John Cassavetes directs Husbands, courtesy of A Certain Cinema. The idea for Husbands can be traced back to Cassavetes’ need for cash to pay Faces’ lab bills in late 1966.
I needed money in order to complete Faces and I couldn’t afford to spend the time working at it, so I asked my agent if he had any thoughts on the matter; he told me that I had to work for my money just like everyone else. I really can credit Jack Gilardi, now a CMA agent, for giving me the ammunition to begin this craziest, most painful project that I’ve ever been involved in. I don’t dig rejection — not even when it’s practical. It’s my button — push it and I go for two or three years. Which is just about the time I take to make a picture. There’s an American answer to everything — it’s called “Oh yeah?” and then it’s followed by something like “How about this?” and then a series of cheap, ostensibly commercial ideas pop out uncontrollably, and that afternoon on the Paramount lot Husbands was born. It was told first to Gilardi and then to a Paramount producer who offered me $25,000 cold cash for it on the spot. That was everything I needed at the moment, but the perverseness had started and somehow Faces would have to struggle through without me selling crappy ideas to greedy men.—John Cassavetes, The Making of Husbands
During filming in 1970, the BBC followed Cassavetes and his actors in New York and London making a documentary for their Omnibus strand, examining the unique way this great director made his movies. This is a super-rare look behind the scenes of Cassavetes’ first ‘big budget’ film, Husbands. It depicts several scenes which never made it into the final film, and a few that did. Also great is to watch Cassavetes working out scenes with Peter Falk and Ben Gazzara, sitting around a table smoking, brainstorming, joking, and singing — just like Archie Gus and Harry! Note: Since, this video is from VHS the quality leaves much to be desired. I tried to clean it up a bit. —frame-paradiso
Host Dick Cavett welcomes guests actors John Cassavetes, Peter Falk and Ben Gazzara. All were starring together in Husbands.
I happen to think Husbands is a very fine film that has to do with what’s happening today from our point of view, you know, three guys that have lived part of their lives and don’t have their youth to look forward to. —John Cassavetes
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