John Cassavetes' acclaimed masterpiece A WOMAN UNDER THE INFLUENCE (1974) shows us the world through the eyes of a mother whose deteriorating mental health causes major problems with those around her. Everything seems fine in Nick (Peter Falk) and Mabel's (Gena Rowlands) family, but imaginative Mabel feels trapped in her daily life as a housewife and mother. After a suicide attempt, she is admitted to a clinic. Upon her liberating return, the family faces major surprises.
Since no studio wanted to take on the intense script, the film was made with borrowed money and the help of film students, after which the director personally brought the final result to cinemas and festivals. Initially, Cassavetes planned to stage the script as a play, but since Rowlands felt it was too exhausting to repeatedly play the role of Mabel, he opted for film.
Gena Rowlands received a Golden Globe for her role, and the film was also nominated for two Academy Awards for Best Actress and Best Director.