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2,189 Ratings

Opening Night

Directed by John Cassavetes
United States, 1977


Broadway actress Myrtle Gordon (Gena Rowlands) 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 turmoil she faces in her own life.

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Opening Night Directed by John Cassavetes
Certainly no one thinks of his films as entertainment, yet in this scene, driven by desperation, entertainment becomes briefly heroic. I’ve never seen anything else like it: a tightrope act without a net, but also without the rope, or the laws of gravity—only the spirits of the performers precariously balancing upon each other.
August 22, 2018
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Despite Maurice having been her former lover and the director’s obvious love for her, she remains isolated inside a half-empty bottle of J&B; her reality and fantasy coalesced. The relationships within Opening Night, both real and fictional, cross lines on screen until they are so muddled the only thing left for them to do is evaporate. This film sits perfectly in the Cassavetes oeuvre; it’s all about performance––its potential, its limits, and its future.
July 13, 2016
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The play fuels discomfort, and along with it, Myrtle’s confusion and anxiety. When she says, “I’m in trouble, I’m not acting,” her evident self-awareness is devastating.
July 10, 2016
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