Opening Night
Opening Night (1977)

John Cassavetes' Opening Night stars Gena Rowlands (Mrs. Cassavetes) as end-of-tether Broadway actress Myrtle Gordon. She is about to open in a play written by her old friend Sarah Goode (Joan Blondell), but a series of pre-show… More

Directed By:
Rated: PG-13
Running Time:
Genre: Drama
Release Date: December 22, 1977
DVD Release Date: June 29, 1998
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Critic Score: 92% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews

Consensus: Opening Night is as dense and difficult as one would expect from John Cassavetes, but even the director's detractors will be unable to deny the power of Gena Rowlands' performance.

Richard Brody
New Yorker

Cassavetes's most cleverly constructed film is also a definitive lesson in the death-defying, all-consuming art of acting, proof of a madness beyond the Method.

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Jonathan Rosenbaum
Chicago Reader

Juggling onstage and offstage action, Cassavetes makes this a fascinating look at some of the internal mechanisms and conflicts that create theatrical fiction.

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Matt Brunson
Creative Loafing

An occasionally infuriating but ultimately affecting drama.

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Variety Staff

Gena Rowlands turns in another virtuoso performance as the troubled actress. Cassavetes' highly personal work will please his coterie of enthusiasts, but for general audiences it will be viewed as shrill, puzzling, depressing and overlong.

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David Jenkins
Time Out

At once a lament to the ravages of age and an examination of those tiny foibles which separate reality from dramatic artifice, it's a baffling and intricate film which, although light on conventional pleasures, still manages to provoke and beguile.

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Dennis Schwartz
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Intriguing but enigmatic backstage theater melodrama with shades of All About Eve.

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Jeff Menell
Hollywood Reporter

John Cassavetes was unique in his visions and his films.

Keith Phipps
AV Club

Rowlands sings a different kind of mad song in Opening Night, playing a diva-like actress preparing a part about aging that haunts her, at times literally, with a vision of lost youth.

Douglas Pratt

The unpredictability of Rowlands' character brings one surprise after another to the narrative as the other characters scramble to accommodate or cajole her, and the surprises are often as funny as they are intensely dramatic.

More reviews for Opening Night

Flixster Audience Score: 92% Flixster User Reviews
Stella Dallas
a mesmerizing film about the theater and aging, akin to 'all about eve' in many ways. knockout performance by gena rowlands in the bette davis role.… More
Brian R
Gena Rowlands is great once again in Cassavtes's "Opening Night". I liked the film especially the madness from the characters. The improvisation… More
Jonathan Hutchings
It was once suggested by Pauline Kael, never a fan, that Cassavetes thought not like a director, but like an actor. What Kael meant was that he lacked… More
matt sigur
So this is basically three movies in one, but all the parts work so well because the entire thing is anchored by another stellar performance by Gena Rowlands.… More
jay nixon
Cassavetes gritty feeling blends well with backstage drama. Gena Rowlands is great wonderfully backed by Joan Blondell in one of her best latter day… More
Anastasia Bartzoulianou
I had the luck to watch this years ago on the silver screen,during a retrospective of Cassavetes work. I watched this again on dvd and I would watch it again… More