A Woman Under the Influence

Watch A Woman Under the Influence

"A powerful, emotional look at love, marriage, compromise and life. So much truth and honesty in one motion picture will leave you emotionally exhausted."
  • R
  • 1974
  • 2 hr 35 min
  • 8.1  (28,316)
  • 88

A Woman Under the Influence is a 1974 American drama film directed and written by John Cassavetes. It stars Gena Rowlands as Mabel, a wife and mother of three who struggles with mental illness, and Peter Falk as her husband Nick, a construction worker. The film also features Fred Draper as George, a neighbor who becomes involved in Mabel's life.

The film follows Mabel as she navigates her daily life, which is plagued by her erratic behavior and emotional outbursts. Nick struggles to keep the family together and support his wife, as her actions become increasingly unpredictable and threaten their marriage. The couple's interactions are tense, with Nick at times appearing unaware or uncaring of Mabel's mental state.

Throughout the film, Mabel's mental illness is never explicitly named or diagnosed, but it is clear that she is suffering from some form of manic or bipolar disorder. She experiences delusions, hallucinations, and intense mood swings, often becoming hyperactive and manic or depressed and withdrawn.

Rowlands delivers a powerful and nuanced performance as Mabel, capturing the character's vulnerability, fear, and frustration. Falk is equally impressive as Nick, conveying the character's love for his wife while also struggling to understand and cope with her illness. Their interactions are both heartbreaking and at times darkly comedic, highlighting the strain that mental illness can put on a relationship.

The film's use of long takes and naturalistic dialogue adds to its gritty realism, creating an immersive and intense viewing experience. Cassavetes eschews traditional narrative conventions, allowing the film to unfold organically and without unnecessary exposition. This approach highlights the isolation and confusion felt by Mabel and Nick, as they struggle to navigate their way through Mabel's illness and the societal pressures to conform to conventional gender roles.

Despite its challenging subject matter, A Woman Under the Influence is an incredibly moving and humanistic film. It is a poignant exploration of love, mental illness, and the ways in which societal expectations can cause individuals to feel trapped and powerless. The film's emotional impact and complex characters have resonated with audiences for decades, cementing its status as a classic of American independent cinema.

In addition to its critical acclaim, A Woman Under the Influence was a commercial success, earning over $6 million at the box office on a budget of just $1 million. The film was nominated for two Academy Awards, including Best Actress for Rowlands' unforgettable performance.

Overall, A Woman Under the Influence is a masterful and deeply affecting film that pulls no punches in its portrayal of mental illness and its impact on families. Its raw honesty and powerful performances make it a must-watch for fans of independent cinema and all those looking to better understand the human condition.

A Woman Under the Influence is a 1974 drama with a runtime of 2 hours and 35 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 8.1 and a MetaScore of 88.

A Woman Under the Influence
Where to Watch A Woman Under the Influence
A Woman Under the Influence is available to watch, stream, download and buy on demand at Amazon Prime, Max, Apple TV, Amazon, Google Play and Vudu. Some platforms allow you to rent A Woman Under the Influence for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    2 hr 35 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    8.1  (28,316)
  • Metascore