John Cassavetes

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Bob Edelman

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[Gloria] is typical of its director, John Cassavetes: sometimes irritating and confusing but always original and thought-provoking, with moments of undeniable brilliance. In a quick shot, or camera angle or movement, Cassavetes eloquently captures the anguish, fear, paranoia, intimacy and hope of his characters…. [When Gloria tugs at Phil, this simple gesture] hints at Gloria's basic humanity, and the potential of caring between two different human beings. Also, he effectively displays the reality behind the picture-postcard glitter of New York….

But the film is also maddeningly illogical. Police inexplicably allow Gloria and Phil to leave the murder scene. Cabs appear out of nowhere when there is the need for a getaway car. Phil changes a $100 bill and travels alone to Pittsburgh, with no adults questioning his age.

Gloria may be irritating in its inconsistencies, but it is nonetheless exciting, like free form jazz. Cassavetes, not afraid to take chances as a director, has chosen not to direct "packages" and count his money. There is a special rawness to Gloria, that of a hungry novice.

Bob Edelman, "'Gloria': A Review," in Films in Review (copyright © 1980 by the National Board of Review of Motion Pictures, Inc.), Vol. XXXI, No. 8, October, 1980, p. 475.

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