Husbands and Wives

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Husbands and Wives
Theatrical film poster
Directed byWoody Allen
Written byWoody Allen
Produced byRobert Greenhut
CinematographyCarlo Di Palma
Edited bySusan E. Morse
Distributed byTriStar Pictures
Release dates
  • September 14, 1992 (1992-09-14) (TIFF)
  • September 18, 1992 (1992-09-18) (United States)
Running time
108 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$20 million (estimate)
Box office$10.6 million[1]

Husbands and Wives is a 1992 American comedy-drama film written and directed by Woody Allen.[2][3][4] The film stars Allen, Mia Farrow, Sydney Pollack, Judy Davis, Lysette Anthony, Juliette Lewis, Liam Neeson and Blythe Danner. The film debuted shortly after the end of Allen and Farrow's romantic and professional partnership, and was the last of their 13 films together. The movie is filmed by Carlo Di Palma with a handheld camera style and features documentary-like interviews with the characters interspersed with the story.

Husbands and Wives, released by TriStar Pictures, was Allen's first film as sole director for a studio other than United Artists or Orion Pictures (both now part of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer) since Take the Money and Run (1969). It received critical acclaim despite being a box-office failure, and was nominated for two Academy Awards, Best Supporting Actress (Judy Davis) and Best Original Screenplay (Woody Allen).


The film follows two couples: Jack and Sally, and Gabe and Judy. It starts with Jack and Sally visiting Gabe and Judy's apartment to announce their separation. Gabe is shocked, but Judy takes it personally and is deeply hurt. The four of them go out to dinner at a Chinese restaurant, still confused about the situation.

A few weeks later, Sally visits a colleague's apartment to begin an evening at the opera and dinner. She calls Jack from the colleague's phone and accuses him of having an affair during their marriage after learning that he has met someone new.

Judy and Gabe meet Jack's new girlfriend, Sam, an aerobics trainer. While Judy and Sam go shopping, Gabe calls Sam a "cocktail waitress" and tells Jack that he's crazy for leaving Sally for her. Later, Judy introduces Michael, her colleague from the magazine, to Sally. They begin dating, but Sally is unsatisfied with the relationship.

Meanwhile, Gabe has developed a friendship with Rain, a young student of his, who reads and criticizes his novel manuscript. They share a romantic moment at her 21st birthday party, but Gabe decides they should not pursue it any further.

At a party, Jack learns that Sally is seeing someone else and becomes jealous. He and Sam argue intensely, and Jack drives home to find Sally in bed with Michael. He asks Sally to give their marriage another chance, but she refuses.

Less than two weeks later, Jack and Sally are back together and meet Gabe and Judy for dinner. Afterward, Judy and Gabe argue about her not sharing her poetry, and Gabe makes a failed pass at her. Judy tells him she thinks the relationship is over, and a week later Gabe moves out. Judy begins seeing Michael.

In the end, Jack and Sally are still struggling with marital problems, but accept them as the price of remaining together. Gabe is living alone and not dating to avoid hurting anyone, including himself. The film ends with Gabe asking the unseen documentary crew whether he can leave.


The cast includes (in credits order):



Box office[edit]

Husbands and Wives opened on September 18, 1992 in 865 theatres, where it earned $3,520,550 ($4,070 per screen) in its opening weekend. It went on to gross $10.5 million in North America during its theatrical run.[1] The film was also screened at the 1992 Toronto Festival of Festivals.

Critical response[edit]

Husbands and Wives opened to acclaim from film critics. The review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes reports that 93% of critics have given the film a positive review based on 40 reviews, with an average score of 8.2/10.[6]

Peter Travers of Rolling Stone called it "a defining film for these emotionally embattled times; it's classic Woody Allen."[7] Todd McCarthy of Variety similarly praised the film as "a full meal, as it deals with the things of life with intelligence, truthful drama and rueful humor."[8]

Vincent Canby of The New York Times called it "a very fine, sometimes brutal comedy about a small group of contemporary New Yorkers, each an edgy, self-analyzing achiever who goes through life without much joy, but who finds a certain number of cracked satisfactions along the way." He added, "'Husbands and Wives' -- the entire Allen canon, for that matter -- represents a kind of personal cinema for which there is no precedent in modern American movies. Even our best directors are herd animals. Mr. Allen is a rogue: he travels alone."[9] Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times opined, "... what 'Husbands and Wives' argues is that many 'rational' relationships are actually not as durable as they seem, because somewhere inside every person is a child crying me! me! me! We say we want the other person to be happy. What we mean is, we want them to be happy with us, just as we are, on our terms."[10]

In 2016, Time Out contributors ranked Husbands and Wives fifth among Allen's efforts, with Keith Uhlich praising the work's "trenchant examination of long-term relationships on the downswing".[11] The same year, Robbie Collin and Tim Robey of The Daily Telegraph listed Husbands and Wives as his seventh greatest film, calling it "a rapid marvel of four-way characterization" and praising the opening scene as "one of Allen’s most vividly written, shot and acted scenes ever".[12]


