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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.

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