Category Archives: A Woman under the Influence (1974)

In this John Cassavetes film, Nick loves his wife, Mabel, but her mental illness is a problem in their marriage.

The Longhetti Family: What’s Normal?


the inside world really holds you, really contains you, can cause you pain that you don’t show outside and that is why no one ever talks about it. He has two selves and she only has one.
—John Cassavetes quoted in Carney, 2001

His [Cassavetes’] opinion was that society made women quite crazy—and not just the men. It was their mothers making them crazy half of the time. He said men got all the blame but their mothers told them which way to act and to pretend things that they didn’t feel and say things they didn’t mean, to inflate a man’s ego . . . —Gena Rowlands quoted in Campbell, 2001

Seems to me that much of our concern about Mabel Longhetti (played by Gena Rowlands), the woman who is the focus of this month’s movie, relates to the notion that she doesn’t behave normally. Continue reading The Longhetti Family: What’s Normal?