Husbands (1970)

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Husbands is a 1970 film written and directed by John Cassavetes. This ensemble film, which describes three middle class men in the throes of a midlife crisis, stars Ben Gazzara, Peter Falk and Cassavetes. The film, in cinéma verite style, was described by Time magazine as Cassavetes' finest work while condemned by other prominent critics. One recent critic described it as a "devastatingly bleak view of the emptiness of suburban life."

Cassavetes wrote the dialogue after improvising with Falk and Gazzara, and built the characters around the personalities of the actors. The film received dramatically disparate receptions, with some prominent critics loving the film and others hating it. Life magazine put Cassavetes and the two other Husbands stars on its cover, and Chicago Tribune film critic Gene Siskel put the film on his list of top ten films of the year. Critic Jay Cocks said in Time magazine that "Husbands may be one of the best movies anyone will ever see. It is certainly the best movie anyone will ever live through." He described it as an important and great film, and as Cassavetes' finest work. Chicago Sun-Times critic Roger Ebert said that "seldom has Time given a better review to a worse movie." New Yorker critic Pauline Kael described Husbands as "infantile and offensive."