Opening Night Review

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Opening Night focuses on actress Myrtle Gordon (Rowlands), who unhappy with the more mature parts she is beginning to receive heads toward a nervous breakdown. Not only that she is then visited by the ghost of a dead fan who died outside the theatre she is appearing in.


Hovering somewhere between All About Eve and an M.R. James ghost story, this expands the envelope of realism as it mounts a very strange character study of a theatrical star who resists her own age by struggling against the script of the menopausal play she is appearing in.

Apparently haunted by a fan run down in the street outside the theatre and constantly providing variations on a single scene from the play-in-progress, Rowlands gives another outstanding performance as a woman in extreme crisis. With a very good, unusual performance from Blondell as the horrified playwright and the expected excellent work from Cassavetes himself and Gazzara.

For fans of Cassavetes, Opening night is a must see. As per usual it features a superb cast, including the ever-present Gena Rowlands, who successfully improvise their way the film. Rowlands won a Golden Globe for her convincing performance of the actress heading for a mid-life crisis.