Opening Night (1977)

PG-13  |   |  Drama  |  17 April 1978 (Sweden)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 8.1/10 from 5,391 users  
Reviews: 31 user | 48 critic

An actress suffers an emotional uproar in her personal life after a fan dies trying to see her.



0Check in

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Video

Nominated for 2 Golden Globes. Another 2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Faces I (1968)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

An old married man leaves his wife for a younger woman. Shortly after, his ex-wife also begins a relationship with a younger partner. The film follows their struggles to find love amongst each other.

Director: John Cassavetes
Stars: John Marley, Gena Rowlands, Lynn Carlin
Love Streams (1984)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

Two closely bound, emotionally wounded siblings reunite after years apart.

Director: John Cassavetes
Stars: Gena Rowlands, John Cassavetes, Diahnne Abbott
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A proud strip club owner is forced to come to terms with himself as a man, when his gambling addiction gets him in hot water with the mob, who offer him only one alternative.

Director: John Cassavetes
Stars: Ben Gazzara, Timothy Carey, Seymour Cassel
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

Mabel, a wife and mother, is loved by her husband Nick but her madness proves to be a problem in the marriage. The film transpires to a positive role of madness in the family, challenging conventional representations of madness in cinema.

Director: John Cassavetes
Stars: Gena Rowlands, Peter Falk, Fred Draper
Shadows (1959)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Cassavetes' jazz-scored improvisational film explores interracial friendships and relationships in Beat-Era (1950s) New York City.

Director: John Cassavetes
Stars: Ben Carruthers, Lelia Goldoni, Hugh Hurd
Husbands (1970)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A common friend's sudden death brings three men, married with children, to reconsider their lives and ultimately leave together. But mindless enthusiasm for regained freedom will be ... See full summary »

Director: John Cassavetes
Stars: Ben Gazzara, Peter Falk, John Cassavetes
Certificate: GP Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A museum curator falls in love with a crazy parking attendant.

Director: John Cassavetes
Stars: Gena Rowlands, Seymour Cassel, Val Avery
Gloria (1980)
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

When a young boy's family is killed by the mob, their tough neighbor Gloria becomes his reluctant guardian. In possession of a book that the gangsters want, the pair go on the run in New York.

Director: John Cassavetes
Stars: Gena Rowlands, Buck Henry, Julie Carmen
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Ghost is an idealogical musician who would rather play his blues in the park to the birds than compromise himself. However, when he meets and falls in love with beautiful singer, Jess ... See full summary »

Director: John Cassavetes
Stars: Bobby Darin, Stella Stevens, Everett Chambers
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Psychologist Dr. Matthew Clark is the head of the Crawthorne State Training Institute, one of the first boarding schools for developmentally challenged children. Dr. Clark is sympathetic ... See full summary »

Director: John Cassavetes
Stars: Burt Lancaster, Judy Garland, Gena Rowlands
Big Trouble (1986)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.2/10 X  

Insurance agent plots with client to kill her nutty husband.

Director: John Cassavetes
Stars: Peter Falk, Alan Arkin, Beverly D'Angelo
L'argent (1983)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A forged 500-franc note is cynically passed from person to person and shop to shop, until it falls into the hands of a genuine innocent who doesn't see it for what it is - which will have ... See full summary »

Director: Robert Bresson
Stars: Christian Patey, Sylvie Van den Elsen, Michel Briguet


Cast overview, first billed only:
David Samuels
Zohra Lampert ...
Dorothy Victor
Nancy Stein
Gus Simmons
Ray Powers ...
Louise Lewis ...
Kelly (as Louise Fitch)
Fred Draper ...
Katherine Cassavetes ...
Lady Rowlands ...
Melva Drake
Carol Warren ...


A young woman gets killed in an accident trying to meet her favorite actress Myrtle Gordon after a play. Then Myrtle Gordon felt responsible for the killing leading her down to an emotional crisis that interferes with her professional work as an actress. Written by Chemi González <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




PG-13 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

17 April 1978 (Sweden)  »

Also Known As:

Noche de estreno  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Gena Rowlands and John Cassavetes in real life were married. In this film they both worked as actors with the latter also being the writer-director. See more »


A bus rolls by the New Haven theater with an ad for KBIG FM 104, a Los Angeles station. See more »


Maurice Aarons: You're not a woman to me anymore. You're a professional. You don't care about anything, do you? You don't care about personal relationships, love, sex, affection.
Myrtle Gordon: Okay.
Maurice Aarons: I have a small part. It's unsympathetic. The audience doesn't like me. I can't afford to be in love with you.
Myrtle Gordon: Good night.
Maurice Aarons: Yeah, good night.
See more »


Referenced in Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) (2014) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

8 March 2005 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

It was once suggested by Pauline Kael, never a fan, that Cassavetes thought not like a director, but like an actor. What Kael meant was his supposed lack of sophistication as a filmmaker; to take that comparison further, to me, it never feels like Cassavetes is directing himself in a film, it feels like Cassavetes implanting himself inside his own creation, like Orson Welles. Cassavetes is just as much of a genius as Welles, but far more important as a true artist (as opposed to a technician or rhetorician). This is like a cross between Italian passion (though Cassavetes was actually Greek) and Scandinavian introversion. Never before have inner demons been so exposed physically.

It's about the mystery of becoming, performing, and acting. Like a haunted Skip James record, it's got the echoes of ghosts all around. Rowlands' breakdowns, which are stupefying and almost operatic, surprising coming from Cassavetes, are accompanied by a jumpy, unsettling piano. Who is this dead girl? The metaphysical possibilities are endless, and it's amazing to find this kind of thing in a Cassavetes film, just the overt display of intelligence (there is also a brief bit of voice-over at the beginning). But then, he always was intelligent, he just never flapped it around for easy praise. This is not "Adaptation"; here, the blending of reality and fiction and drama is not to show cleverness but to show the inner turmoil and confusion it creates.

There's so much going on. The pure, joyous love when Rowlands greets her doorman; the horror when she beats herself up... The scene where the girl talks about how she devoted her life to art and to music is one of the most effective demonstrations of understanding what it means to be a fan of someone. You can see some roots of this in "A Star Is Born," and Almodovar borrowed from it for "All About My Mother." I think the ending is a little bit of a disappointment because of the laughing fits, but the preparation leading up to it is almost sickening. (You can shoot me, but I think the alcoholism, despite its urgency in many of the scenes, is a relatively small point about the film.)

It's a living, breathing thing, and it feels like a process: it could go any direction at any time. Like "Taste of Cherry," we are reminded that "you must never forget this is only a play." Yet it is dangerous: when Rowlands says that line, is it great drama? How will the audience take it? Is she being reflexive or does she just not care? Her (character's) breakdowns are incorporated into the performances, and ultimately the film, in such a way that it's like witnessing a female James Dean. 10/10

33 of 38 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
No Oscar for Rowlands? chevelless67
i think it was boring chrissy_13
Slapped Actress/The Hold Steady ManWhoSoldTheWorld
Cassavetes's best! And the orhers... wwolf-8
Music from Cassavetes's films viberg_bjorn
John C's jazzy cutting style noelartm
Discuss Opening Night (1977) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: