Shadows (1959)

Shadows was John Cassavetes' first directorial effort. Like his later critically acclaimed films Faces and Husbands, Cassavetes fills the screen with probing, unflattering closeups. Unlike his other films, however, Shadows zips along at… More

Directed By:
Rated: PG
Running Time:
Release Date: November 11, 1959
DVD Release Date: April 7, 1998
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Critic Score: 100% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews
Jonas Mekas
Village Voice

[Shadows is] so far ahead of all Hollywood and independent films that once you've seen [it] you can no longer look at the official cinema: you know that American cinema can be more sensitive and intelligent.

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Geoff Andrew
Time Out

A very modern, impressionistic snapshot of New York bohemia with scenes linked not by dramatic line but by place, time and mood.

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Fernando F. Croce

An impressionistic whirl worth a thousand fumbled words

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TIME Magazine

Again and again the line between acting and living is erased. Caught in the ecstasy of collective creation, a handful of earnest amateurs have almost accidentally produced a flawed but significant piece of folk art.

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Bosley Crowther
New York Times

Shadows is an unfinished picture in every sense of the word. Yet it is fitfully dynamic, endowed with a raw but vibrant strength, conveying an illusion of being a record of real people, and it is incontestably sincere.

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Matt Brunson
Creative Loafing

Cassavetes' startling debut piece.

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Jonathan Rosenbaum
Chicago Reader

This is the only Cassavetes film made without a full script (it grew out of acting improvs), and rarely has so much warmth, delicacy, and raw feeling emerged so naturally and beautifully from performances in an American film.

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J. Hoberman
Village Voice

Arguably the founding work of the American independent cinema.

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Emanuel Levy

In this experimental film, Cassavetes' approach and a cast of unknowns brought a new sense of realism to the American cinema.

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More reviews for Shadows

Flixster Audience Score: 82% Flixster User Reviews
Bruce Bruce
Don't have much to say about this movie, seems others enjoyed it I did Not. 1 Star 3-2514
Saskia D.
According to the information that can be found on the box, a very important and influential movie and Cassavetes directorial debut. It's VERY difficult to… More
Randy Tippy
A new-waveish beatnik sociopolitical commentary that gets far less recognition than it deserves.
Elvira B
Cassavetes' debut: A close examination of daily life. People wanting to find something to do, striving to understand their moods, shortcomings, and the… More
Aj V
This is a pretty good, and very different, drama movie, but it's not all that exciting or intense. Plus, I wasn't familiar or impressed with any of… More
Tim Sigur
There are perfect moments in this movie.