"Never sentimental, often brutal, "Gloria" follows the life and times of ex-gangster's moll Gloria who finds herself protecting the young survivor of a mafia massacre. Armed with only her wits and a pocket gun, Gloria goes on the run, taking with her Phil, played wonderfully by then child actor John Adames who tries his best to be Gloria's equal in everything. Gloria knows enough about mafia life to know that she and Phil are living on borrowed time but she's one tough broad, and there's a chance that the Mafia just might have met their match in a woman whose maternal instincts have been aroused, and who will do anything to protect a child she has come to love as her own. Gena Rowlands is crackingly good as the foul mouthed Gloria who gives as good as she gets, as she takes on the mob, and the whole corrupt city system in a battle of wits, blood and bullets. Considering that this film was made over 20 years ago, it has aged pretty well and is just as watchable now as it was then. Worth adding to your collection if you life a film with teeth."
Would be 5-stars, but this video was cut/edited
Joseph A. Greenleaf | Papillion, NE USA | 05/03/1999
(3 out of 5 stars)
"One of my all-time favorite movies, easily worthy of 5 (or more stars), in the theatrical version. BUT, for reasons unknown, this one was cut in at least two key scenes, and probably many others. The scene in the apartment, when the shooters come in, we no longer see the mother and father with their guns and the shootings of the grandmother, mother, and father, and, off-camera, daughter. Instead, the camera is on Gloria and the kid in her apartment (something that wasn't in the original, as I recall). The scene where Gloria is on the curb with the kid and the mobsters roar up in their car. In the theatrical release, Gloria says, "Suck on this!" as she points and shoots them, point-blank. Major slice in the video, no "Suck on this!" You can see the jerkiness of the cut. I'm amazed that this was done. Interested in continuity errors? http://www.swordpoint.com/continuity.htm"
A spunky performance.
Joseph A. Greenleaf | 10/12/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I bought this DVD because I remembered seeing this film back in high school and never quite forgot the dialogue or the bravado of Gena Rowlands performance. And it's this performance and the acting ability of this great artist which makes me glad I purchased it. I've already viewed this DVD several times and never get tired of this fast paced action drama about a female hero who unlike most heriones will surely never become quite domesticated in the end. This is what makes "Gloria" unique, along with the off-beat stylized direction of Gena Rowlands late husband John Cassevettes. The story takes place in Manhattan and the entire film serves as a representation of the late 1970's. Gena Rowlands goes all the way with this character, screaming at mobsters such lines as "You let a woman beat you" "uh." Despite such dialogue or maybe because of it(and the unique, progressive, and "classy" quality of this production) this film represents an overall entertaining experience. Highly Recommended!"
Gena Rowlands Rules!
Alysson Oliveira | Sao Paulo-- Brazil | 01/04/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"She is tough. She is beautiful. She is glorious. She is Gloria -- ie she is Gena Rowlands. And I really admire her. I think she, along with Ellen Burstin, is one of the most beautiful and talented American actress who is in the business for such a long time and has done wonderful works. To my complete delight these two ladies worked togheter in "Playing by Heart" -- which is a nice movie. "Gloria" is directed by Gena's late husband, the also very talented John Cassavetes. The story is simple but touching: one boy, Phill, has his family murdered by gangsters. Gloria, who is a neighbour has taken the boy from the apartement before the crime happened. So she and the little boy spend most of the film trying not to get killed by these mobsters. To make things worse, Phill has got a black book given by his dad in which he had written everthing he knew about the mafia when he worked for them as an accountant; plus, Gloria herself is an ex-con, who had had some reltionships with these very same guys. This film is very violent and bloody, but on the other hand, it is very human. The relationship between Gloria and Phill grows up slowly -- once she doesn't like children very much -- ; and it is very believable. Gena is hard as a rock -- as Gloria would be if she were a real person. She received an Oscar nomination for this, which is one of her finest work. And it kept me wondering what things Gloria had faced that made her like this. The boy is also good and he is the light point of the movie; the comments he makes are so innocent that they sound funny. The score is competely amazing and unforgettable, and goes very well with all scenes. And the opening credits written on some paitings is breathtaking. Cassavete's direstion is precise and the script is smart and serious.I think the only small problem in this movie is that is very dated and nowadays it looks a bit old. I'm not talking about the fashion, but some situations. But on the other hand, there's an up-dated version of "Gloria" starred by Sharon Stone, which is really, really awful. So I'd rather watching the "old" one -- even with some 'old' things -- than that modernized one. That's why I highly recommend this picture!"
A diamond in the rough not to be missed.
Pervis22@AOL.COM | New York | 03/04/1999
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Seldom has there been a director who possesses the uncanny ability to drop his audience in the middle of the action and manage to make that audience forget that it is watching a movie. John Cassavetes manages to accomplish that feat within the first five minutes of his mostly overlooked and unfairly maligned "Gloria." Following the offbeat opening credits accompanied by eerie Spanish guitar music, we find ourselves in the stuffy Bronx apartment of a mob accountant (Buch Henry) and his Puerto Rican family. As we soon come to learn, our friend, while in the employ of the mob, has been actively engaged in the practice of "skimming off the top." Furthermore, he is in possession of a book in which he has, over the past several years, compiled numerous illegal transactions and other assorted niceties in which his recent employers have been involved. When we meet our accountant, he is in a panic, as he is well aware that his employers know full well what he has been up to and that they are waiting in the lobby of his apartment building to eradicate his family and to recover the damning book. It is at this time that we are introduced to our heroine, Gloria (Gena Rowlands.) It is also at this time that we realize that we are in for a cinematic gem. Her entrance is flawless because of its nondeliberate inappropriateness ("Ran out of coffee"). A line that is classic yet easy to overlook (and for the most part, unfortunately, has been.) It is at this moment that Gloria learns of her new role in life: Guardian of the accountant's eight-year-old son. It is also at this moment that she is given an opportunity to deliver another gem: "I don't like kids; especially yours." Within hours, Gloria finds herself as the sole protector of world-weary boy and running from the same mobsters with whom she has been acquainted and intimate for many years. Cassavetes presents "Gloria" with a gritty, down-in-the-dirt honesty and an, at times, unneven narrative that can easily be mistaken for sloppy filmmaking. Do not be fooled. The finished product as we see it is exactly as our director intended it. Cassavetes strikes a successful balance by combining the hard-hitting honesty of everyday life (his trademark) with a story of the growing affection between a single, nonmaternal, completely independent middle-aged woman and a newly orphaned eight-year-old boy who has experienced more suffering and loss in his youth than most of us will in our entire lifetime. "Gloria," as most of the films of Cassavetes, has been widely dismissed by critics as mediocre and forgettable (misinformed misanthropes as they are). Do not be steered away from it because of what you may have heard. Give it a chance, and you will not be disappointed."