Gloria

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Notwithstanding Cassavetes' own dismissal of this crime thriller fantasy as a commercial chore he made for Disney so that his wife could act opposite a kid, it's clear from the opening montage that we're in the hands of a master. The film moves gracefully from painted credits through an exhilarating aerial survey of Manhattan by night to a vexed woman struggling to leave a crowded bus, all to the soulful strains of Bill Conti's lovely jazz/orchestral score. Rowlands is typically superb as the tough talking New York moll - half-whore, half-mother - reluctantly lumbered with a prematurely macho Latino boy (Adames) whose family have been killed by the Mob. As they go on the run, antagonism inevitably turns into affection, but Cassavetes and the two leads keep maudlin sentimentality at bay until the very bitter end, when the film basically 'fesses up that movie-style happy endings are the stuff of pipe dreams. Terrific.

Release details

Duration: 121 mins

Cast and crew

Director: John Cassavetes
Screenwriter: John Cassavetes
Cast: Gena Rowlands
Basilio Franchina
Lupe Guarnica
John Adames
Julie Carmen
Buck Henry
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