Vargas
Val Avery
as Sill
Jessica Castillo
as Joan Dawn
Tony Knesich
as 1st Man/Gangster
Carlos Castro
as Third Kid
Israel Castro
as Second Kid
Tom Noonan
as 2nd Man/Gangster
Gregory Cleghorne
as Kid in Elevator
Ralph Dolman
as First Kid
Kyle-Scott Jackson
as 1st Policeman
Gary Howard Klar
as 2nd Policeman
Tony Kneisch
as First Man/Gangster
Roman Rodriguez
as Escape Cab Driver
George Yudzevich
as Heavyset Man
Ronald Maccone
as 3rd man/Gangster
Asa Quawee
as Cab Driver No. 2
Basilio Franchina
as Tony Tanzini
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Critic Reviews for Gloria

All Critics (22) | Top Critics (6)

The plot is a paranoid endgame in which the ubiquitous Mafia, in the know about everything before it happens, is the instrument of terminal destiny and running from death is as absurd as waiting for it.

Full Review… | April 20, 2015
New Yorker
Top Critic

Gena Rowlands is excellent as the tired woman who decides to take her chances for the boy. The kid is a right blend of understanding and childish tantrums.

Full Review… | May 27, 2008
Top Critic

John Cassavetes clearly set out to make a commercial film, but, intransigent personality that he was, he turned in a slice of pure avant-garde.

Full Review… | May 27, 2008
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

It's clear from the opening montage that we're in the hands of a master.

Full Review… | June 23, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

More than any other recent film I can think of, Gloria is a movie that depends on the mood you're in when you see it.

Full Review… | August 30, 2004
New York Times
Top Critic

Tough, sweet, and goofy.

December 31, 1999
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Gloria


I like "non-studio film Cassavetes" much better.

Jonathan Hutchings
Jonathan Hutchings

Super Reviewer


Indie godfather John Cassavetes transforms Gena Rowlands into his own little Pam Grier in this odd mob melodrama with, naturally, an orphan kid. Rowlands is an extremely classy ex-mob dame with a hair-trigger temper and a tongue of fire. If there is any dead weight in the film, it's child actor John Adams, screeching and squeaking that he's "the man" and knows what to do. But what child actor isn't irritating? In the end, Gloria isn't a major effort or breakthrough film, it's just Cassavetes creating a fun action/chase movie that features a female heroine with a set of brass balls. Photobucket

El Hombre Invisible
El Hombre Invisible

Super Reviewer


An ass-kicking Gena Rowlands is the major force behind this riveting, one of a kind gangster film from the unique vision of American new wave's craftsman John Cassavetes. direct precursor of Leon: The professional.

Pierluigi Puccini
Pierluigi Puccini

Super Reviewer

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