Award Category Nominee(s) Result
20/20 Awards Best Director Woody Allen Nominated
Best Supporting Actress Judy Davis Won
Best Original Screenplay Woody Allen Nominated
Academy Awards[13] Best Supporting Actress Judy Davis Nominated
Best Screenplay – Written Directly for the Screen Woody Allen Nominated
American Comedy Awards Funniest Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture Judy Davis Nominated
Artios Awards[14] Best Casting for Feature Film – Comedy Juliet Taylor Nominated
Australian Film Institute Awards Best Foreign Film Robert Greenhut Nominated
Awards Circuit Community Awards Best Actress in a Supporting Role Judy Davis Nominated
Boston Society of Film Critics Awards[15] Best Supporting Actress Won
British Academy Film Awards[16] Best Actress in a Leading Role Nominated
Best Original Screenplay Woody Allen Won
Cahiers du Cinéma Best Film 4th Place
César Awards[17] Best Foreign Film Nominated
Chicago Film Critics Association Awards[18] Best Supporting Actress Judy Davis Won
Dallas–Fort Worth Film Critics Association Awards Best Supporting Actress Won
Golden Globe Awards[19] Best Supporting Actress – Motion Picture Nominated
Guldbagge Awards[20] Best Foreign Film Won
Kansas City Film Critics Circle Awards[21] Best Supporting Actress Judy Davis Won
London Film Critics Circle Awards Actress of the Year Won
Los Angeles Film Critics Association Awards[22] Best Supporting Actor Sydney Pollack Runner-up
Best Supporting Actress Judy Davis Won
National Board of Review Awards[23] Best Supporting Actress Won
National Society of Film Critics Awards[24] Best Supporting Actress Won
New York Film Critics Circle Awards[25] Best Supporting Actress Runner-up
Southeastern Film Critics Association Awards[26] Best Picture 6th Place
Best Supporting Actress Judy Davis Won
Turkish Film Critics Association Awards Best Foreign Film 10th Place
Writers Guild of America Awards[27] Best Screenplay – Written Directly for the Screen Woody Allen Nominated


  1. ^ a b "Husbands and Wives (1992)". Box Office Mojo. Archived from the original on 7 August 2011. Retrieved 27 January 2011.
  2. ^ Canby, Vincent (September 18, 1992). "Husbands and Wives (1992) Review/Film -- Husbands and Wives; Fact? Fiction? It Doesn't Matter". The New York Times. Archived from the original on October 12, 2013. Retrieved February 9, 2017.
  3. ^ "Love and Fog". Entertainment Weekly. 1992. Archived from the original on 2013-10-12. Retrieved 2007-01-23.
  4. ^ "Scenes from Woody's Marriage". Entertainment Weekly. 1992. Archived from the original on 2013-10-12. Retrieved 2007-01-23.
  5. ^ Harvey, Adam (2007). The Soundtracks of Woody Allen. US: Macfarland & Company,Inc. p. 73. ISBN 9780786429684.
  6. ^ "Husbands and Wives (1992)". Rotten Tomatoes. Archived from the original on November 14, 2016. Retrieved January 4, 2018.
  7. ^ Travers, Peter (September 18, 1992). "Husbands and Wives". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on August 6, 2016. Retrieved September 19, 2015.
  8. ^ McCarthy, Todd (August 26, 1992). "Review: 'Husbands and Wives'". Variety. Archived from the original on February 11, 2019. Retrieved September 19, 2015.
  9. ^ Canby, Vincent (September 18, 1992). "Review/Film -- Husbands and Wives; Fact? Fiction? It Doesn't Matter". The New York Times. Archived from the original on October 1, 2015. Retrieved September 19, 2015.
  10. ^ Ebert, Roger (September 18, 1992). "Husbands and Wives". Chicago Sun-Times. Archived from the original on September 15, 2015. Retrieved September 19, 2015.
  11. ^ "The best Woody Allen movies of all time". Time Out. March 24, 2016. Archived from the original on May 29, 2017. Retrieved January 31, 2017.
  12. ^ Collin, Robbie; Robey, Tim (October 12, 2016). "All 47 Woody Allen movies - ranked from worst to best". The Guardian. Archived from the original on January 18, 2021. Retrieved January 31, 2017.
  13. ^ "The 65th Academy Awards (1993) Nominees and Winners". Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS). Archived from the original on 9 November 2014. Retrieved 22 October 2011.
  14. ^ "Nominees/Winners". Casting Society of America. Archived from the original on July 8, 2019. Retrieved July 8, 2019.
  15. ^ "BSFC Winners: 1990s". Boston Society of Film Critics. 27 July 2018. Retrieved 5 July 2021.
  16. ^ "BAFTA Awards: Film in 1993". BAFTA. 1993. Retrieved 16 September 2016.
  17. ^ "The 1993 Caesars Ceremony". César Awards. Retrieved July 5, 2021.
  18. ^ "1988-2013 Award Winner Archives". Chicago Film Critics Association. January 2013. Retrieved 24 August 2021.
  19. ^ "Husbands and Wives – Golden Globes". HFPA. Retrieved 5 July 2021.
  20. ^ "Husbands and Wives (1992)". Swedish Film Institute. 22 March 2014. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016.
  21. ^ "KCFCC Award Winners – 1990-99". 14 December 2013. Retrieved 15 May 2021.
  22. ^ "The Annual 18th Los Angeles Film Critics Association Awards". Los Angeles Film Critics Association. Retrieved 24 August 2021.
  23. ^ "1992 Award Winners". National Board of Review. Retrieved 5 July 2021.
  24. ^ "Past Awards". National Society of Film Critics. 19 December 2009. Retrieved 5 July 2021.
  25. ^ "1992 New York Film Critics Circle Awards". New York Film Critics Circle. Retrieved July 5, 2021.
  26. ^ "1992 SEFA Awards". Retrieved 15 May 2021.
  27. ^ "Awards Winners". Writers Guild of America. Archived from the original on 2012-12-05. Retrieved 2010-06-06.

External links[edit]