A Woman Under the Influence

Synopsis: Peter Falk is a blue collar man trying to deal with his wife's mental instability. He fights to keep a semblance of normality in the face of her bizarre behavior, but when her actions affect their children, he has her committed.
Genre: Drama, Romance
Director(s): John Cassavetes
Production: Criterion Collection
  Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 9 wins & 5 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
155 min

[ Chattering ]

[ Instrumental ]

[ Chattering Continues ]

[ Man ]

Hope you stick in the mud.

[ Chattering ]

[ Man Vocalizing ]

[ Chattering ]

[ Man ]

God, boy, you stink as a driver!

[ Vocalizing Continues ]

[ Man Scoffs ]

[ Horn Blows In Distance ]

[ Chattering ]

- [ Man ] Hey. Hold it, fellas. Wait.

- [ Man #2 ] Quiet.!

- [ Man #1 ] Quiet down.

- [ Man #3 ] No,you're kidding.

No. No. I gotta- I-

I'm with my family tonight.

I'm with my family.

Forget about it.

No, they're-

These men aren't going out again.

I want you to punch us out.

I don't wanna come in.

I got an unbreakable date.

With my wife.

My wife.

With my wife, you moron.

My wife!

jesus Christ.

The Palisades caved in.

- All night we gotta work.

- [ Men Groaning ]

- [ Man ] Oh, come on.

- No way. Forget about it.

Forget about it.

No way!

Hey, Chick, there is no way

we're gonna work tonight.


[ Tapping Cigarette Out ]

- [ Man ] Bravo.!

- [ Applause ]

[ Chattering ]

Last one out's a rotten egg.!

- [ Squealing ]

- Shh.

Oh, Tony, don't yell at the kids.

I don't want anything to go wrong.

Your mother's terribly nervous.

Get in the car.

Don't yell at the kids.

Please. Don't yell.

Everybody takes it out -

Maria, get in that car.

- Angelo, where are your shoes?

- Get in the car. Come on, Maria.

You can't go without your shoes. Here.

Hey, Tony, bring another sweater too.

A heavier sweater.

- Maria, have you got your pajamas?

- [ Woman ] I've got the pajamas.

Okay. Oh, Tony, get Angelo's bicycle

from in back too, will ya?

- I don't think he heard ya.

- Okay. I'll get it. I'll get it. Never mind.

[ Maria Whining ]

Come on. Get in there.

Sit down. All right.

- [ Boy ] Where's Mom?

- Sit back in the seat.

- Where's Mom?

- She's gone to get Angelo's bicycle.

[ Boy Chattering ]

Here. You get the back.

Got it? Okay.

How about it? All right?

- Yeah.

- Watch your fingers.

- Want it closed?

- Wheel. It's that wheel. It's -

- Keep the trunk-

- Oh, well. That's all right.

- I'll drive.

- Okay. Get in the car, kids.

- All right. Watch your fingers.

- Everybody in now.

- [ Maria ] I don't wanna go.

- Get in the backseat.

- Come on. Give me a kiss.

- Okay, Mom. We're all set.

- Okay, okay.

- Bye, Mom.

Get your fingers in.

Good-bye. Get your fingers.

- [ Engine Starts ]

- Wait a minute, Mother.

Mom, listen.

If anything happens -

Anything. I mean, if they're impossible,

I want you to call me.

I don't care if it's day or night.

Do you understand?

- Yes. All right.

- You hear what I'm saying, Ma?

- Yes.

- Because I don't want any slipups on this.

I don't want you getting chickenshit

and not calling me.

- Darling, I can take care of them.

- I don't want you saying...

''Mabel's having a wonderful time.

I don't want to disturb her''...

while one of my kids

is lying there bleeding.

- All right.

- Okay?

- All right.

- All right. Take off. Let's go.

Don't break my head. Sit down.

Everybody back. Everybody back.

Okay. All right.

Get back. Sit back.

- Everybody in?

- [ Mabel ] Go.

All right.

Turn your wheel. Okay.

- [ Child ] Mom.

- Okay.

Okay. All right.

Wait a minute.

Okay. Go. All right.

All right. Go.

- [ Car Stalls, Restarts ]

- Go. Good-bye. Go.

- Go.

- [ Child ] Bye, Mom.

That's it. Go.

Shouldn't have let 'em go.

I don't know.

I shouldn't have let 'em go.

I shouldn't have let 'em go. Damn.

I shouldn't have let 'em go.

[ Humming Softly ]

[ Whistling ]

- [ Opera ]

- [ Woman Singing In Italian ]

[ Man And Woman Singing ]

[ Continues ]

[ Continues ]

- [ Stops ]

- [ Man Shouting ]

[ Man ]

Hey. Easy, easy, easy.

[ Chattering ]

[ Man ]

Keep walking. Keep moving.

Oh! Oh!

Vito, go out there and get 'em started.

I wanna talk to Eddie.

What's wrong?

You worried about somethin', Nick?

Yeah, yeah. He's got somethin'

on his mind.

Why don't you go.

I want to talk to him.

- Okay. But if you need a good ear.

- Right. Thanks.

- Come on. That's right.

- [ Chattering ]

I promised her on my life

I'd be home tonight.

I promised her that this night was gonna be

a love night, a special night, somethin'.

I didn't know this goddamn thing

was gonna happen.

Water main in the middle of the night.

Bet you didn't even call her.

I can't call her.

How am I gonna call her?

She already sent the kids

to her mother's.

She'll climb the walls,

break dishes, scream.

Mabel's a delicate, sensitive woman.

Mabel's not crazy.

She's unusual.

She's not crazy, so don't say she's crazy.

This woman cooks, sews,

makes the bed, washes the bathroom.

What the hell is crazy about that?

I don't understand what she's doing.

I admit that.

But I think I know.

She's mad at me.

- Well, call her.

- You see, there's something wrong

with her, Eddie.

- Call her.

- She's not like a normal person.

This woman, you know,

she could get hit by a car...

burn down the house.

jesus Christ.

I don't know what she can do.

[ Phone Rings ]

Hi, baby.

Listen, I'm in trouble down here.

The -The water main downtown here burst.

The thing busted.

The whole thing is busted...

and there's water all over the place.

So -

I'm down here now.

I love ya.

It's fine, Nick.

Please believe me. It's fine.

[ Sighs ]

You all right?


Baby, I'm gonna make this up to ya.

I'm not goin' to work tomorrow.

I'm gonna take the day off tomorrow,

and we're gonna be together tomorrow.

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John Cassavetes

John Nicholas Cassavetes (; December 9, 1929 – February 3, 1989) was a Greek-American actor, film director, and screenwriter. Cassavetes was a pioneer of American independent film, writing and directing over a dozen movies, which he partially self-financed, and pioneered the use of improvisation and a cinéma vérité style. He also acted in many Hollywood films, notably Rosemary's Baby (1968) and The Dirty Dozen (1967). He studied acting with Don Richardson, utilizing an alternative technique to method acting which privileged character over traditional narrative. His income from acting made it possible for him to direct his own films independently.Cassavetes was nominated for three separate Academy Awards: Best Supporting Actor for The Dirty Dozen (1967), Best Original Screenplay for Faces (1968) and Best Director for A Woman Under the Influence (1974). His children Nick Cassavetes, Zoe Cassavetes, and Xan Cassavetes are also filmmakers. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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