Husbands (film)  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Husbands is a 1970 film written and directed by John Cassavetes. This ensemble film, which depicts three middle class men in the throes of a midlife crisis following the death of a close friend, stars Ben Gazzara, Peter Falk and Cassavetes.

The film, in cinéma vérité style, was described by Time magazine as Cassavetes' finest work while condemned by other prominent critics. One recent critic described it as a "devastatingly bleak view of the emptiness of suburban life."

Plot summary

Gus, Harry, and Archie, are three nominally happy husbands with families in suburban New York. All are professional men, driven and successful. The three of them have known each other since their school years. They have grown up together and have now had enough time to discover that their youth is disappearing and that there is nothing they can do to preserve it. They are shaken into confronting this reality when their best friend Stuart, the first friend from their fast disappearing youth, dies suddenly and unexpectedly of a heart attack.

They have difficulty coping with the death and everywhere they turn or flee in the city they can't seem to run from it. They spend two days hanging out, playing basketball, sleeping in the subways, and drinking, including an impromptu singing contest at a bar. Harry goes home, has a vicious argument with his wife, and decides to fly to London. The other two decide to go with him.

They check into an expensive hotel, dress in formal clothing, and meet three young women at a gambling casino. They go back to their rooms with the women. Gus pairs off with Mary Tynan, Archie with Julie, a young Asian woman who appears not to speak English, and Harry with Pearl Billingham. However, their efforts to hook up with these women are awkward and unsuccessful. Flying, even to another continent, has not saved their youth. They discover it is gone, never to return.

Gus and Archie decide to go back to New York, but Harry stays behind. Gus and Archie express concern about Harry and what he will do without them.

See also

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Husbands (film)" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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