Opening Night 1976 PG-13 CC

Amazon Instant Video

(18) IMDb 8/10
Available in HD

Broadway actress Myrtle Gordon rehearses for her latest play, about a woman unable to admit that she is aging. When she witnesses the accidental death of an adoring young fan, she begins to confront the personal and professional turmoil she faces in her own life.

Starring:
Gena Rowlands, John Cassavetes
Runtime:
2 hours 25 minutes

Available in HD on supported devices.

Opening Night

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Product Details

Genres Drama
Director John Cassavetes
Starring Gena Rowlands, John Cassavetes
Supporting actors Ben Gazzara, Joan Blondell, Paul Stewart, Zohra Lampert, Laura Johnson, John Tuell, Ray Powers, John Finnegan, Louise Lewis, Fred Draper, Katherine Cassavetes, Lady Rowlands, Carol Warren, Briana Carver, Angelo Grisanti, Meade Roberts, Eleanor Zee, David Rowlands
Studio The Criterion Collection
MPAA rating PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Captions and subtitles English Details
Rental rights 3-day viewing period. Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Instant Video (streaming online video and digital download)

Customer Reviews

Once again, a fine performance from Gena Rowlands.
Mary Moehle
Why I love everything; everybody wants to be loved, especially older women.
Betty Burks
I knew she was good, but I never realized how good.
R.L.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Kelley Mills on April 17, 2000
Format: VHS Tape
First of all I am totally biased - words cannot express the respect I have for Gena Rowlands - she is my favorite actress. You can't help but be "seduced" by her - she is so lovely and has so much class. Even when the movie stinks bad she is at her utmost best. This movie confused me at first -but most Cassaveteses movies do. They frustrate and make one sweat with anger and anxiousness - and that's what makes them so good. Although it confused me it kept my attention and then I finally got it. Gena pulls you in making you sympathize with her plight while at the same time making you glad she gets what she deserves. I was a little disappointed that John had a small part - I love the way he's so cynical, distrusting, and funny at the same time. It's wonderful to see a man enjoy giving his lady the spotlight. I was new to his movies - absorbing them is an experience. How does the saying go - I was lost but now I'm found! If you're looking for entertainment that makes you think and summons your deepest emotions, well you've just hit the tip of the iceberg...
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Kulotta Mav on June 30, 2007
Format: DVD
so...I don't know about the dvd. I have only ever seen this as a movie on the big screen (thank you rep houses and indie cinemas!). but, if you like cassavettes films, opening night is one of his best. gena rowlands gives a mind-blowing performance as a woman dealing with and running from her fears and responsibilities. it's a gorgeous and heavy movie about how staggering it can be to come to terms with who you are and where you are in your life, vs. where you think you should be. of course, as it's a cassavettes film, it's also a lot about what you bring to it as well.

it won't please everyone(see one-star review) but it impresses the hell out of me every time I see it.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 5, 2002
Format: DVD
Just a note that for anyone who wants important background information about Opening Night and how it was made, I highly recommend Ray Carney's Cassavetes on Cassavetes book, which is available on [Amazon.com] at a great price. Carney has amazing behind-the-scenes information about how Cassavetes created all of his no-budget wonders completely outside the system. Carney knew Cassavetes and had a series of conversations with him before his death about his philosophy of life and art. Carney also has a terrific web site with writing on Cassavetes and other indie filmmakers. Great movie and great supporting info. Both well worth checking out.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By kjaer@post9.tele.dk on May 11, 1999
Truly outstanding film about the theater, actors and alcoholism. Only Cassavetes and Rowlands could get this kind of truth on to film - don't miss it! A huuuuuge hit here in Europe!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Mary Moehle on August 9, 2010
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Once again, a fine performance from Gena Rowlands. If you appreciate this actress, this is another film in which she shines. As a strong actress with an ability to find, reveal, and let us see the deep motivations that cloud our emotions, blur our intellect, and find justifications for decisions that are a little off-center, she is one of the best. "Opening Night" is a story of a popular but aging star about to open in a live-production, written by Joan Blondell, and follows her struggle to maintain her grip on life as extremely stressful events force her into more and more intense bouts of drinking. This condition worsens as the opening night approaches, and by the night of the big opening, arriving so late the production is almost cancelled, and so intoxicated she cannot stand by herself, we follow her intense struggle to "do her job". The final scenes of the movie are so tense, and so well-acted, I was tired but satisfied, that I was able to believe she had conquered her demons and would be able to overcome the problems converging on her life.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Cosmoetica on September 15, 2008
Format: DVD
John Cassavetes' 1977 film Opening Night is, what critics usually call the work of such a significant artist, `overlooked'. It is an excellent film, in its own right, and one of the best portraits of a midlife crisis ever put to film. It's not a perfect film, in that, at two hours and twenty four minutes it's about a half hour too long, and there's a bit too much emphasis on the drunkenness of the lead character Myrtle Gordon, played by Gena Rowlands, the wife of Cassavetes, long after we've gotten the point. But only Woody Allen's masterpiece, Another Woman, which also starred Rowlands, eleven years later, is a better portrait of the internal conflicts of an aging woman. Yet, Rowlands did win the Best Actress Award at the Berlin Film Festival for this portrayal, and it was well deserved. Often this film, written by Cassavetes, is easily compared to his earlier- and inferior- film, A Woman Under The Influence, but it's a spurious comparison. Rowlands' character in that film is severely mentally disturbed from the start, as well as coming from a blue collar background, while her characters in this film and in Allen's film are both artists who are haunted by apparitions. In this film it's the ghost of a dead young woman who can be seen as Myrtle's younger doppelganger, while in Allen's film it's her character's own past.... Many critics have taken this film to be a portrait of an alcoholic, seeing Myrtle surround herself with enablers, such as a stage manager who tells her, during opening night, `I've seen alot of drunks in my time, but I've never seen anyone as drunk as you who could stand up. You're great!', but this is wrong, for alcohol isn't her problem- nor is her chain smoking.Read more ›
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