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John Cassavetes

John Nicholas Cassavetes was born on December 9, 1929 in New York City, New York to Greek immigrants. In 1950, he graduated from the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, and quickly took small parts in films and television. By 1956, Cassavetes had begun teaching method acting in his own workshop in New York City. An improvisation exercise inspired the idea for his writing and directorial debut film, Shadows. Although unable to gain American distribution, the film won the Critics Award at the Venice Film Festival the next year. From this point until 1960, Cassavetes starred in a handful of B-movie and television productions before finally directing two pictures for Hollywood: Too Late Blues and A Child is Waiting. These films didn't launch Cassavetes' directing career, but did allow him to find acting work on high-profile television serials and movies, including The Dirty Dozen in 1967 and Rosemary's Baby in 1968. His success as an actor allowed Cassavetes to move to Los Angeles, California and finance, write, direct, and star in his own film called Faces, with his wife Gena Rowlands. Faces was nominated for three Academy Awards and garnered Cassavetes the attention and respect he needed to continue making independent films. From 1970 to 1984, a string of independent film classics was born: Husbands, Minnie and Moskowitz, A Woman Under the Influence, The Killing of a Chinese Bookie, Opening Night, Gloria, and Love Streams. In 1984, Cassavetes was diagnosed with cirrhosis of the liver due to excessive alcohol consumption and given six months to live. By 1987, Cassavetes had defied this prognosis and wrote a three-act play called Woman of Mystery, which was presented that year at the Court Theater. Cassavetes worked throughout 1988 to produce a film titled She's Delovely, but the project stalled due to financial trouble. Cassavetes sadly succumbed to cirrhosis of the liver on February 3, 1989 at the age of 59. He is considered by most to be the Godfather of Independent Film.

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A Woman Under The Influence

$34.95 | 147 minutes

(1974) - Director, Writer

Writer-director-actor John Cassavetes delivers an extremely gritty, unsentimental portrait of a troubled human existence. Gena Rowlands is Mabel Longhetti, a slightly mad Italian-American housewife who has absolutely no understanding of&hellip…

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Faces

$34.95 | 130 minutes

(1968) - Director, Editor, Screenwriter

John Cassavetes, frustrated with Hollywood after his films TOO LATE BLUES and A CHILD IS WAITING were watered down and mutilated, revisits the low-budget terrain of 1959's SHADOWS in this powerful drama that continues to influence new generations&hellip…

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Husbands

$11.95 | 142 minutes

(1970) - Director, Screenwriter, Star(s)

From maverick director John Cassavetes comes this humorous story of three New York husbands who lose their best friend. Depressed and confused, they decide to fly to London on a whim to try to recapture the freedom of their youth. In between&hellip…

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Rosemary's Baby

$5.95 | 134 minutes

(1968) - Star(s)

Roman Polanski's stylish occult thriller ROSEMARY'S BABY is possibly the director's most famous film and was a big box-office success at the time of its 1968 release. This was Polanski's first American feature film, following his frightening&hellip…

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Shadows

$25.95 | 81 minutes

(1959) - Director

A tough-minded black jazz trumpeter slogs through a series of performances in ratty bars and strip clubs, while his lighter-skinned younger siblings enjoy--at least temporarily--the various privileges of "passing" in Manhattan's white power&hellip…

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The Killing of a Chinese Bookie

$34.95 | 243 minutes

(1976) - Director, Screenwriter

A small-time Los Angeles nightclub owner falls for a lavish invitation to gamble at a private club. After losing high stakes on extended credit, he is pressured by a gangster to eliminate his debt by killing a rival underworld power referred&hellip…

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