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Husbands (1970)

PG-13 | | Comedy, Drama | 8 December 1970 (USA)
After the death of a common friend, three married men leave their lives together, seeking pleasure and freedom and ultimately leaving for London.

Director:

John Cassavetes

Writer:

John Cassavetes
Reviews
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Ben Gazzara ... Harry
Peter Falk ... Archie Black
John Cassavetes ... Gus Demetri
Jenny Runacre ... Mary Tynan
Jenny Lee Wright Jenny Lee Wright ... Pearl Billingham
Noelle Kao Noelle Kao ... Julie
John Kullers John Kullers ... Red
Meta Shaw Stevens Meta Shaw Stevens ... Annie (as Meta Shaw)
Leola Harlow Leola Harlow ... Leola
Delores Delmar Delores Delmar ... The Countess
Eleanor Zee Eleanor Zee ... Mrs. Hines
Claire Malis Claire Malis ... Stuart's Wife
Peggy Lashbrook Peggy Lashbrook ... Diana Mallabee
Eleanor Cody Gould Eleanor Cody Gould ... 'Normandy' Singer
Sarah Felcher Sarah Felcher ... Sarah
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Storyline

A common friend's sudden death brings three men, married with children, to reconsider their lives and ultimately leave together. But mindless enthusiasm for regained freedom will be short-lived. Written by Fabrizio Sabidussi

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

A comedy about life, death and freedom

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for mature thematic elements including sexual situations, language, drunkenness, and brief domestic violence | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | French | Italian | Cantonese

Release Date:

8 December 1970 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Husbands: A Comedy About Life, Death and Freedom See more »

Filming Locations:

London, England, UK See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Faces Music See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(original) | (TV) | | (dubbed)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The production shoot for this film ran for around six months during the first half of the 1969 year. See more »

Quotes

Archie Black: Well, I'd be a professional athlete because they really put out. And they got no excuses, and they feel good, and they get sweaty. You know, you have a beer, and you're with guys you like.
Gus Demetri: I was gonna be a basketball player. I had all the moves. I was quick enough. Too short.
Archie Black: I love baseball. I love golf. I love pool. I love track. I love Ping-Pong. I love volleyball. I love badminton. What else is there?
Gus Demetri: Football.
Archie Black: Lacrosse! Now there's a hell of a game!
See more »

Crazy Credits

There are no closing credits and no "THE END" title card. The screen just goes black. In the opening credits, everyone involved in the film (even the "little people") are credited on two "tell all" title cards, right on down from the actors to the grips, a total of 82 credits. See more »

Alternate Versions

The original theatrical release ran 154 minutes. The out-of-print VHS release from Columbia/Tristar runs 132 minutes. See more »

Connections

Featured in Peter Falk versus Columbo (2019) See more »

Soundtracks

When Irish Eyes Are Smiling
(1912) (uncredited)
Music by Ernest Ball
Lyrics by Chauncey Olcott and George Graff
Sung a cappella by "Charlie" (probably Charles Gaines)
See more »

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User Reviews

Cassavetes, Falk, Gazzara in Film Breakthrough
6 May 2000 | by silentgpaleoSee all my reviews

HUSBANDS is full of unexpected events.

Some of John Cassavetes' films can be hard to watch. OPENING NIGHT is an interesting experiment, top-heavy with subplots. GLORIA was an aborted attempt at a more commercial film. Although Gena Rowlands would kick Sharon Stone's butt if both of their films were compared, the pace to Cassavetes' GLORIA is languid. Not what you'd expect from an action film.

This is, however, one of the Cassavetes' traits: the element of surprise.

There are alot of surprises in HUSBANDS. The film begins with a funeral, as Falk, Gazzara, and Cassavetes put their friend to rest. This event depresses these men, and they go on a drinking binge that seems to last the rest of the movie. There is drinking, carousing, horseplay, sex with female strangers, and a conspicuous tendancy to ignore the wives. These are married men, but until their conscious returns to them, they seem to forget that.

HUSBANDS is what I would term as a humble classic. The main reason why I consider myself a Cassavetes fan is because his films are humble. They are always ambitious, mind you, but I love the choices that Cassavetes makes in his editing, and his casting. Cassavetes allows the actors to explore the characters as they are acting on camera, and sometimes this leaves the rough edges of improvisation showing. He knows how to draw out un-self-conscious performances, and there is sometimes gold mined from this method.

Along with WOMAN UNDER THE INFLUENCE, this is my favorite of the films in Cassavetes catalogue. While HUSBANDS is Cassavetes "man" film, I suppose...INFLUENCE could be seen as his "woman" film. But, to be fair, Cassavetes made films about both sexes, and usually quite successfully. If you have heard of Cassavetes and are not familiar with his work, this is a good place to start.

HUSBANDS, in its climaxes and anti-climaxes, ends up feeling more and more like reality as you watch it. There are strange moments, and as I said before many surprises. But these are some of the kinds of moments that make up life: When a friend goes from laughter to tears in moments, when a joke is no longer funny, and becomes more serious than a heart attack. HUSBANDS is about common people, and how uncommon they can sometimes be. There is darkness, and there is light. Watch HUSBANDS to know what I'm talking about.


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