Anthology Film Archives


December 13 – December 23

American cinema lost one of its greatest actors this past February when Ben Gazzara passed away at the age of 81. Best known for his work with and for John Cassavetes, Gazzara crafted indelible performances in a wide range of movies over the course of more than half a century.

After training with Lee Strasberg at the Actors Studio in NYC, Gazzara quickly found great success onstage, appearing in many acclaimed plays, including the original production of Tennessee Williams’s CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF. Soon thereafter he made an unforgettable screen debut in Jack Garfein’s THE STRANGE ONE, and went on to make a huge impact as the accused murderer in Otto Preminger’s ANATOMY OF A MURDER. Gazzara ultimately enjoyed an extraordinary career that traversed the theater, movies, and television, led him to work regularly in the film industries in both the U.S. and Italy, and found him collaborating with some of the greatest filmmakers of his time (including Preminger, Phil Karlson, Peter Bogdanovich, Marco Ferreri, and of course Cassavetes). This retrospective features a selection of his greatest performances.

Special thanks to Peter Bogdanovich, Harry Guerro, Quentin Tarantino, Brian Block (Criterion Pictures USA), Chris Chouinard (Park Circus), Véronique Jimenez (Roissy Films), Christopher Lane (Sony), Caitlin Robertson (20th Century-Fox), and Julian Schlossberg & Ruth Better (Jumer Productions).

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