A Woman Under the Influence


A Woman Under the Influence

Critics Consensus

Electrified by searing performances from Gena Rowlands and Peter Falk, A Woman Under the Influence finds pioneering independent filmmaker John Cassavetes working at his artistic peak.



Total Count: 27


Audience Score

User Ratings: 8,176
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Movie Info

John Cassavetes' A Woman Under the Influence is about a housewife (Gena Rowlands) on the brink of insanity and her blue-collar husband (Peter Falk) who attempts to understand her plight, but often becomes violently frustrated with her illness.

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Peter Falk
as Nick Longhetti
Gena Rowlands
as Mabel Longhetti
Matthew Cassel
as Tony Longhetti
Matthew Laborteaux
as Angelo Longhetti
Christina Grisanti
as Maria Longhetti
Katherine Cassavetes
as Mama Longhetti
Lady Rowlands
as Martha Mortensen
Frederick Draper
as George Mortensen
Fred Draper
as George Mortensen
O.G. Dunn
as Garson Cross
Mario Gallo
as Harold Jensen
Eddie Shaw
as Dr. Zepp
Angelo Grisanti
as Vito Grimaldi
Hugh Hurd
as Willie Johnson
Leon Wagner
as Billy Tidrow
John Hawker
as Joseph Morton
Syl Words
as James Turner
Elsie Ames
as Principal
Dominique Davalos
as Dominique Jenson
Alexandra Cassavetes
as Adrienne Jensen
Charles Horvath
as Eddie the Indian
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Critic Reviews for A Woman Under the Influence

All Critics (27) | Top Critics (9)

Audience Reviews for A Woman Under the Influence

  • Jun 21, 2013
    A Cassavetes film is something to truly behold and particularly a Cassavetes film involving his life partner Gena Rowlands. The meltdown of a family unit has become commonplace in many modern films but it was unique for the time and Cassavetes was truly a ground breaker.
    John B Super Reviewer
  • Apr 04, 2013
    Dysfunction can be so awesomely painful to watch. Aside: props for all the Hamms spotlights!
    Ed K Super Reviewer
  • Mar 02, 2013
    A Woman Under the Influence is a film I've been meaning to catch for a good while now. It's about a broken home, or perhaps the end was implying that this was a normal home, either way it's about a home. In this home there's a wife, a husband, and three kids. It couldn't be more normal, except the wife is coo-koo, and the husband is an abusive prick. Both had amazing performances, but especially Gena Rowlands. If you've seen the 2010 film Blue Valentine the style is incredibly similar. I think the main draw back of the film is that it tried to be too genuine. I was shocked by the realistic feel, but I was noticing so much that I never viewed this as a real family. It never left just a movie zone for me, which I think is contrary of the intent. I felt that the film could have been trimmed down some, but the length wasn't to big of a deal. The problem was the over kill of realism, and trying to show a regular family with there baggage, been better if Cassavates toned down trying to make it 100% life like.
    Daniel D Super Reviewer
  • Oct 11, 2012
    One of the finest independent films out there, "A Woman Under the Influence" is a thought-provoking, ably directed and forcefully acted family drama that works just as well today as it did when it was first released, even if the subject matter isn't nearly as shocking. Both Gena Rowlands and Peter Falk have brave, completely moving performances that rank with some of the cinema's best and most realistic ones, and the scenes they share feel incredibly honest. "A Woman Under the Influence" still resonates with today's audiences, but its story doesn't justify its cumbersome length, which can be ponderous at times. Nevertheless, John Cassavetes' powerful tale of mental illness and domestic abuse is an accomplished work and a true stepping stone for independent cinema.
    Stephen E Super Reviewer

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