A Woman Under the Influence (1974)


“Mabel is not crazy, she’s unusual. She’s not crazy, so don’t say she’s crazy.” – Nick

Number of Times Seen – 1 (7 Sep 2018)

Brief Synopsis – A woman suffering from a mental illness tries to keep her life, marriage and family together.

My Take on it – this film does a very interesting job of showing how the effects of a mental illness can be on a loving family no matter how hard they try to not let it be a real issue in life.

The calm that they sometimes feel is often disrupted by bouts that are beyind their control.

Peter Falk is superb in the lead male role as he tries to do all he can to keep his family together throughout this troubling time.

He is cast completely against type here and it works extremely well.

Gena Rowlands tho steals every scene with her role that earned her a Best Actress Award at the Golden Globes and an Oscar nomination for this portrayal.

The story itself, while presented well, drags way too much and there are too many scenes that should have been trimmed to make things feel more compelling.

Two and a half hours is a bit too long for this film and it shows far too often along the way that is probably should have been much shorter.

Bottom Line – Interesting look at how a mental illness can affect a family and disrupt their calm way of life. Falk is great in the lead especially since he is cast against character but Rowlands steals the show with her Oscar nominated / Globe winning performance.  The story drags on a bit too much and has too many lulls along the way and would have been better if it would have been shorter.

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – To help fund the film, John Cassavetes remortgaged his home and Peter Falk chipped in with some of his earnings from Columbo (1971). When no one wanted to buy “Influence”, Cassavetes spent $750,000, most of it his own money, to release it, with the guidance of young distributor Jeff Lipsky. He helped to “four-wall” or rent out movie theaters to show the film and it ended up playing around the world, eventually grossing $12 million. (From IMDB)

Rating – BAFTA Worthy (6/10)

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2 thoughts on “A Woman Under the Influence (1974)

  1. Pingback: Temporal Top Ten – 1974 |

  2. Pingback: Did They Get it Right? – Best Actress – Oscars 1974 | MovieRob

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