5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 28 October 2007
"Opening night" (1977), written and directed by John Cassavetes, is a strange and emotional film that will make an impact on you. This story shows a human being during a period of deep emotional turmoil, and professional confusion.
The main character is Myrtle Gordon (played by a wonderful Gena Rowlands),a famous actress that is unable to cop with the death of a young admirer, killed in an accident near her. As if that were enough, Myrtle is afraid of really playing her part in a new play, due to the fact that she is supposed to be a woman that is getting old, something that she knows is true in real life. How does Myrtle cope with her fear of aging, and her remorse for not being there for her fan? What if she feels she is not able to act anymore? Too many questions, and answers that can be found in this film.
On the whole, I can say that I really enjoyed "Opening night". Watching this movie is not easy, but once you finish it you realize why it is worthwhile to do so...
If you can, watch "Opening night" before "All about your mother", as Almodovar's movie was partly inspired on this film.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 17 August 2003
Gena Rowlands (the real-life of the late John Cassavetes)is compelling and excellent to watch as a stage actress (Myrtle Gordon)at the peak of her profession who suffers a mental breakdown following the tragic and accidental death of a teenage fan.John Cassavetes the father of American independent cinema is a true genius at showing the complexties of human beings and human emotions in all of his films. In 'Opening Night,' he shows that a celebrity's life is not as charmed as everyone perceives it to be.
I felt sorry for Myrtle when I saw the film and how she broke down after the death of her teenage fan. One is sympathetic towards her as you realise her life is not that happy in spite of her fame and and achievements, she has sacrificed marriage and motherhood for her art, she has a drink problem,age is creeping up on her and for 'older,'actresses acting parts are limited and she is haunted by images of the dead teenage girl appearing before her.
Opening Night is a good film and I would recommend this film to anyone to see as an example of John Cassavetes' fine talent as a director.The film has an impressive supporting cast of actors such as Ben Gazzara, Joan Blondell and Cassavetes himself plus cameo appearances from other Cassavetes regulars such as Seymour Cassel and Peter Falk. It is one of the few films made that truly examines the emotional ups and downs of an actor's life and the pressure of life in the public eye.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 25 August 2013
If you are a Gena Rowlands aficionado like me, you will love this movie. It's pure Gena; everyone else just sort of languishes in the background, unable to outshine Gena's radiant presence. Unlike A Woman Under The Influence (AWUTI), this movie has a humourous side to it, although often in a tragic way. The movie comes from Cassavetes' golden age (mid to late 1970s), when he could do no wrong in my eyes, although that didn't stop the movie flopping when it was released. I actually prefer this movie over AWUTI.
I'm docking it one star because the transfer is not perfect. Colour and detail are good, but there is a little bit of damage (specks, splotches, lines) every now and again. These problems could have been fixed. If you have a small TV you won't notice these problems. I'm only pointing them out because I have a projector, which tends to magnify visual problems.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 16 December 2005
Cassavetes is better than any other artist I can think of at conveying the disorientation of life and this is probably his strangest, most poetic and most thoughtful life study of all. There's a profound ambiguity in the portrayal of the traumatised Rowlands character, sympathetic, but with no easy assumption of being able to understand or agree with her. Her constant refusal to play along with the play she's rehearsing could be perversity, prima-donnaishness or artistic integrity, just as her intermingled problems with the death of her teenage fan and her own aging may be a nervous breakdown, a literal haunting or possession or a particularly rigorous and gruelling process of coming to grips with the character she's playing. Similar uncertainties pervade almost every moment of the film. 'If I had known what a boring man you were before I married you...' says Ben Gazzara's wife just before making a playful pass at him, one among many peculiarly slippery to read moments, culminating in and weirdly foreshadowing the strange, brilliant denoument in the theatre at the end.
on 14 February 2015
John Cassavetes Collection of movie "Opening Night" is an interesting movie about how we people change attitudes when we became older.As a movie,the content is created with a meta-perspective.How people- with clothes for a feast- visit a theatre,where the actors play the content of the movie.The shifts of camera perspectives is also interesting,showing the faces of actors,view about the theathre visitors from the scene,about the work behind the curtain,socially,psychologically,economically.And at the same time a delicate description of the star-actor is her search of meaning to the playwriterś content.In the end she finds it-after her unhappy drunkenness which her actor-friend changes the content for,with humour.A great movie.