An Unmarried Woman

1978

Comedy / Drama / Romance

1
Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 91%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 72%
IMDb Rating 7.1 10 4373

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Synopsis


Uploaded By: FREEMAN
June 25, 2020 at 05:25 AM

Director

Cast

Kelly Bishop as Elaine
Vincent Schiavelli as Man at Party
Jill Clayburgh as Erica
720p.BLU
1.12 GB
1280*682
English 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
2 hr 4 min
P/S counting...

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Piafredux 7 / 10

The Film Hasn't Dated, But I Have

When upon its theatrical release I first saw 'An Unmarried Woman' I thought it brilliantly captured the feminist outlook - not the radical feminist viewpoint but the growing awareness of the vast majority of ordinary women of new modalities for living. I just saw it again on DVD and my first impression of the film holds up. But through my having aged my perspectives have matured, and now I also find 'An Unmarried Woman' to be perhaps the finest capturing of 1977's zeitgeist - but only the zeitgeist of upper middle class New Yorkers (Mazursky better captured the wider 70's zeitgeist in 'Harry and Tonto).

Here Mazursky shows that, whatever else he is accused of being or doing or not-doing (with which I don't always agree or disagree), is a thoughtful director taking a good, long, realistic look at this drama and at more than just its central character. I liked that some scenes ran on for a bit longer than some people find necessary or comfortable, because this is how life's scenes often play out beyond one's wanting them to end swiftly and tidily: indeed, the slight overrunning of some scenes contributes what today might be called "value-added" realism to 'An Unmarried Woman.' After all, Erica has, involuntarily, been thrust into a new life in which she's not at ease in every one of its developing, novel situations.

The saxophone score - probably considered hip in 1977 - is today often more than a trifle annoying; but then it could be said that the score is part of the film's capture of the 70's zeitgeist: like all decades the 70's had its annoyances (not the least of which was the dismal monotony of disco, and all those decor-saturating browns, olives (avocado it was called!), honey-golds, and tawny oranges).

The cinematography here is quite good, nicely tailored to the film's intimate subject, situations, and relationships. Throughout the acting is uniformly good; Jill Clayburgh's effort here is, and will remain I expect, a cinema original and classic. I especially enjoyed - not when I first saw the film but much more so now in 2006 - Cliff Gorman's portrayal of self-satisfied, on-the-make Charlie. Andrew Duncan in the minor role of Bob lends great verisimilitude with his pre-"hair systems" comb-over but especially with the touch of about-to-be-over-the-hill despair in Bob's attempt to bed Erica; Bob demonstrates that most men in that decade, beginning as they were to be flummoxed by emerging liberated women and feminism, still clung to the suddenly obsolescent notion that a divorcée would and should be eager to remarry in order to traditionally assure her security and peace of mind.

At my first viewing I agreed with what Tanya, Erica's therapist, said to Erica about guilt being a manufactured, unnecessary emotion. But a good many more years of living have taught me that guilt is not manufactured, and that without it a person is doomed to emptiness and isolation, and a society is doomed to decadence, and even to barbarism. Rather Tanya should have held that guilt is natural, and that it is one's mature management of it that enables one to distinguish, in oneself and in others, venality and narcissism from generosity of spirit.

'An Unmarried Woman' still stands on its own - more as a socio-cultural than as a cinematic landmark. It's that rare kind of film that's worth watching every five or ten years, if only to help us to recall where we've come from, and to help us to profit from, or to enjoy, a sense of where we might be going.

Reviewed by middleburg 10 / 10

A great, entertaining and endearing film

An Unmarried Woman was one of the best films from the late 70s/early 80s. It so completely captures a time and a place. It is a personal, perceptive story of a woman's marriage which crumbles to her total surprise. It ends up being a sort of comic--Americanized version (or more specifically New York version) of

"Scenes from a Marriage". Throughout the film we are introduced to one terrific personality after another--each distinctively drawn. From her affluent circle of friends, to the quirky, genuinely intriguing artistic types of the downtown art scene (Soho before it became SO commercial), to the assorted people she

meets on her journey of coping and understanding such as her therapist

(portrayed by the great psychologist and author, Penelope Russianoff, who was a fixture on New York's Upper Westside for years), we are treated to a wealth of fascinating characters. The movie resonates with warmth and understanding.

Jill Clayburgh's Erika is a contemporary tragic/comic heroine. She's beautiful and classy and funny and her emotions--for anyone who has gone through

divorce or separation or simply difficult marital situations--are absolutely dead- on accurate. What is very interesting some 25 years after the movie debuted is that it has not aged one single bit--the characters remain delightful, the

emotions as real as ever, and the New York milieu as varied and fascinating as it still is today (and probably always has been.) A great, entertaining, and endearing film!

Reviewed by Shilpot7 8 / 10

New York In The Late 70s Time Capsule

It's very interesting reading the other reviews to this film. The reactions to it are very extreme. Some people love it. Some people hate it and that was exactly the reaction people had to it back in 1978 when it first came out.

The mid to late 70s was New York's era as the 'fashionable city' in the days of fashionable cities. NYC took the torch from Swinging Sixites London as the city every fashionable person wanted to go to, live in, know... It was the 'Disco' capital of the world. It was where the most interesting films were set. It where all the happening artists lived and Unmarried Woman caught the zeitgeist of that time. Even jogging was a new phenomenon back then and NY lead the way with it and 'everyone' wanted to know what people were up to there, even about the jogging. If you'd never been to NYC you were missing out. If you had been to NY and or knew NY, back in 1978, you bragged about it. While at the same time the city was officially broke and in many ways seemed to be crumbling into the sea.

Unmarried Woman was a product of all this fascination, both negative and positive, with the city at the time. Trivial details about life in NY had a sort of cachet. Therefore, on reflection, what may seem trite to viewers today, had a strange sort of value back then.

Some people sneer at Erica's seemingly privileged position in society. How dare she be so miserable, have you seen where she lives? Well, guess what, wealthy women also feel sad when they are rejected by their husbands for a younger model. And guess what, some people like to look at the lives of people who live in beautiful apartments with views of the river and whizz downtown in yellow cabs on bright New York mornings. In fact it's the contrast between the material privilege and the sadness and loss that makes this film work.

Some people are also alarmed by the strong, upfront musical score. Sorry about that. Music in the 70s was strong and upfront in our lives, not just background noise. The wailing saxophone was the pop instrument of the time and the excellent, very 70s soundtrack, is one of the aspects that make watching this film such a powerful, nostalgic and enjoyable ride.

Unmarried Woman does have its flaws. It is at times somewhat simplistic and personally, I'm not so sure that newly unmarried woman, Erica, was as much of a catch as we're made to believe. Every man she meets seems to fall at her feet.

This is very much a film of its time and a very interesting time and place it was. I wish they still made films like this today, about adults, for adults, with strong subtle performances, without both eyes on the cash register and without some dreary, over-exposed, under talented box office 'star' drudging her way through her lines. There was something very adult and sophisticated about American cinema in the 70s and Unmarrried Woman takes its place in the long list of films that were a part of that.

The film was beautifully shot, beautifully scored, excellently acted and I'm glad it's now available for us to see, as a reminder of a short but memorable time and place.

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