This is a super-rare look behind the scenes of Cassavetes’ first ‘big budget’ film, Husbands. It depicts several scenes which never made it into the final film, and a few that did. Also great is to watch Cassavetes working out scenes with Peter Falk and Ben Gazzara, sitting around a table smoking, brainstorming, joking, and singing – just like Archie Gus and Harry!
Picture quality isn’t tops, being this was taken from a VHS copy from a 16mm print that’s seen better days, and it has a timecode window burned in at the bottom left, but everything is visible that counts.
From the original BBC copy:
Arts documentary series. Director John Cassavetes has been shooting a new film called HUSBANDS in London and New York. This documentary shows, with film from script sessions, locations and rushes, how three American actors, John Cassavetes, Ben Gazzara and Peter Falk, worked together to get the “unscripted moments that can never be planned for”.
[how accurate that implication of improv — which was a usual press buzzword when discussing Cassavetes work — actually is isn’t clear, but you can clearly see Cassavetes using it to work out how scenes should go, as well as making sure any improv happens within strict boundaries when the cameras roll, if at all.]