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Faces is a 1968 drama film, written and directed by John Cassavetes, and starring John Marley, Cassavetes' wife Gena Rowlands, Fred Draper, Seymour Cassel, and Lynn Carlin. In 2011, it was added to the National Film Registry of the Library of Congress.

Faces poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byJohn Cassavetes
Produced byMaurice McEndree
Written byJohn Cassavetes
StarringJohn Marley
Gena Rowlands
Lynn Carlin
Seymour Cassel
Fred Draper
Val Avery
Dorothy Gulliver
CinematographyAl Ruban
Edited byAl Ruban
Maurice McEndree
Distributed byContinental Distributing
Release date
  • March 1968 (1968-03)
Running time
183 minutes
130 minutes (General cut)
147 minutes (Criterion cut)
CountryUnited States



The film, shot in cinéma vérité-style, depicts the final stages of the disintegrating marriage of a middle-aged couple (John Marley and Lynn Carlin). We are introduced to various groups and individuals the couple interacts with after the husband's sudden statement of his desire for a divorce. Afterwards, he spends the night in the company of brash businessmen and prostitutes, while the wife spends it with her middle-aged female friends and an aging, free-associating playboy they've picked up at a bar. The night proceeds as a series of tense conversations and confrontations occur.



The film was shot in high-contrast 16 mm black and white film stock.


As is the case with several of Cassavetes' films, several different versions of Faces are known to exist (though it was generally assumed that, after creating the general release print, Cassavetes destroyed the alternative versions). It was initially premiered in Toronto with a running time of 183 minutes, before Cassavetes cut it down to 130 minutes. Though the 130-minute version is the general release version, a print of a longer version with a running time of 147 minutes was accidentally found by Ray Carney, and was deposited at the Library of Congress. 17 minutes of this print were included in the Criterion box set John Cassavetes: Five Films, though Carney has said that there are numerous differences between the two films.


Faces holds an 86% approval rating on review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes, based on 22 reviews with an average rating of 7.3/10.[1] Roger Ebert wrote that the film "tenderly, honestly, and uncompromisingly examines the way we really live".[2]

Carlin and Cassel both received acting Academy Award nominations. Cassavetes was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay. [3] [4] [5]

Pauline Kael however was negative to this film criticizing the "badly performed" acting and "crudely conceived" scenes. [6]

In 2011, Faces was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant". The Registry called the film "an example of cinematic excess" whose extended confrontations revealed "emotions and relations of power between men and women that rarely emerge in more conventionally structured films".

Faces, and other Cassavetes projects, had significant creative impact on Martin Scorsese, Woody Allen, and Robert Altman. [7]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Faces (1968)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved 16 July 2018.
  2. ^ Ebert, Roger. "Faces Movie Review".
  3. ^ Ruth Gordon Wins Supporting Actress: 1969 Oscars
  4. ^ Jack Albertson Win Supporting Actor:1969 Oscars
  5. ^ Mel Brooks Wins Original Screenplay: 1969 Oscars
  6. ^ 10 Memorable Pauline Kael Quotes About Movies|Flavorwire
  7. ^ Tribute: 26 Years Ago, John Cassavetes Died—After Party Magazine

Further readingEdit

External linksEdit