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Another Woman

4.3 out of 5 stars 74 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Writer/director Woody Allen delivers a powerful, "searing adult drama" (Leonard Maltin) examining the life of an accomplished philosophy professor teetering on the brink of self-understanding. Boasting a superb cast led by Gena Rowlands, Mia Farrow, Ian Holm and Gene Hackman, Another Woman is Allen's 17th triumphant film. Stylistically rich and technically expert, the film layers past and present, dialogue and narration, reality and metaphor, to achieve a "lucidity and compassion of an order virtually unknown in American movies" (Time). Intelligent, accomplished and happily married, Marion (Rowlands) considers her life fulfilling until a chance encounter with a troubled stranger (Farrow) offers her a brief but piercing glimpse at her inner emptiness. Drifting in a loveless marriage and denying her feelings for another man (Hackman), Marion is shocked when she accidentally learns of her husband's (Holm) infidelity. Taking this as a sign to change her life, Marionconfronts the true depth of her own emotional hunger and the frightening intensity of a passion shehas ignored for too long.


This underrated film is by far Woody Allen's most satisfying I-wish-I-were-Ingmar Bergman movie, and in its elegantly constrained fashion it teems with imagination--not to mention a glorious cast. Gena Rowlands plays a philosophy professor who, subletting an apartment as a writing office, finds that the confidences murmured to her psychiatrist neighbor are audible through the air vents. In particular, the fears and desperation of a younger, very pregnant woman (Mia Farrow) trigger a stream of reveries regarding the professor's own life, past romances, and troubled family. Some of these seem to be straightforward memories (though we take too much for granted, and that's part of the point); others are theatrically stylized, with different actors taking over roles initiated by others (Rowlands sometimes appears in long-ago flashbacks, trading off with Margaret Marx as her younger self).

Allen had, like his protagonist, recently turned 50, and the sense of personal stocktaking here is much more compelling--and much less self-indulgent--than in a lot of his other films. Surely the magisterial presence of Rowlands made a big difference. She's in excellent company, including Ian Holm as the prof's tightly wrapped husband, Sandy Dennis as the dear old actress friend who hates her guts, and John Houseman as her widower father. Like Lloyd Nolan's in Hannah and Her Sisters and Keye Luke's in Alice, Houseman's turned out to be a valedictory performance. We cherish it--along with the inspired casting of David Ogden Stiers as, in effect, the younger John Houseman. --Richard T. Jameson

Special Features

  • Collectible Booklet

Product Details

  • Actors: Gena Rowlands, Mia Farrow, Ian Holm, Blythe Danner, Gene Hackman
  • Directors: Woody Allen
  • Writers: Woody Allen
  • Producers: Charles H. Joffe, Helen Robin, Jack Rollins, Robert Greenhut, Thomas A. Reilly
  • Format: Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono), Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Subtitles: Spanish, French
  • Dubbed: Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    Parental Guidance Suggested
  • Studio: MGM (Video & DVD)
  • DVD Release Date: June 5, 2001
  • Run Time: 81 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (74 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005AUJI
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #28,792 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Another Woman" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By B. Marold HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on June 3, 2005
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
`Another Woman', written and directed by Woody Allen, is his third and, I believe, last totally serious film, following hard on `September' and several films after his first drama, `Interiors'. Like both earlier dramas, and unlike most of his comedies, the locations are strictly limited to a few interiors and a few nondescript street scenes. The cast may well be the most distinguished ever assembled in an Allen movie, headed up by Gina Rowlands, Gene Hackman, John Houseman, Mia Farrow, and Ian (Bilbo Baggins) Holm. The second rank of actors alone would light up a lesser movie, including Blythe Danner, Betty Buckley, Sandy Dennis, Harris Yulin, and David Ogden Stiers. Some of these well-recognized names and faces such as Blythe Danner and David Ogden Stiers appear in a single scene with but a handful of lines. Even John Houseman has but one scene on camera and about a half dozen lines. It is unusual that while Stiers will appear in several later Allen films, the only actor who has appeared in Allen's earlier films was Farrow.

