John Cassavetes

Actors/Filmmakers

John Nicholas Cassavetes (December 9, 1929 – February 3, 1989) was an American actor, film director, and screenwriter. Cassavetes was a pioneer of American independent film, writing and directing a dozen movies, which he partially self-financed. He also acted in many Hollywood films, notably Robert Aldrich‘s The Dirty Dozen (1967), with Lee Marvin, Ernest Borgnine, Charles Bronson, Jim Brown, John Cassavetes, George Kennedy, Robert Ryan, Telly Savalas, Robert Webber and Donald Sutherland; and Roman Polanski’s Rosemary’s Baby (1968), with Mia Farrow, Sidney Blackmer, Maurice Evans, Ralph Bellamy, Angela Dorian, and Clay Tanner. He studied acting with Don Richardson, utilizing an alternative technique to method acting which privileged character over traditional narrative. His income from acting made it possible for him to direct his own films independently.

Other notable films as an actor include Don Siegel‘s Crimes in the Street (1956), with James Whitmore and Sal Mineo; Martin Ritt‘s Edge of the City (1957), with Sidney Poitier and Jack Warden; Lázló Benedek’s Affair in Havana (1957), with Raymond Burr; Siegel’s The Killers (1964), with Marvin, Angie Dickinson, Ronald Reagan, Clu Gulager, Claude Akins, and Norman Fell; Larry Peerce’s Two-Minute Warning (1976), with Charlton Heston, Martin Balsam, Beau Bridges, Jack Klugman, and David Janssen; Brian De Palma‘s The Fury (1978), with Kirk Douglas, Amy Irving, Carrie Snodgress, Charles Durning, and Andrew Stevens; Brass Target (1978), with Sophia Loren, Robert Vaughn, George Kennedy, Patrick McGoohan, and Max von Sydow; John Badham’s Whose Life Is It Anyway? (1981), with Richard Dreyfuss and Bob Balaban; and Paul Mazursky’s Tempest (1982), with Susan Sarandon, Raúl Juliá and Molly Ringwald.

Cassavetes was nominated for three Academy Awards: Best Supporting Actor for The Dirty Dozen (1967), Best Original Screenplay for Faces (1968), and Best Director for A Woman Under the Influence (1974). He collaborated frequently with various actors, including his wife Gena Rowlands, Peter Falk, Ben Gazzara, and Seymour Cassel. Other notable films as director include Too Late Blues (1961), with Bobby Darin and Stella Stevens; A Child Is Waiting (1963), with Burt Lancaster and Judy Garland; and Big Trouble (1986), with Falk, Alan Arkin, featured Beverly D’Angelo, Durning and Valerie Curtin.

Each review will be linked to the title below.

(*seen originally in theaters)

(**seen rereleased in theaters)

Director

  • Shadows (1959) – uncredited actor
  • Too Late Blues (1961)
  • A Child Is Waiting (1963)
  • Faces (1968)
  • Husbands (1970) – also actor
  • Minnie and Moskowitz (1971) – also uncredited actor
  • A Woman Under the Influence (1974)
  • The Killing of a Chinese Bookie (1976)
  • Opening Night (1977) – also actor
  • Gloria (1980)
  • Love Streams (1984) – also actor
  • Big Trouble (1986)

Actor – Film

  • Fourteen Hours (1951) – directed by Henry Hathaway – uncredited
  • Taxi (1953) – directed by Gregory Ratoff – uncredted
  • The Night Holds Terror (1955) – directed by Andrew L. Stone
  • Crime in the Streets (1956) – directed by Don Siegel
  • Edge of the City (1957) – directed by Martin Ritt
  • Affair in Havana (1957) – directed by László Benedek
  • Saddle the Wind (1958) – directed by Robert Parrish
  • Our Virgin Island (1958) – directed by Pat Jackson
  • The Webster Boy (1962) – directed by Don Chaffey
  • The Killers (1964) – directed by Don Siegel
  • Devil’s Angels (1967) – directed by Daniel Haller
  • The Dirty Dozen (1967) – directed by Robert Aldrich
  • Rosemary’s Baby (1968) – directed by Roman Polanski
  • Bandits in Rome (1968) – directed by Alberto De Martino – aka Roma come Chicago (Rome like Chicago) – Italy
  • Machine Gun McCain (1969) – directed by Giuliano Montaldo – Italy
  • If It’s Tuesday, This Must Be Belgium (1969) – directed by Mel Stuart
  • Capone (1975) – directed by Steve Carver
  • Two-Minute Warning (1976) – directed by Larry Peerce
  • Mikey and Nicky (1976) – directed by Elaine May
  • Heroes (1977) – directed by Jeremy Paul Kagan – uncredited
  • The Fury (1978) – directed by Brian De Palma
  • Brass Target (1978) – directed by John Hough
  • Who’s Life Is It Anyway? (1981) – directed by John Badham
  • The Incubus (1981) – directed by John Hough
  • Tempest (1982) – directed by Paul Mazursky
  • The Haircut (1982) – directed by Tamar Simon Hoffs – short
  • Marvin & Tige (1983) – directed by Eric Weston
  • Fräulein Berlin (1984) – directed by Lothar Lambert – cameo as himself
  • King Kongs Faust (1985) – directed by Heiner Stadler – uncredited
  • I’m Almost Not Crazy: John Cassavetes, the Man and His Work (1989) – directed by Michael Ventura – documentary, posthumously released

