An Unmarried Woman


An Unmarried Woman (1978)



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Movie Info

Paul Mazursky's An Unmarried Woman follows the turmoil of a woman named Erica (Jill Clayburgh), whose comfortable domestic life is thrown into turmoil when her husband Martin (Michael Murphy) reveals over lunch that he is in love with another woman. Martin leaves Erica after the confession, and the film details her attempts to find her place in the modern world of the late '70s.


Critic Reviews for An Unmarried Woman

All Critics (19) | Top Critics (3)

Clayburgh takes chances in this movie. She's out on an emotional limb. She's letting us see and experience things that many actresses simply couldn't reveal.

Jun 15, 2018 | Rating: 4/4 | Full Review…

A tenderhearted feminist picture.

Apr 7, 2016

The action unfolds with a documentary-style geographical specificity, offering a time capsule of Manhattan locations, uptown and downtown alike.

Jun 15, 2015 | Full Review…

There are scenes in An Unmarried Woman so well written and acted that our laughter is unsettling, the laughter of exact recognition.

Jun 28, 2013 | Full Review…

Jill Clayburgh received a well-deserved Oscar nomination for playing an ordinary woman who goes through divorce and identity crisis in this quintessential New York movie that was championed by the feminist movement in the 1970s.

Aug 14, 2008 | Rating: B+ | Full Review…

Presents a credible single scene.

Feb 27, 2008 | Rating: B | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for An Unmarried Woman

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 Rovira
Danny Rovira

Super Reviewer


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.
Spencer S.

Super Reviewer

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 Ballantine
John Ballantine

Super Reviewer

Why is this great film so forgotten?

Michael S
Michael S

Super Reviewer

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