MovieChat Forums > General Discussion > 'A Woman Under The Influence' on TV soon...

'A Woman Under The Influence' on TV soon!

11:55am - CINEMAX

10/10 - Gena Rowlands performance might have even trumped anything Marlon Brando did. Its on YouTube if you don't have cable.


I only know it from the hilarious title

Sounds like every gal I dated in college:/


The influence is her man, but you could have entitled it "A Man Under The Influence", too..

Its my #8 all-time. You might love it.


Funny, I always assumed it was about a drunk lady!

Well posted as usual BillšŸ‘


Thanks. If you won't watch it, I'll reply with a little bit about influence. The "influence", her husband (and MIL), the reason for her going out getting drunk. From the beginning Falk admits "She's mad at me" and how keeps on canceling time together. And she calls her mom (her real mom, too) to get the kids out of the house, and even then, she's concerned, and asks aloud if it was the right thing to do, but she wants special time with her husband. He flakes out on her again, and when he comes home, he brings 10 guys from work and says "Cook", and when she's trying to be friendly, he screams at her, and you can feel the tension of not wanting to be there, very awkward. But society looks at her as the crazy one because she's actually very human. She's an individual, which is very threatening to groups and people who follow stampedes. We never see one moment where she is negligent towards her children, or any other children.

I love the scene where Mabel is going to pick up her kids at the bus stop. She doesn't have the time, and she tries to ask a few women for the time. THEY are the ones who are crazy, they lack humanity. She even says "You have a watch!" - she is overly concerned for her kids, and wants to make sure she's there on time...

It's not just Nick, but it's his domineering mother who spies on her, and is constantly berating her in her own home. She does nothing but say how great of a man her son is - "He doesn't say anything". The doctor is horrible too. He is very patronizing towards Mabel, and when everyone gangs up on her, she finds refuge by dancing like a swan. We then see the faces of those who have antagonized her, as if dancing was so crazy. They have no imagination, and follow the herd.

Second half, we see Nick take care of the kids. Instantly, he shows he's inept. He wants to make his job easier, so he gets them drunk, and sick. Kids could have had alcohol poisoning, but as he says "You'll sleep like rocks."

I'm out of space already?????????


And even though he sees their sick, he is lonely (like Mabel was constantly waiting for Nick) and tries to ask each kid if they want to keep him company. Nick is the crazy one, but is enabled by his mother who protects him but to society they think "Ah, he's a man" or "He has a job and some status, he can't be crazy." But the family doesn't need financial help, and it's never even discussed (money problems). They need emotional security, especially for the children who have to watch.

Nick also seems to be more concerned with the appearance of "normal", at any cost. In the same scene he tells Mabel to be herself, but doesn't want that. He wants her to appear normalā€¦ Even after he stood her up (again, as we get a little insight from Nick while he talks to his coworkers about their relationship), he wants Mabel to cook for 15 men, and she is very happy to do it. She tries to make all his friends feel comfortable, and Nick goes berserk yelling at Mabel so bad that his co-workers/friends go home. Mabel is funny when she makes the snooty women with their noses up and says she's not like that, even uses a British accent with a condescending tone. Maybe Nick realizes he was wrong and says "you did nothing wrong" - so not only is Mabel more self-conscious and nervous, but she doesn't know how to act. She wants to please her husband at all costs, but she has to be herself. Even with Nick hits Mabel, no one objects, not the mother, not the doctor. Later when he slaps her again it's only the children who object, especially the oldest boy, who wants to protect his mother, even after Nick threatens to kill everyone!

Notice when she comes back, she's very quiet, and this time for a chance, it's Nick's mother who is a little more helpful, and tells Nick what he's doing is a bad idea, considering where she's coming from.

I loved this movie the first time, and every time I watch it again, I see more. Cassavetes doesn't give messages directly, doesn't have the characters as conduit


conduits for how are feeling, he shows it on the screen, sometimes with just a look, body language, or what the characters don't say.

(These character limits need to be increased... Maybe we could have some REAL movie debates, instead of a bunch of silly smiley face conversations)


Gee whiz Bill!
I dig your enthusiasm for this picture
I'll check it out this evening...And I'll do my best but I'm more of a zombie/kung fu/car chase sort of guy...I'll do my best
Thanks for the reco Bill


You're welcome. I just love movies, and I love this, because it gave me another heart :)

I'll be interested in your response.