Actor – TV

  • Lux Video Theatre (1950-1959) – anthology, 1 episode (1951)
  • You Are There (1953-1972) – anthology, 1 episode (1953)
  • Omnibus (1952-1951) -anthology, 1 episode (1954)
  • Robert Montgomery Presents (1950-1957) – anthology, 1 episode
  • Danger (1950-1955) – anthology, 3 episodes (1954-1955)
  • Kraft Theatre (1947-1958) – anthology, 1 episode (1955)
  • The Eighth Hour (1954-1955) – anthology, 2 episodes (1955)
  • Armstrong Circle Theatre (1950-1963) – anthology, 3 episodes (1955)
  • Ponds Theater (1953-1956) anthology, 1 episode (1955)
  • The Philco Television Playhouse (1948-1956) – anthology, 1 episode (1955)
  • Goodyear Playhouse (1951-1957) – anthology, 1 episode (1955)
  • The United States Steel Hour (1953-1966) – anthology, 1 episode (1956)
  • Alfred Hitchcock Presents (1955-1962) – anthology, 1 episode (1956)
  • Appointment with Adventure (1955-1956) – anthology, 1 episode (1956)
  • The 20th Century-Fox Hour (1955-1957) – anthology, 1 episode (1956)
  • Climax! (1954-1958) – anthology, 2 episodes (1956)
  • The O. Henry Playhouse (1957) – anthology, 1 episode
  • Playhouse 90 (1956-1961) – anthology, 1 episode (1957)
  • Studio One in Hollywood (1948-1958) – anthology, 1 episode (1958)
  • Alcoa Theatre (1957-1960) – anthology, 1 episode (1958)
  • Pursuit (1958-1959) – anthology, 1 episode (1958)
  • General Electric Theater (1953-1962) – anthology, 1 episode (1959)
  • Lux Playhouse (1958-1959) – anthology, 1 episode (1959)
  • Johnny Staccato (1959-1960 – 27 episodes, main role
  • Rawhide (1959-1965) – 1 episode (1961)
  • The Lloyd Bridges Show (1962-1963) – anthology, 1 episode (1962)
  • Dr. Killdare (1961-1966) – 1 episode (1962)
  • Channing (1963-1964) – 1 episode (1963)
  • Breaking Point (1963-1964) – 1 episode (1963)
  • Alexander the Great (1964) – TV movie
  • The Alfred Hitchcock Hour (1962-1965) – anthology, 2 episodes (1964)
  • Profiles in Courage (1964-1965) – anthology, 1 episode (1965)
  • Kraft Suspense Theatre (1963-1966) – anthology, 1 episode (1965)
  • Burke’s Law (1963-1966) – 4 episodes (1964-1965)
  • Combat (1962-1967) – 1 episode (1965)
  • The Legend of Jesse James (1965-1966) – 1 episode (1965)
  • Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea (1964-1968) – 1 episode (1965)
  • The Virginian (1962-1971) – 1 episode (1968)
  • The Long, Hot Summer (1965-1966) 1 episode (1966)
  • Bob Hope Presents the Chrysler Theatre (1963-1967) – anthology, 3 episodes (1965-1967)
  • Off to See the Wizard (1967-1968) – anthology, 1 episode (1968)
  • Columbo (1971-2003) – 1 episode (1972)
  • Nightside (1973) – TV movie
  • Flesh & Blood (1978) – TV movie