Best Movies by Farr
A Woman Under the Influence Poster
Released Runtime Category
1974 146 Drama
Director Language
John Cassavetes English
Gena Rowlands, Peter Falk, Lady Rowlands, Fred Draper, Katherine Cassavetes

A Woman Under the Influence

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What's it About

Nick (Falk) and Mabel (Rowlands) are married and live in Los Angeles. Nick is the foreman of a construction crew and Mabel stays at home, somehow coping with their three children. Mabel tries hard to please the mercurial Nick but often ends up embarrassing him. Their relationship is loving but fractious. When Mabel’s mental state disintegrates, Nick reluctantly has her committed to an institution. Six months later she returns home. But is Mabel really cured?

Why we love it

Cassavetes’s seventh film is considered by many to be his masterpiece. Self-funded and distributed (he remortgaged his house in the process), this classic would go on to earn $12 million at the box office. It’s a brilliant, incisive, emotionally harrowing portrait of a woman trying to find herself while fighting mental instability and a volatile husband. It’s impossible to take one’s eyes off Rowlands, who is riveting whether silently observing others or in full-fledged meltdown. She and real-life husband Cassavetes were both nominated for Academy Awards. It’s a crime that neither won. Watch this “Woman”!

BEST MOVIES BY FARR is your personal guide to great movies to rent, stream, or buy; to watch at home or on-the-go. Led by film advocate John Farr, the Best Movies by Farr team works as a "quality filter" for the discerning moviegoer. Every day, we bring you the best of the best, the fantastic familiar films and hidden gems, to answer that age-old question: "What should we watch tonight?"