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Criterion Collection: Faces [DVD] [2009] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]

John Marley , Seymour Cassel , John Cassavetes    DVD
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
Price: £20.00
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Region 1 encoding (requires a North American or multi-region DVD player and NTSC compatible TV. More about DVD formats.)

Note: you may purchase only one copy of this product. New Region 1 DVDs are dispatched from the USA or Canada and you may be required to pay import duties and taxes on them (click here for details). Please expect a delivery time of 5-7 days.

Product details

  • Actors: John Marley, Seymour Cassel
  • Directors: John Cassavetes
  • Format: Black & White, DVD-Video, Special Edition, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.66:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Classification: Unrated (US MPAA rating. See details.)
  • Studio: Criterion
  • DVD Release Date: 17 Feb 2009
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0012TH9M0
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 271,088 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)



A sensation when it was released in 1968, this John Cassavetes film earned Oscar nominations for actors Seymour Cassel and Lynn Carlin. Improvised and shot in an edgy, hand-held fashion, the film examines the disintegration of the marriage of a couple in the mid-life doldrums. Each seeks solace elsewhere: husband John Marley with prostitute Gena Rowlands, wife Carlin with a free spirit played by Cassel. But neither finds anything approaching the fulfilment they feel is missing from the marriage. Indeed, in Cassavetes' probe of raw emotions, these people discover that, just maybe, the problem lies not with their spouse but with themselves. You need to be a fan of Cassavetes's loose, actor-friendly style to appreciate this intriguing but sometimes rambling drama. --Marshall Fine

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic 16 Mar 2013
Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
Great, great acting and directing. Maybe the best Cassavetes I've seen and one of the best movies in 20th century.
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6 of 17 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A fair look at marriage -Cassavetes style! 24 Jun 2004
Format:VHS Tape
I adore John Cassavetes. However, Faces is not one of my favourite Cassavetes films. In this film John Marley and Lynn Carlin play a couple who are going through a bad patch in their marriage and who seek excitement in the arms of others, Marley with prostitute Gena Rowlands and Carlin with groovy beatnik Seymour Cassel. The film's not bad in places as it shows how both parties fail to even find fulfillment in their affairs. Perhaps therefore the problem lies with themselves? The main problem with this film is that it goes on for far too long and you lose interest after a while as to whether Marley and Carlin will get back together. Anyway watch it and see what you think! Faces lacks the brilliance of other Cassavetes films!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3.7 out of 5 stars  23 reviews
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Acceptable DVD of a classic film. 20 Oct 1999
By Martin Doudoroff - Published on
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
"Faces" carries the dubious distinction of being considered the first "breakthrough" independent American feature.
"Faces" is a John Cassavetes film. It is also categorically one of the two or three greatest masterpieces of American cinema. (This is neither just a personal opinion, nor an exaggeration. This film is essential.) What makes this film so special will be lost on many domestic viewers, unfortunately, who simply aren't prepared for the experience. Nearly everything about the film is subversive of conventional Hollywood filmmaking techniques, and this is frustrating for people who aren't ready for it. For example, the film never "tells" you anything about the characters: you have to patiently observe them throughout the film, just as if they were real other people in the room. Furthermore, in typical Cassavetes' style, the characters' behavior is extreme, which can be unsettling. Finally, the film is pretty grim. However, if you're ready for a new experience, and can approach the viewing experience with an open and tolerant mind, this film will BLOW YOU AWAY.
The DVD is nothing special; I'm just grateful to have the film. The transfer isn't particularly sharp, and was made off an inglorious print. Framing -- full frame -- seems fine; if I remember correctly, the original (16mm) is not widescreen, so nothing should be lost. (The odd cropping that appears throughout the film is intentional.) Highest recommendation.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars All the Lonely People 20 Nov 2002
By Arch Llewellyn - Published on
I've never seen a movie quite like this in my life! It's technically raw, the sound's bad and half the time I had no idea what was going on, but it builds to a brilliant portrait of four lonely lives. The bad jokes and laughter that eat up so much film time connect loose, rambunctious scenes that defy strict narrative logic--after a while it feels like you're watching this movie from the inside, right in the thick of the cigarettes and booze. As usual, Cassavetes shoots the '60s from unexpected angles: his focus is on the middle-aged middle managers and their fading suburban wives, stuck on the wrong side of the Sexual Revolution but still desperate to feel young and fulfilled. The movie doesn't make fun of them but brings you into their world, where disappointment, age and the pressures of conformity are finally getting the best of their vitality. Imagine "The Graduate" told from Mrs. Robinson's point of view. The powerful last scene ends in silence after a suicide attempt--no laughs, no routines. The death of a marriage or a new beginning? Cassavetes rarely matched this level of intensity. "Faces" is one of his very best.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Criterion Collection Delivers Tribute to an Independent Classic 10 Jun 2010
By M. Warren - Published on
John Cassavetes is widely regarded as the father of the Independent film, who believed that risking anything was the only way to go, who bluntly told Scorsese Boxcar Bertha "sucked" (Scorsese then turned and created Mean Streets), and treated his crew like family who he payed very little (or at all). Whether or not Cassavetes is THE father of the Independent film is up to the film historians to decide. Besides, John Cassavetes was not interested in making films to make history or be the strict anti-trend to the big budget nature of Hollywood. John Cassavetes was interested in making films that give us truths about our lives, and he did so greatly, in a very different and low budget kind of nature that made his work seem even more honest. John Cassavetes Face's is, among the rest of his work, the most well known of his films to enter the public domain, and for many reasons is probably the best Cassavetes work to start with, next to A Women Under the Influence (a very devastating work).

