HUSBANDS
1970, Sony Repertory, 131 min, USA, Dir: John Cassavetes

Death, booze and gambling dominate this dour, yet strangely life-affirming dissection of masculinity and the male ego. Cassavetes’ fifth feature, HUSBANDS follow three men, who abandon their wives and adult responsibilities for purely hedonistic exploits after learning of the death of a common friend. Seeing camaraderie as the only antidote for existential dread, the trio makes its way to London, where they forge a stronger bond while becoming further disconnected from reality. Starring Ben Gazzara, Peter Falk and Cassavetes himself, the film is a painful, sublime, and often funny portrait of grief and desperation.


A WOMAN UNDER THE INFLUENCE
1974, Westchester Films, 155 min, USA, Dir: John Cassavetes

Director John Cassavetes continued his ongoing collaboration with spouse Gena Rowlands and friend Peter Falk in this emotion-shredding tale of a Los Angeles housewife tenuously holding onto her sanity while trying to fulfill the expectations of her husband, children and society at large. Rowlands is stupendous as the woman in search of her self (her performance was nominated for an Oscar, along with Cassavetes for his direction), and Falk is astonishing in his portrayal of an alternately tender and boorish working-class hero who loves his wife deeply but is totally at sea on how to cope with her.


THE IN-LAWS
1979, Warner Bros., 103 min, USA, Dir: Arthur Hiller

Giant tsetse flies, the Bay of Pigs, dictators with talking hands, flames on your car: One of the laugh-out-loud funniest movies of the past 25 years stars Alan Arkin as a middle-class dentist who finds himself thrown together with delusional CIA agent Peter Falk when their children decide to get married. Serpentine, Shel, serpentine!


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