Husbands 1970
Husbands, Cassavetes's follow-up to Faces, and his first film with Ben Gazzara and Peter Falk, is exhausting and formally radical even by his standards. The 1970 film is gross, juvenile, macho, thorny, and features moments of agonizing physical and emotional torment—moments that are especially disturbing considering that some of the actors involved might not have been in on the joke. Yet the obstinate recklessness of Husbands is the wellspring of its brilliance. In his devotion to pain, to the prolonged, ongoing, and dangerous work of releasing pent-up emotion (which, here, resembles acting as well as therapy), Cassavetes mounts one of the most searing and evocative portraits of grief in American cinema.

Subtitled "A Comedy About Life, Death and Freedom," Husbands follows three middle-aged men (Ben Gazzara, Peter Falk and Cassavetes), long time friends and family men, in the wake of the sudden, premature death of the man who completed their fun-loving group. "I'm not going home," proclaims one as the funeral ends. "I'm going to get very drunk." Thus begins an epic bender, an attempt to drown their sorrows, escape their guilt and duck the disappointments of compromised lives.

Director: John Cassavetes
Cast: Ben Gazzara, Peter Falk, John Cassavetes
Country: USA
Genre: Drama, Comedy

BD50 | 1080p AVC | 02:22:13 | 45.5 Gb + 3% rec
Language: English
Subtitles: English


Commentary - this archival audio commentary was recorded by John Cassavetes biographer Marshall Fine in 2009.

Al Ruban - in this new video interview, producer Al Ruban recalls his involvement with Husbands and addresses John Cassavetes' desire to properly portray middle-class America in his films. Mr. Ruban also discusses Cassavetes' acting career and the impact it had on his directing preferences. The interview was conducted exclusively for Criterion in 2020. In English, not subtitled. (25 min, 1080p).

Jenny Runacre - in this new video interview, actress Jenny Runacre recalls how she was cast to play one of the female characters from the London segment and discusses John Cassavetes' working methods. Mrs. Ruancre also has some very interesting comments about her work with Michelangelo Antonioni on The Passenger. The interview was conducted exclusively for Criterion in 2020. In English, not subtitled. (25 min, 1080p).

John Cassavetes on Acting - presented here is a new video essay by filmmaker Daniel Raim which features audio recordings of John Cassavetes discussing his directing style and preferred ways of engaging actors. The essay was created exclusively for Criterion in 2020. In English, not subtitled. (13 min, 1080p).

The Story of "Husbands" - A Tribute to John Cassavetes - in this vintage program, actor Ben Gazzara, cinematographer Victor J. Kemper, and producer Al Ruban recall what it was like to work with John Cassavetes during the filming of Husbands. The program was produced by Greg Carson in 2008, and initially appeared on the R1 DVD release of Husbands that Sony Pictures produced. In English, not subtitled. (30 min, 1080p).

The Dick Cavett Show - John Cassavetes, Peter Falk, and Ben Gazzara appeared in this archival episode of The Dick Cavett Show to discuss the theatrical release of Husbands. An absolutely hilarious episode. It was taped on September 21, 1970. In English, not subtitled. (34 min, 1080i).

Trailer - a vintage trailer for Husbands. In English, not subtitled. (4 min, 1080p).