Shot in Cassavetes' trademark documentary style filmmaking, the no BS approach to filming makes Faces even more realistic to watch. It is shot in high contrast black and white, and it look as low budget and unpolished as any other very low budget film. Don't be too surprised though, Faces is no banal third rate student film work. Cassavetes Oscar-nominated script effortlessly delves into the lives of these empty people and what makes them act the way they are. It is not a sloppy film either, as Cassavetes's camera work is actually quite inventive, and feels done right without making a big hoopla over how it is being used.

Much of Faces will not be explained in this review, and I think part of this is that this film raises tough questions about our lives, many of them that are arguably subjective out of the objective. Rest assured if you are looking for a film that will raise questions about the boring lives that some of us have the potential to lead, then watch this film. For even more insight into the film, I also recommend Cassavetes on Cassavetes, which is written by the leading scholar on Cassavetes, Ray Carney, who applies his own "Pragmatic Anesthetic" to the film.

Although previously sold in a bare bones DVD with no special features, the good folks at Criterion Collection will make sure that Cassavetes' works will be given the treatment they deserve. Although sometimes Criterion Collection doesn't quite stock up on special features, this two disc set on Faces packs quite a lot of interesting features along with the film (which is a substantial length at over two hours). You are getting your money's worth with this set, which includes insightful making into the film, an alternative opening, as well as an insightful documentary about the man himself. Since this is a great starting point, the inclusion of a introduction to Cassavetes himself is a very great addition. This is the DVD to start with if you are looking into Cassavetes. Thanks Criterion Collection!

A gusty and insightful look into the emptiness of the married middle age suburban demographic, Faces gets my high recommendation.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cassavetes film is brutally honest and realistic 6 Mar 1999
By A Customer - Published on
The state of independent film today, it is safe to say, would be radically different if it weren't for the pioneering art of John Cassavetes. His unapologetically realist style, coupled with intimate cooperation with his actors and his understanding of the emotional power of improvisation, has earned him the oft-applied title: Father of Independent Film. In Faces, the most mainstream-appreciated of his work, John Marley and Lynn Carlin are a middle-aged couple of swingers, trying to fill the gaps in their emotional relationship by having spontaneous trysts with socially peripheral characters--Marley with Gena Rowlands (a prostitute) and Carlin with Seymour Cassel (a beatnik). However, they find that they cannot be as casual as they wish, and end up tangled in all new romantic involvements with their lovers, which only serves to augment the emptiness they feel in their marriage. Cassavetes' ultra-realist camera style, alternatingly far-off/detached and then extremely close to the actors' faces (hence the title) reflects the characters' emotional states and yet, at the same time, is objectively distant--a style that has been aped recently in many indie features. John Cassavetes' son Nicholas has begun making his own movies (Unhook The Stars and She's So Lovely--written by his late father) and seems to be on the road to his own well-deserved success.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars When money is not an issue 6 July 2010
By Michael Kerjman - Published on
A story of a well-hilled Jewish-American family of which a bossy husband relaxing mostly with half his age junior females terrorises a bored wife with divorce, mistakenly underestimating her feminie skills pushes a spouse into her own sexual adventures, while a status quo mutual coexistence continued.

Good performing, long feature, not much to watch.
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