An Unmarried Woman

Synopsis: Erica is unmarried only temporarily in that her successful, wealthy husband of seventeen years has just left her for a girl he met while buying a shirt in Bloomingdale's. The film shows Erica coming to terms with the break-up while revising her opinions of herself, redefining that self in its own right rather than as an extension of somebody else's personality, and finally going out with another man. Erica refuses to drop everything for Saul, an abstract expressionist painter, simply out of love for him because he expects her to. It is not so much loneliness that is her problem, and the problems that men, flitting around this newly "available" woman like moths round a flame, bring to her sense of independence.
Genre: Comedy, Drama, Romance
Director(s): Paul Mazursky
Production: 20th Century Fox Film Corporation
  Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 6 wins & 14 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
124 min

Jesus Christ! Look at this.

My sneaker's ruined!

- They're only $35.

- F***ing city's turned into

one big pile of dog sh*t!

Come on out and take a crap on me!

Everybody else is! F***.

- Give it back to the poodles.

- What's the point of jogging

for two and a half miles?

Giving yourself lung cancer.

Tell you somethin', Erica.

The longer I'm married to you...

the more you sound like my mother.

Clean your own sneaker.

- You wanted me to step in it.

- You're going crazy, Martin.

- Yeah?

- Yes.

Why would I want you to step in dog sh*t?

Well, that's a good question.

- Oh, God.

- Oh, I'm sorry.

I'm not your mother.

- You know.

- Yeah.

Listen, do you think we got time

for a little quickie?

I got about 11 minutes.

Hey, come on!

Gimme a break here.

I'm gettin' frostbite.

Jesus, I got to quit smoking.

- I saw Jacobs on Tuesday. Did I tell you?

- Uh-uh.

Yeah, I went in

for my annual physical.

How are you?


You sound surprised.

Well, you know,

I go up there for the damn thing...

and my blood pressure goes up 20 points

from the anxiety of having to take the exam.

- What are you doing today?

- Working at the gallery.

Oh, yeah.

Goin'to school.

- Hi.

- Hi.

- Hi, sweetie.

- Hi.


Did the earth move?


I'm telling you,

we expose that kid to too much.

- Well, we still lock the door.

- Yeah, yeah, yeah.

- Have a good time. See you tonight.

- Mm-hmm.

"Tonight, the ballet worid

was introduced...

"to a brilliant new talent

"the long-awaited debut

of Erica Benton.

"Miss Benton astounded

the ballet worid last night...

in her incredible

performance of Swan Lake. "

"Her pas de deux

were breathtaking."

- Hello.

- Hi.

There she is.

- Hi.

- Hi. How are you?

- You look great.

- Oh, I'm sorry I'm late.

You're just in time for some big news.

- Well.

- Oh, hi. Uhhh.

- Wine.

- Let's have a glass another carafe. Okay?

- Yeah. And, uh...

- Anything else?

- Steamer Vic.

- Refills for everybody.

- Are you ready?

- You're in love.

Would that I were.

It's not my news.

- Sue.

- The only thing that happened

to me last week was...

my elevator man

got arrested for flashing.

- What is it, Jeannette?

- I met a man.

Well, that's terrific!

- Well, there's a little problem.

- He's married.


- He's very young.

- You're not close.

- How young?

- He's 19.

- Oh, Jesus.

- I know. I know.

- He's very mature.

- Nineteen?

The problem is:
Does she f*** him,

or does she adopt him?

I'm a terrible person. I'm drunk,

and I'm giddy, and I'm going to the loo.

- Sorry, Jeannette.

- It's okay.

I think Elaine's

going through early menopause.

It is so ironic. I've dated so many men...

in the last few years

that were my age or older...

and Steven his name is Steven

is the first man that I've really liked...

- since my divorce.

- Well, what's he like?

He's calm, quiet.

He doesn't come on.

He's very bright.

He's not afraid to be tender.

Well, if you were a man and you

were talking about a 19-year-old girl...

then there would be

no problem, would there?

No, I worry about Teddy.

I mean, how do you tell a six-year-old child

his new daddy is a teenager?

- Where does he live now?

- With his parents.

Maybe I should adopt him.

Did I miss anything?


It's just that last night was so incredible.

I put Teddy to bed,

and Steven came over.

We just sat and talked

all night long.

- I mean, till 7:00 this morning.

- What did you talk about?

We talked a lot about loneliness.

- Got kind of emotional.

- Then?

- Promise you won't laugh?

- I promise.

Well, then he undressed me,

and he gave me a massage.

And it was the most incredible

experience I think I've ever had in my life.

- I'll bet.

- Was it sexual?

That's it. It was and it wasn't.

I mean,

he massaged my feet and my toes...

and he massaged my fingers.

He massaged my eyes.

He actually massaged my eyes.

And then I had an orgasm.

And then another

and then another.

I'd say it was sexual.

There ain't nothin' wrong with a good,

old-fashioned eyeball orgasm.

Oh, I love them. I mean,

I couldn't live without them.

- Have you read the latest book?

- No, I didn't.

- You think I'm going crazy.

- Crazy? What's this boy's phone number?

- Don't be offended, okay?

- No. What? What?

- Is he being honest with you?

- That's pretty naive, Erica.

- No, it isn't.

- No, it's not.

There's no such thing

as total honesty...

not with men.

They're all wrapped up in sexual ego.

- What the hell is sexual ego, Elaine?

- Never getting enough.

Always on the make.

Constantly worried about performing.

That's ridiculous. I know lots of men who

are interested in other things besides sex.

- Name one.

- My husband.

Harold hasn't made a pass in six months.

Well, listen, Elaine. Don't you think

you're taking this thing a little too far?

Me? No.

- I think you're getting to be a man-hater.

- I love men!

We're talking about their honesty.

- Do you think Martin is totally honest?

- I don't think about it.

I think Erica has the second-best man

in the five boroughs.

- Thank you.

- You're welcome, I'm sure.

I think what I'm gonna do is just go along

with things the way they are...

- and just see what happens.

- Have fun, honey.

The worst that can happen

is that it'll end.

No, I think the worst that could happen

is that his parents will find out.

You're fabulous.

Rate this script:3.0 / 2 votes

Paul Mazursky

Irwin Lawrence "Paul" Mazursky (April 25, 1930 – June 30, 2014) was an American film director, screenwriter, and actor. Known for his dramatic comedies that often dealt with modern social issues, he was nominated for five Academy Awards: three times for Best Original Screenplay, once for Best Adapted Screenplay, and once for Best Picture for An Unmarried Woman (1978). Other films written and directed by Mazursky include Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice (1969), Blume in Love (1973), Harry and Tonto (1974), Moscow on the Hudson (1984), and Down and Out in Beverly Hills (1986). more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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