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Unmarried Woman
     

An Unmarried Woman

Director: Paul Mazursky, Jill Clayburgh, Alan Bates, Michael Murphy

Cast: Paul Mazursky, Jill Clayburgh, Alan Bates, Michael Murphy

 
A New York wife learns about the satisfactions of single life in this landmark 1970s "woman's film." Unlike her dysfunctional friends, vibrant Erica (Jill Clayburgh) seems to have it all: a nice Upper East Side home, a well-adjusted teenage daughter (Lisa Lucas), a job at a Soho art gallery, and a loving husband, Martin (Michael Murphy). Erica falls apart, however,

Overview

A New York wife learns about the satisfactions of single life in this landmark 1970s "woman's film." Unlike her dysfunctional friends, vibrant Erica (Jill Clayburgh) seems to have it all: a nice Upper East Side home, a well-adjusted teenage daughter (Lisa Lucas), a job at a Soho art gallery, and a loving husband, Martin (Michael Murphy). Erica falls apart, however, when Martin leaves her for a younger woman. Finally, at her female therapist's urging, Erica ventures out into the world of singlehood, finding solace in female bonding and even casual sex. As she adjusts to her new life, Erica realizes that she likes her freedom and independence. But when she falls in love with sensitive bearded artist Saul (Alan Bates), Erica must decide whether to turn down a lucrative job to spend the summer with her man in Vermont or forge ahead with her new existence. One of a group of new "women's pictures" made in the wake of post-1960s feminism, including Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore (1974) and The Turning Point (1977), An Unmarried Woman updated the genre's concern with relationships and love by turning the heroine's unwedded status into a positive growth experience. The great female stars of the past like Joan Crawford and Bette Davis may be gone, as Erica and her friends mourn, but so is the all-consuming suffering of classical weepies, as writer/director Paul Mazursky ends the film on a note of reserved affirmation. While some critics (including feminists) complained that Saul was too much of a romantic fantasy, An Unmarried Woman was praised for Clayburgh's performance, and earned Oscar nominations for Best Picture, Best Actress, and Best Screenplay. A hit with 1978 audiences, An Unmarried Woman provoked viewer debate over Erica's final choice and its meaning for women. Either way, An Unmarried Woman astutely pointed to how far the new 1970s woman had come -- and how far she still needed to go.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
Jill Clayburgh made a big impact as the heroine of this 1970s examination of the liberation of a woman whose life seemed to be ruined by divorce. As in other films of the era, throwing off the shackles of marriage is just the first step in the protagonist's realization of her own self-worth. Director Paul Mazurksy is a fine delineator of characters, and in this detailed, beautifully acted film, he is determined to substitute all-too-human characters for Hollywood stereotypes. Disturbingly real and vivid, An Unmarried Woman is an iconic feminist film and was surprisingly popular at the box office; Clayburgh, the script by Mazursky, and the picture itself were all nominated for Oscars. The film's power is aided by Alan Bates's performance as Clayburgh's newfound, artistic love, even though that character also drew the lion's share of criticism, as an idealized solution to Erica's situation.

Product Details

Release Date:
01/10/2006
UPC:
0024543219361
Original Release:
1978
Rating:
R
Source:
20th Century Fox
Region Code:
1
Time:
2:04:00

Special Features

Commentary by director Paul Mazursky & actress Jill Clayburgh; Theatrical trailer

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Jill Clayburgh Erica Benton
Alan Bates Saul Kaplan
Michael Murphy Martin Benton
Cliff Gorman Charlie
Pat Quinn Sue
Kelly Bishop Elaine
Lisa Lucas Patti Benton
Andrew Duncan Bob
Daniel Seltzer Dr. Jacobs
Matthew Arkin Phil
Penelope Russianoff Tanya
Novella Nelson Jean
Raymond J. Barry Edward
Paul Mazursky Hal
Ivan Karp Herb Rowan
Jill Eikenberry Claire
Michael Tucker Fred
Chico Martinez Cabbie
Clint Chin Chinese Waiter
Ken Chapin Man at Bar
Vincent Schiavelli Man at Party
Ultra Violet Lady MacBeth
Linda G. Miller Jeannette

Technical Credits
Paul Mazursky Director,Producer,Screenwriter
Bill Conti Score Composer
Terry Donnelly Asst. Director
Pato Guzman Production Designer
Mike Maggi Makeup
Dennis L. Maitland Sound/Sound Designer
Arthur Ornitz Cinematographer
Stuart H. Pappe Editor
Arthur Piantadosi Sound/Sound Designer
Tony Ray Producer
Edward Stewart Set Decoration/Design
Albert Wolsky Costumes/Costume Designer

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- An Unmarried Woman
1. Main Titles/Jogging [:09]
2. Prima Ballerina [3:41]
3. Girl Talk [2:52]
4. Pillow Talk [:32]
5. Happily Married [4:20]
6. Charlie [2:18]
7. The Affair [4:17]
8. Good Friends [2:37]
9. Was That a Pass? [:15]
10. Erasing a Husband [2:39]
11. Dim Sum [5:05]
12. Bob [2:48]
13. Misplaced Anger [4:32]
14. Therapy [1:14]
15. From Bad to Worse [1:29]
16. Self-Esteem [3:47]
17. Feeling Lonely [3:06]
18. Testing the Waters [3:10]
19. Let's Be Friends [3:49]
20. Casual Sex [3:50]
21. Gallery Party [:51]
22. Three Choices [2:31]
23. Healing [7:07]
24. The Dinner Guest [:18]
25. New Found Strength [9:04]
26. Finding Herself [:20]
27. An Unmarried Woman [1:47]
28. Saul's Gift/End Titles [3:31]

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