Gloria (1980)

PG   |    |  Crime, Drama, Thriller


Gloria (1980) Poster

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.


7.1/10
7,461

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  • Gena Rowlands and John Adames in Gloria (1980)
  • Gena Rowlands in Gloria (1980)
  • Gloria (1980)
  • Gloria (1980)
  • John Cassavetes and John Adames in Gloria (1980)
  • Gena Rowlands in Gloria (1980)

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6 May 2000 | silentgpaleo
Gena Rowlands would kick Sharon Stone's butt
I have not seen the remake of GLORIA yet, and needless to say, I'm not looking forward to it. Not to say that Sharon Stone can't play a tough female, who's self-imposed as a bodyguard for a kid running from mobsters. It is just that Gena Rowlands is so much more versatile, and her range so much wider, and I just KNOW that Stone won't be able to cut it. So, I will stop speculating, and get to the facts.

GLORIA is a film that Cassavete's made as an antidote to brainless, violent action films. All of the violence has dramatic purpose, and nothing is pointless here. This may be off-putting to fans of the action genre, but Cassavetes' contempt for the genre is what makes GLORIA more interesting. There are several unexpected twists.

When the film begins, Gloria is a street-smart woman who is kind of "married" to the mob. Gloria has a tomboyish quality that lends credibility to the fact that she has lived this long. She looks out for herself, first and foremost.

This changes when a weasel, and friend,of Gloria's (Buck Henry) is murdered by her mobster friends. Henry and his wife are killed, leaving behind a scared child. The little boy is a witness to the murder, and the mobsters make chase.

Gloria feels her maternal instincts begin to take over, and begrudgingly protects the boy. As the film progresses, however, she becomes more sincere in her protection, and she draws the line further for the mobsters. She has survived in the harsh city for this long, so it is easy to assume that she knows how to stay alive.

GLORIA is by no means Cassavete best film. There are long stretches that test your patience, that can sometimes seem static. But, as much as I dislike this quality, I am familiar with several Cassavetes' films, and understand what he is trying to achieve. Cassavetes is a very emotional director. He doesn't focus on tragedy; he is more interested in survival and the baggage that that brings. GLORIA is a thinking-person's thriller, and if you prefer big explosions and high body-counts, go and see DIE HARD 2 again. But, if you want to see something different, check this one out.

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Did You Know?

Trivia

Described by executive producer Sam Shaw as "a poor man's Dakota", the filming location of an apartment at 800 Riverside Drive was an equally remarkable building that still retained traces of its former elegance and the charm of a more leisured era. Like the Concourse Plaza, it suffered a period of decline, then was taken over by the city, which recently sold it to the tenants. With the help of federal funds, the owners were working to restore it to its original glory. Even in its condition at the time, the apartments would turn the average city-dweller green with envy. They were large, airy and high ceilinged, most with two or more bathrooms, full-sized dining rooms and many closets. The kitchens were spacious and usually adjoined by pantries. Three different apartments in 800 Riverside Drive serve as Gloria's sister's pad (a temporary hideout for Phil and Gloria), mob leader Tony Tanzini's headquarters, and a hotel room. The imagination and taste of production designer Rene D'Auriac, assistant art director John Dapper, and set decorator John Godfrey, transformed the rooms in both the Concourse Plaza and 800 Riverside Drive into appropriate settings for the movie's characters. Writer-director John Cassavetes, who supervises every detail from make up to lighting on his films, chuckled: "In the beginning, I had to instruct them in bad taste, but now they're beginning to revel in it". Cassavetes wouldn't allow D' Auriac to touch the graffiti in the Concourse Plaza."You'll win an Academy Award", Cassavetes told D' Auriac.


Quotes

Phil Dawn: I'm not going with you.
Gloria Swenson: Hey; I got no time to play games with you, kid.
Phil Dawn: I am the man. I am the man. I am the man, do you hear me? I am the man! I am the man! Not you, you're not the man! Do you hear me?I'll do anything I can. I am the man!


Goofs

When Phil boards the train, the shot has been reversed, as evidenced by backwards lettering on the signs on the train and the platform.

Storyline

Plot Summary


Genres

Crime | Drama | Thriller

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