"But we would be most remiss as film connoisseurs and auteur buffs if we did not underscore the disturbing similarities between the events depicted in LOLITA and the events that have actually transpired in the Allen-Farrow contretemps. And we would be even more remiss if we did not wonder aloud how it was possible for an individual as steeped in cinematic lore as Mr. Allen to ignore the moral warnings signs that had been planted firmly in his path by a film such as LOLITA and others of this ilk--black-and-white pictures that regularly played at the Bleecker Steet Cinema, the Carnegie Hall Cinema, the Thalia, the Regency, and all the other arty Greenwich Village film houses where Allen spent his formative years."
- Joe Queenan, Movieline, 1/1993
Rolling Stone - 10/01/1992
"...Allen has never crafted anything as fiercely funny as this comedy of coming apart; it's a groundbreaking film, full of sublime performances..."
New York Times - 09/18/1992
"...A very fine, sometimes brutal comedy....Acted to loopy perfection by a remarkable cast..."
Los Angeles Times - 09/18/1992
"...A remarkably self-revealing film..."
Chicago Sun-Times - 09/18/1992
"...The best scenes in HUSBANDS AND WIVES are between the characters played by Allen and Farrow....Some of this dialogue must have cut very close to the bone..."
Gabe and Judy Roth (Woody Allen and Mia Farrow), a long-married couple, find their relationship starting to crumble when their best friends, Jack and Sally (Sydney Pollack and Judy Davis), announce that they are separating. Allen's use of a hand-held camera and jump-cuts adds immediacy to a brilliant display of ensemble acting. Pollack delivers an Oscar-worthy performance.
Gabe and Judy Roth meet to have dinner with their best friends, Sally and Jack, who promptly announce that they are separating. Their decision causes Gabe and Judy to reevaluate their own struggling marriage, and all four pursue other romances, some of them wildly inappropriate, in search of a good relationship.
HUSBANDS AND WIVES was the 13th and, presumably, last collaboration for Woody Allen and Mia Farrow. After a long personal and professional relationship, the two came to blows after it was revealed that Allen was having an affair with Farrow's college-age adopted daughter. In the highly publicized custody battle that ensued over their biological and adopted children, Farrow accused Allen of molesting one of their daughters. Allen countered by accusing Farrow of brainwashing their children to tell lies about him, of writing him threatening letters, and of adopting children compulsively and then ignoring them, but was defeated in his bid to retain custody. When HUSBANDS AND WIVES opened, many noted the parallels between Allen and Farrow's on-screen and off-screen problems.
Emily Lloyd, originally cast as Rain, was replaced by Juliette Lewis soon after filming began.
Shot on location in New York City, New York, in DuArt color. Prints by Technicolor. Sound Dolby Spectral Recording.
Began shooting November 4, 1991; completed January 20, 1992.
Released in USA September 18, 1992. TriStar originally intended to open the film slowly, to a few large cities, on September 23 before being rolled out to theaters nationwide. Instead, the film opened at 800 theaters on the 18th, in order to take advantage of the publicity surrounding the Farrow-Allen split and custody battle.
Released on video April 7, 1993.
Reviewed in the Los Angeles Times and the New York Times September 18, 1992.
Judy Davis was named best actress of 1992 by the London Film Critics Circle for her performances in HUSBANDS AND WIVES, BARTON FINK, and NAKED LUNCH. She was voted best supporting actress of 1992 by the National Society of Film Critics, the National Board of Review, the Los Angeles Film Critics Association, and the Boston Society of Film Critics.