Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||John Cassavetes|
|Written by||John Cassavetes|
|Music by||Jack Ackerman|
|Distributed by||Continental Distributing|
130 minutes (General cut)
147 minutes (Criterion cut)
Faces is a 1968 drama film, written and directed by John Cassavetes, and starring John Marley, Cassavetes' wife Gena Rowlands, Fred Draper, Seymour Cassel, and Lynn Carlin. Both Cassel and Carlin received Academy Award nominations for this film. Cassavetes was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay for Faces. The film was shot in high contrast 16 mm black and white film stock. In 2011, it was added to the National Film Registry of the Library of Congress.
The film, shot in cinéma vérité-style, depicts the final stages of the disintegrating marriage of a middle-aged couple (John Marley and Lynn Carlin). We are introduced to various groups and individuals the couple interacts with after the husband's sudden statement of his desire for a divorce. Afterwards, he spends the night in the company of brash businessmen and prostitutes, while the wife spends it with her middle-aged female friends and an aging, free-associating playboy they've picked up at a bar. The night proceeds as a series of tense conversations and confrontations occur.
- John Marley as Richard Forst
- Gena Rowlands as Jeannie Rapp
- Lynn Carlin as Maria Forst
- Seymour Cassel as Chet
- Fred Draper as Freddie Draper
- Val Avery as Jim McCarthy
- Dorothy Gulliver as Florence
- Joanne Moore Jordan as Louise Draper
- Darlene Conley as Billy Mae
- Gene Darfler as Joe Jackson
- Elizabeth Deering as Stella
- Ann Shirley
- Christina Crawford
As is the case with several of Cassavetes' films, several different versions of Faces are known to exist (though it was generally assumed that, after creating the general release print, Cassavetes destroyed the alternative versions). It was initially premiered in Toronto with a running time of 183 minutes, before Cassavetes cut it down to 130 minutes. Though the 130-minute version is the general release version, a print of a longer version with a running time of 147 minutes was accidentally found by Ray Carney, and was deposited at the Library of Congress. 17 minutes of this print was included in the Criterion box set John Cassavetes: Five Films, though Carney has said that there are numerous differences between the two films.
Faces currently holds an 85% approval rating on review aggregate website Rotten Tomatoes, based on 20 reviews with an average rating of 7.2/10. In 2011, Faces was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant". The Registry called the film "an example of cinematic excess" whose extended confrontations revealed "emotions and relations of power between men and women that rarely emerge in more conventionally structured films". Faces, and other Cassavetes projects, had significant creative impact on Martin Scorsese, Woody Allen and Robert Altman.
- Carney, Ray (1994). The Films of John Cassavetes: Pragmatism, Modernism, and the Movies. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 9780521388153.
- Carney, Ray (2001). Cassavetes on Cassavetes. London: Faber and Faber. ISBN 9780571201570.