Girlfriends (1978 film)


1993 VHS cover
Directed by Claudia Weill
Produced by Claudia Weill
Screenplay by Vicki Polon
Story by Claudia Weill
Vicki Polon
Starring Melanie Mayron
Anita Skinner
Eli Wallach
Christopher Guest
Bob Balaban
Gina Rogak
Amy Wright
Viveca Lindfors
Mike Kellin
Music by Michael Small
Cinematography Fred Murphy
Edited by Suzanne Pettit
Cyclops Films
Distributed by Warner Bros.
Release dates
August 18, 1978
Running time
88 minutes
Country United States
Language English

Girlfriends is a 1978 comedy-drama film directed by Claudia Weill and written by Vicki Polon.


A photographer, Susan Weinblatt (Melanie Mayron), supports herself by shooting baby pictures and Bar Mitzvahs while she aims for an exhibit of her work in a gallery. Her best friend and roommate Anne Munroe (Anita Skinner), is an aspiring writer.

After she sells three of her pictures to a magazine Susan thinks she has left the world of portraits and wedding photography behind her, but her life begins to fall apart when Anne moves out and marries her boyfriend, Martin (Bob Balaban), and she can't manage to sell any more photographs.

Susan develops a crush on the Rabbi Gold (Eli Wallach), who works the Bar Mitzvahs and weddings she works. The two kiss, but before they start an affair she accidentally meets his wife and son which puts a damper on their relationship.

After scamming her way into a meeting with a gallery owner Susan is recommended to another gallerist and is finally able to get her own show. She also gets a boyfriend, Eric (Christopher Guest). She later fights with Anne, as Anne is jealous of her independence while Susan resents her marriage and child. Later on she fights with Eric as well over her insistence on maintaining her own apartment.

At her gallery showing all of Susan's friends and family show up to support her except for Anne who Martin tells her has gone to the countryside alone in order to work. Susan goes to the countryside to see Anne. Anne apologizes for not going to see her show and reveals that she had an abortion that morning, not wanting more children than she already had.

The two do shots and play games but are interrupted by the arrival of Martin.



Stanley Kubrick brought up the film in 1980 when being interviewed by Vicente Molina Foix at Kubrick's house.[1]

Foix: Are you interested in the new paths or trends within current Hollywood production being tried by people like Coppola, Schrader, Spielberg, Scorsese or DePalma?

Kubrick: I think one of the most interesting Hollywood films, well not Hollywood -- American films -- that I've seen in a long time is Claudia Weill's Girlfriends. That film, I thought, was one of the very rare American films that I would compare with the serious, intelligent, sensitive writing and filmmaking that you find in the best directors in Europe. It wasn't a success, I don't know why; it should have been. Certainly I thought it was a wonderful film. It seemed to make no compromise to the inner truth of the story, you know, the theme and everything else.
The great problem is that the films cost so much now; in America it's almost impossible to make a good film -- which means you have to spend a certain amount of time on it, and have good technicians and good actors -- that aren't very, very expensive. This film that Claudia Weill did, I think she did on an amateur basis; she shot it for about a year, two or three days a week. Of course she had a great advantage, because she had all the time she needed to think about it, to see what she had done. I thought she made the film extremely well.


In 1978, Girlfriends won Bronze Leopard award for Best Actress at the Locarno International Film Festival and the People's Choice Award at the Toronto International Film Festival. In 1979 it won the Special David award at the David di Donatello Awards. That year it was also nominated for a Golden Globe award and a BAFTA Award.[2]


  1. Quoted in The Stanley Kubrick Archives, p. 460, Taschen, 2008.
  2. "Awards for Girlfriends". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 2007-11-08.

External links

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