In the film, Broadway actress Myrtle Gordon rehearses for her latest play, about a woman unable to admit that she is aging. When she witnesses the death of an adoring young fan, she begins to confront the personal and professional turmoils she faces in her own life.
Opening Night is a 1977 American drama film written and directed by John Cassavetes, and starring Gena Rowlands, Ben Gazzara, Joan Blondell, Paul Stewart, Zohra Lampert, and Cassavetes.
In common with earlier films, Cassavetes struggled to get Opening Night distributed in the United States. After a number of preview screenings, it opened on December 25, 1977, at the Fox Wilshire Theater, Los Angeles where it played to almost empty houses, and closed in February having never been commercially shown elsewhere. Screenings in New York City that March were similarly ignored. The film was only picked up by an American distributor in 1991, two years after Cassavetes’ death.
In 1978, it was entered into the 28th Berlin International Film Festival, where Gena Rowlands won the Silver Bear for Best Actress. The film was screened out of competition at the 1992 Cannes Film Festival.
Opening Night (1977)
Directed by: John Cassavetes
Starring: Gena Rowlands, John Cassavetes, Ben Gazzara, Joan Blondell, Paul Stewart, Zohra Lampert, Laura Johnson, John Finnegan, Katherine Cassavetes
Screenplay by: John Cassavetes
Production Design by: Bryan Ryman
Cinematography by: Al Ruban
Film Editing by: Tom Cornwell
Costume Design by: Aleka Corwin
Art Direction by: Brian Ryman
Music by: Bo Harwood
Distributed by: Faces Distribution
Taglines: December 25, 1977