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Reviews Counted: 19

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User Ratings: 4,595


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Average Rating: N/A
Reviews Count: 0
Fresh: 0
Rotten: 0


Average Rating: 3.9/5

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Movie Info

Shadows was John Cassavetes' first directorial effort. Like his later critically acclaimed films Faces and Husbands, Cassavetes fills the screen with probing, unflattering closeups. Unlike his other films, however, Shadows zips along at 87 minutes, avoiding the pitfall of putting the director's nonfans to sleep. The film is a straightforward account of a biracial romance (a far less common film subject in 1960 than today). Light-skinned African-American Lelia Goldoni falls in love with a white man Anthony Ray, who spurns her when he meets the rest of her family. Far from subtle, Shadows benefits from the undisciplined energy of its direction and the excellence of its individual performances. Costing a scant $40,000 (less than the average half hour TV episode of the era), Shadows won the Critic's Award at the Cannes Film Festival and led to more expensive studio assignments for John Cassavetes.

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News & Interviews for Shadows

Critic Reviews for Shadows

All Critics (19) | Top Critics (6)

[Shadows is] so far ahead of all Hollywood and independent films that once you've seen [it] you can no longer look at the official cinema: you know that American cinema can be more sensitive and intelligent.

Nov 17, 2017 | Full Review…

Again and again the line between acting and living is erased. Caught in the ecstasy of collective creation, a handful of earnest amateurs have almost accidentally produced a flawed but significant piece of folk art.

Sep 27, 2015 | Full Review…
TIME Magazine
Top Critic

This is the only Cassavetes film made without a full script (it grew out of acting improvs), and rarely has so much warmth, delicacy, and raw feeling emerged so naturally and beautifully from performances in an American film.

Apr 29, 2007 | Full Review…

A very modern, impressionistic snapshot of New York bohemia with scenes linked not by dramatic line but by place, time and mood.

Jun 24, 2006 | Full Review…
Time Out
Top Critic

Shadows is an unfinished picture in every sense of the word. Yet it is fitfully dynamic, endowed with a raw but vibrant strength, conveying an illusion of being a record of real people, and it is incontestably sincere.

May 9, 2005 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

Arguably the founding work of the American independent cinema.

Jun 17, 2003 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Shadows

Don't have much to say about this movie, seems others enjoyed it I did Not. 1 Star 3-2514

Bruce Bruce
Bruce Bruce

Super Reviewer


A new-waveish beatnik sociopolitical commentary that gets far less recognition than it deserves.

Randy Tippy
Randy Tippy

Super Reviewer


This is a pretty good, and very different, drama movie, but it's not all that exciting or intense. Plus, I wasn't familiar or impressed with any of the actors.

Aj V
Aj V

Super Reviewer

According to the information that can be found on the box, a very important and influential movie and Cassavetes directorial debut. It's VERY difficult to rate this one objectively after seeing A Woman Under the Influence first, which is a completely different movie. Somehow the style reminded me a little of A Funeral Parade of Roses. Couldn't keep my eyes off of Lelia Goldoni, she's beautiful.

Saskia D.
Saskia D.

Super Reviewer

Shadows Quotes

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