An Unmarried Woman (1978)

An Unmarried Woman (1978)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

An Unmarried Woman Photos

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.
Comedy , Drama
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
20th Century Fox Film Corporation

Watch it now


Alan Bates
as Saul
Cliff Gorman
as Charlie
Kelly Bishop
as Elaine
Lisa Lucas
as Patti
Linda G. Miller
as Jeannette
Daniel Seltzer
as Dr. Jacobs
Ivan Karp
as Herb Rowan
Clint Chin
as Chinese Waiter
Ken Chapin
as Man at Bar
Tom Elios
as Ice Vendor
Karen Ford
as Executive Secretary
Alice J. Kane
as Waitress
Pamela Meunier
as Hat Check Girl
Donna Perich
as Sophie
Vincent Schiavelli
as Man at Party
John Stravinsky
as Bartender
Ultra Violet
as Lady Macbeth
Show More Cast

Critic Reviews for An Unmarried Woman

All Critics (18) | Top Critics (2)

A tenderhearted feminist picture.

Full Review… | April 7, 2016
New Yorker
Top Critic

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

Full Review… | June 14, 2015
New Yorker
Top Critic

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

Full Review… | June 28, 2013
Film Comment Magazine
Top Critic

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.

Full Review… | August 14, 2008

Presents a credible single scene.

Full Review… | February 27, 2008
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

...the movie is ultimately undone by a thoroughly dated, anachronistic aura...

Full Review… | January 29, 2006
Reel Film Reviews

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

An Unmarried Woman Quotes

Discussion Forum

Discuss An Unmarried Woman on our Movie forum!

News & Features