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Husbands and Wives

82 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

A tale of two married couples confronted with change who are forced to re-evaluate universal questions about marriage, fidelity, romance, trust and love. Blending his comedic and dramatic styles, Woody Allen revisits themes from his past films--relationships, commitment, and the complexities of thehuman heart.

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Woody Allen, Blythe Danner, Judy Davis, Mia Farrow, Juliette Lewis
  • Directors: Woody Allen
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, Dubbed, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: French, Portuguese, English, Spanish
  • Dubbed: French
  • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 1 encoding (US and Canada only)
    Some Region 1 DVDs may contain Regional Coding Enhancement (RCE). Some, but not all, of our international customers have had problems playing these enhanced discs on what are called "region-free" DVD players. For more information on RCE, click .
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: January 1, 2002
  • Run Time: 108 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (82 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000062XE6
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #22,788 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Husbands and Wives" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Bernard Chapin on February 20, 2005
Format: DVD
I have been a major Woody Allen fanatic since I was 10 years old, but only now, after my third viewing of "Husbands and Wives" did I fully comprehend the importance of this film within his oeuvre. It's home movie feel and documentary style provide subtle integrity for its frames. The acting and the characterization are superb. This may be the best cast he ever assembled with producer, and non-actor, Sydney Pollack even putting forth a remarkable performance. The audience will care about all of the players and wonder exactly what will happen in the end.

Allen denied repeatedly that "Husbands and Wives" was autobiographical but it would be impossible for it not to have been given the events of his life. Here we see him play a writer who, just like Allen, is cherished by fans for his "funnier early works." One wonders whether his affair with Soon-Yi had begun at the time of its production and what exactly his interactions with Farrow were like.

Allen was clearly working through many of his own personal dilemmas and that is exactly why the film is so authentic and believable. It will touch in some way most who see it as sometimes life really does imitate art.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Mary C. Dubrock on July 8, 2004
Format: DVD
Never has a movie about relationships hit so many nerves on so many levels. It takes guts to view this film with an open mind. I takes familiarity with relational boredom and heartache to understand it completely.
Woody Allen delves into the minds and dysfunctional lives of two and then four couples with the deftness of a ninja in "Husbands and Wives." Rarely have I seen such candor in depiction of the seven year itch. It is a place in time that will be familiar to many couples given the opportunity for honesty and will likely create interesting if not brutal debate in the most secure of unions.
The hand held camera used in many of the scenes are not for those prone to motion sickness. Nonetheless, it creates an intimacy and urgency that grant the film credence at its most passionate moments.
Each of the characters is someone that the viewer probably knows in situations that they would never discuss, leaving him both baffled and sympathetic.
I highly recommend the film to those viewers able to be honest enough and possibly brave enough to face their most intimate relational demons.
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25 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Elderbear VINE VOICE on June 10, 2002
Format: DVD
He's not happy with her, their friends aren't happy with each other, the friends break up, he flinging with his aerobics instructor, she, trying to indulge in an editor, while everybody self-consciously tells the viewers what they will not tell their (ex-)spouses. We see manipulation posing as truth, vulnerable facades imitating intimacy, lust mimicking passion, and discover, in the end, that perhaps the only true desire in a Woody Allen movie is to dodge happiness & to take pleasure in the misery of knowing that it probably wouldn't have worked out anyhow.
Confused yet?
I can't imagine anybody still in the "honeymoon" stage of a First Great Love appreciating this movie. For those scarred by years of relationship campaigning, much of Allen's view may ring all-too-true. I won't say how many times I saw myself, my wife, and ex-lovers plastered against the screen.
Throughout the movie, individuals and couples long for intimacy, for lasting passion, for refreshment, but end up settling for comfort, manipulation, and denial. I wanted to scream. I hoped, hopelessly, for hope--this is, after all, a Woody Allen Movie--but was left, in the end, with Gabriel (literally "God's Hero") telling viewers that love, romance, and passion can only exist as a neurotic and fleeting figment of experience.
Damned if I'm willing to settle for that. And perhaps that's the great strength of this movie. It could, after all, be a satire, not about mid-life-crisis-men seeking youth through young lovers, but showing, in the crassest relief, how barriers and little deceits ultimately lead to destruction and misery in relationships. And maybe that's where the hope lies, in learning to be honest in a way that none of Allen's characters can be, not even with themselves.
(If you'd like to discuss this review or DVD in more depths, please click the "about me" link above and drop me an email. Thanks!)
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By R. J. Marsella on November 14, 2004
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Woody Allen displays his more serious and darker take on relationships in this very mature look at marriage and mid-life crisis. The movie is painfully realistic and is presented as a docu-drama that allows the viewer to evesdrop on the characters most intimate conversations. The actors are all superb. I found Sydney Pollack's performance as a husband who uses a trial separation from his wife (Judy Davis) as a pretext to pursue an affair with a younger woman and then has a change of heart as his eyes gradually open to the absurdity of what he's done , particularly strong. His actions initiate a chain of events that results in Allen and Mia Farrow's characters questioning their own relationship which results in turmoil in their lives as well.

There are scenes that are so well written and acted that they are riveting. We watch these somehow familiar circumstances because we recognise these characters as people we know.

This is a very serious film with very few true comedic moments so if you're seeking a few yucks look elsewhere.
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