Come out here, Mabel.

This column took some time off (thus calling into question its title), but it comes back strong with an unusual advertisement for an unusual John Cassavetes movie. Peter Falk stars here as the husband of a woman with mental problems (played stunningly by Gena Rowlands). At first, the story was going to be a play, but it was Rowlands who convinced Cassavetes to write it as a screenplay because she claimed the role was too emotionally draining to force an actress to do night after night.

It’s a pure passion project which found Cassavetes mortgaging his home to finance and found him lugging it from theater to theater himself after completion because he didn’t have a distributor. Thankfully, An up-and-comer named Martin Scorsese took a liking to his work and threatened to pull Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore from a New York City film festival unless they accepted A Woman Under the Influence. A close call for a film which garnered two Oscar nominations including Best Director and Best Lead Actress.

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