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Jill Clayburgh is wondrous as a woman who loses her marriage -- only to find herself -- in this acutely observed and lived-in portrait of New York City life. Read critic reviews

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Movie Info

An attractive and well-to-do New Yorker, Erica Benton (Jill Clayburgh), finds her comfortable existence upended when her husband, Martin (Michael Murphy), ends their marriage and takes up with a younger woman. Hurt and angered by her husband's betrayal, Erica slowly begins to reevaluate her life and explore her newfound freedom. Eventually, she starts a relationship with an English artist named Saul (Alan Bates), but is wary of repeating past mistakes.

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Critic Reviews for An Unmarried Woman

All Critics (26) | Top Critics (6) | Fresh (24) | Rotten (2)

Audience Reviews for An Unmarried Woman

  • Jul 26, 2015
    Paul Mazursky's poignant, observant and moving drama is his magnum opus as a director and writer. The film's greatest asset is the bravura turn by the late Jill Clayburgh who delivers the performance of her career, that earned her a richly deserved Academy Award nomination for Best Actress. Ms. Clayburgh plays Erica, a New York City, Upper East Side woman who seems to be doing all the right things until the day her husband of 16 years, played superbly by Michael Murphy, announces he's leaving her for another younger woman. Ms. Clayburgh's realignment of her priorities is fascinating to watch, and she slowly becomes an independent, strong, proficient woman who discovers her new sexual freedom. Brilliant direction by the late Paul Mazursky who also wrote the intelligent Academy Award nominated original screenplay with skillful attention to character details. Exceptional supporting performances by Alan Bates, Cliff Gorman, Patricia Quinn, Kelly Bishop, Lisa Lucas, Linda Miller, and Andrew Duncan. Nominated for 3 Academy Awards including Best Picture. Highly Recommended.
    Danny R Super Reviewer
  • May 16, 2014
    A bit dated but one of the first attempts to deal with the "modern" woman who often find themselves divorced and open to "temptation" Strong performances but a dated topic.
    John B Super Reviewer
  • Oct 12, 2010
    The tale of the independent divorced woman had its beginnings in this Paul Mazursky helmed film; about Erica (Clayburgh), a wronged woman who begins living a new life when her scuzzy husband cheats on her with a younger woman. The narrative begins with their happy marriage, made better by her friend's jealousy, eventually derailed by her husband's confession. Erica is a proud, uninhibited, and lovable character, who finds herself thrust back into the world of dating after nearly twenty years, and does so with the vibrancy of a woman much younger. Through a high amount of self-esteem, confidence, and a good therapist, Erica dates once again, and finds independence, something a woman still barely earned in the late seventies. This film comes from a fresh perspective, and was the first instance of a film where divorce became a woman's new growth experience. This was the inspiration behind many contemporary films that deal with issue of starting anew, and this film does it best by showing a character who is harmonious to the upper class life, and throws it away for her own freedom's sake.
    Spencer S Super Reviewer
  • Jan 02, 2009
    Jill Clayburgh is outstanding as a woman who is suddenly divorced from her husband of 16 years. She struggles with her new freedom and has to learn to trust men again and how to live for herself. This movie has been done a hundred times since it release in 1978 so it loses some of its original thunder. It still has some of originality and the acting is very good, especially Alan Bates.
    cody f Super Reviewer

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