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Gloria (Gena Rowlands), a self-involved woman in her forties who was once a mobster's mistress, is asked to look after Philip (Juan Adames), the son of her Mafia-connected Puerto Rican neighbors. This temporary set-up becomes permanent when the neighbors are killed in a mob hit. Philip has in his possession a diary containing a record of illegal Mafia activities; thus the boy is as good as dead unless Gloria takes decisive action. With Philip in tow, Gloria leads the hit men on a frantic chase around Manhattan, and during the various gunfire exchanges, more than holds her own. Offering to… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 95%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Gena Rowlands is excellent as the tired woman who decides to take her chances for the boy. The kid is a right blend of understanding and childish tantrums."
‑ Variety Staff, Variety
"More than any other recent film I can think of, Gloria is a movie that depends on the mood you're in when you see it."
‑ Vincent Canby, New York Times
"Any Cassavetes is worthwhile viewing"
‑ Steve Crum, Kansas City Kansan
"Rowlands's gutsy portrayal of the woman who takes a redemptive and life-threatening plunge, and Adames as the brat who grows up fast in the pressurized situation."
‑ , Film4
"Gloria boasts a tough and tender performance by Gina Rowlands as an ex-gun moll and showgirl whose nurturing instincts come to the fore when she is called upon to protect a little boy in jeopardy."
‑ Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat, Spirituality and Practice
"John Cassavetes clearly set out to make a commercial film, but, intransigent personality that he was, he turned in a slice of pure avant-garde."
‑ Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader
"Tough, sweet, and goofy."
‑ Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
"One of Cassavetes' most accessible and involving movies."
‑ Ken Hanke, Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
"More intriguing than a standard Hollywood gangster movie."
‑ Chris Robe, PopMatters
"A reasonably entertaining and refreshingly off-beat action/drama."
‑ Nick Davis, Nick's Flick Picks
"It's clear from the opening montage that we're in the hands of a master."
‑ Geoff Andrew, Time Out
"It's an obvious setup and most directors would have made sentimental hash out of it, but Cassavetes keeps it strong and smooth, and Rowlands was nominated for an Oscar for her trouble."
‑ Jeffrey M. Anderson, Combustible Celluloid
"John Cassavetes made some iffy movies during his career, but none is worse than the original Gloria."
‑ Christopher Null,
"Indie godfather John Cassavetes transforms Gena Rowlands into his own little Pam Grier in this oddly sweet-and-sour, PG-rated mob melodrama."
‑ Eric Henderson, Slant Magazine
More reviews for Gloria on Rotten Tomatoes

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