This movie refutes all modest claims on Allen's part to not being an intellectual. His background dialogue and scenes are chocked full of references to high German culture, including the poet Rainer Marie Rilke, the playwright, Bertolt Brecht, the philosopher, Martin Heidigger, and the Viennese painter, Gustav Klimt. These are certainly not gratuitous references, as the principle character Marion, played by Rowlands is the chairman of the Philosophy department at an important college in or near Manhattan who, as the film opens, is beginning on writing a book on philosophy, probably a history or analysis of a major philosopher's work rather than an original work.
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This is an absolutely awe-inspiring film from Woody Allen.
Not in any way a lighthearted romp, this is rather a soul-wrenching film which literally forced me to re-evaluate my life, as it does on each subsequent viewing (of which there have been many).
Not giving away any plot details, suffice it to say that Gena Rowlands is simply magnificent here. In a mere 80+ minutes, you will be convinced, as am I, that this is one of our greatest living actresses and a true legend (for another great Rowlands performance, do not miss Cassavettes' earlier "A Woman Under the Influence").
If you are in any way thoughtful and/or introspective about your life and what you've accomplished (or haven't accomplished), do NOT miss this. Also: be prepared to look at yourself not as you perceive yourself, but rather as OTHERS see you, which (for me anyway) was very disconcerting but also extremely enlightening.
This is one of a handful of truly great modern dramatic films which literally raised the bar for all filmmakers to come.
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There are several aspects that make this movie excellent, including the intelligent dialogues, the psychological aspects of the narration and the fact that a complex story can be presented in only eighty minutes. These are some of the reasons why Woody Allen is considered by many to be one of the most gifted directors ever. Of course, those that usually do not like Allen's style will not find solace in this movie, but the rest of you will probably appreciate the quality of this production.

Marion Post (Rowland) is a philosophy professor who is taking a leave of absence to write a book and who has rented an apartment to be able to do this peacefully and without any interruptions. The apartment is next door to the office of a psychiatrist and she realizes that she can hear the sessions through the air vents. At first she covers the vents to prevent invading the patients' privacy, but later she hears the sad voice of a woman (Mia Farrow) after one of the cushions covering the vent moves from its place. From that moment on she is hooked and cannot help herself, so she continues eavesdropping into the sessions of the mysterious woman.

Marion starts identifying herself with some of the accounts of this woman and understands that she may actually be dissatisfied with her life too, mainly with her choice of husband and career. From that point forward the psychological aspects of the story become the central focus around which the action revolves. The dreams, memories and reality of Marion's life interact with each other, making us doubt at times if certain events are really happening or not. The final result is an interesting look at the psyche of the main character and her relationship with others.
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I think I may have reviewed the video version of this, but it won't hurt to review it again. The extras on this DVD are fairly useless, but who cares? It's just fantastic to have a sharp digital copy of this classic film. It's my favorite by Woody Allen (just behind Interiors, Crimes and Misdemeanors and Annie Hall). Of course THE reason to watch this film is the great Gena Rowlands and Sandy Dennis. Yes, folks, it's dark and depressing and sometimes painful to watch. The dialogue could have been tweaked, but my, oh, my when it works it is devastating. The encounter between Rowlands and Dennis (who play estranged friends) at a bar is one of the best written and acted scenes ever committed to celuloid. This was Sandy Dennis' last film and she tears through that moment with such visceral rage. The complexity of this one scene reverberates throughout the film. Rowland's character, Marion, is a by-the-book, emotionally cold college professor. Through wonderfully observed flashbacks (that defy time and logic really)we discover that Marion was once a passionate artist and student and now all that is buried under a thick layer of delusion. Her life and the things happening around her are not what they seem, but she is has deluded herself for so long that it all slips by her. The supporting work here is, of course top notch. Gene Hackman is brilliant as a man who once loved Marion, Ian Holme is letter perfect as her proper husband, Betty Buckley has a one scene cameo that sets the tone early on for much of the story. One of the best movies ever made.
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