26 – Gloria (1980)


Director: John Cassavetes Starring: Gena Rowlands, John Adames Running time: 123mins

Subject: *Sigh*… the mob wastes the Dawn family but not before their six-year-old son, Phil, is bundled into the care of unmaternal neighbour, Gloria, who forces them both to hit the road. Unknown for saying “ah, well” and moving on, the mob pursues this funny pair. Oh what a funny pair. This is a genre-defying farce of a suspenseful mob flick filled with choice clashes.

A choice clash: Phil tries to put the moves on Gloria as they are about to sleep in one of many hotel hideouts. “I’ve got sixty pounds on you,” she growls, pushing him out of bed.

Love letter to Gena Rowlands: Dear Gena Rowlands, when you first rang at the Dawn’s front door and we saw you through their fish-eye peeper I thought you were going to play a soft-hearted eccentric like in A Woman Under The Influence but you didn’t. You played an ass-wasting, child-hating, world-weary Brooklyn moll and it was GREAT. I’m sorry for getting annoyed at your presence (because it meant Gosling’s absence) during The Notebook. I didn’t know then. Now I know I will watch you in anything  because you are riveting. Your extraordinary face showing every internal twitch, your tough voice, your lived-in glamour. Everything. No wonder John Cassavetes married you.

Like: Leon + The Fugitive + The Odd Couple

Core truth: Gena Rowlands is the shit.


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