April 6, 2018

"You made me feel embarrassed for having responded to you."

Said Susan Anspach, telling off Jack Nicholson in 1970:



Watch Jack Nicholson mess with all the bottles on the dresser, and then watch Woody Allen messing with bottles on a dresser before Susan Anspach tells him off — "I don't want alimony, you can everything, I just want out":



Goodbye to Susan Anspach — the paradigmatic unsatisfied woman of the early 1970s. "Susan Anspach, 75, Dies; Daring Actress in Maverick Films" (NYT). She was the mother of a son whose father was Jack Nicholson and of a daughter whose father was another actor, and she was married twice, for short periods of time, to other men. But she said she didn't believe in marriage or even in living with a man, because “if the kids get attached to him and you break up, it just isn’t fair.”

21 comments:

Ignorance is Bliss said...

But she said she didn't believe in marriage or even in living with a man, because “if the kids get attached to him and you break up, it just isn’t fair.

What a disgustingly selfish human being.

rehajm said...

But she said she didn't believe in marriage or even in living with a man, because “if the kids get attached to him and you break up, it just isn’t fair.

Not if they get to live with their dad.

mccullough said...

The kid with Jack as the father lucked out. Jack hit it big.

Lewis Wetzel said...

I'd forgotten that Nicholson's early appeal was his "authenticity." In the late 60s-early 70s this meant anger directed at the inauthentic.

Etienne said...

That's a long obituary for a woman...

Michael K said...

A modern Progressive in every way,.

Achilles said...

Now that is a roll model.

Sally327 said...

Other than basic facts about her life, where she was born, her parents, who fathered her children, this obituary tells us nothing about this person unless we're supposed to believe that the roles she played were who she actually was in reality. Which is kind of an insult because it means she couldn't act unless she was playing herself.

Phil 3:14 said...

when I first saw the picture of her from "Five Easy Pieces" I thought "Gosh she looks like Louise Lasser. then I see she was in a Woody Allen movie.

There's definitely a Woody Allen girl look (at least from his old movies up to when he broke up up with Mia.)

Bay Area Guy said...

"Play it Again Sam" was old Woody Allen at his best. A truly funny movie. The San Francisco scenes from the 70s were great too.

"Five Easy Pieces" always bored me. Overrated

Denever said...

Suprising to learn that she was married to Mark Goddard, who played Don West in "Lost in Space." He always struck me as the straightest of straight arrows. Opposites attract, I guess. Good of him to adopt her children, too.

Ann Althouse said...

Woody Allen movies often have a nervous, amorphously unsatisfied woman from whom the male central character escapes to be with a more sweet, unspoiled woman. In "Play It Again Sam," Anspach is the first woman and Diane Keaton is the second. In "Manhattan," Diane Keaton is the nervous, spoiled woman and Mariel Hemingway is the sweet one. In "Hannah and Her Sisters," Mia Farrow is the nervous one who forces the man to leave her, and Barbara Hershey is the sweeter one. It happens over and over.

There are so many movies I've seen over the decades that teach the lesson that a women must keep to a smaller, sweeter version of herself, because if she develops, it will be into something shrill and ruined and unhappy. And by the way, a man will provide the guidance in this matter: Watch him withdraw his love if you become the Susan Anspach in this story. You are warned.

Ann Althouse said...

"I'd forgotten that Nicholson's early appeal was his "authenticity." In the late 60s-early 70s this meant anger directed at the inauthentic."

I couldn't watch the scene past a certain point. I was struck by how good looking he was all those years ago, but his rebellious attitude just doesn't read the same today, especially when he starts throwing her perfume bottles around — why do you have these things?!!! — and then pinning her down on the bed and kissing her.

tcrosse said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
tcrosse said...

You are warned.

Characters in Woody Allen movies inhabit a world without Woody Allen movies, so how could they learn ?


rcocean said...

"She was the mother of a son whose father was Jack Nicholson"

Wow, lets make that less passive and more active:

"She had a bastard son by jack Nicholson"

rcocean said...

Five easy Pieces. Its the movie where Jack snarls at women and they love it. He sweeps the dishes off the table when they won't serve him a chicken sandwich and also does perfume bottles.

He's kinda like Stanley Kowalski except he plays Chopin and wears a turtleneck.

Sydney said...

Mia Farrow is the nervous one who forces the man to leave her, and Barbara Hershey is the sweeter one. It happens over and over.

That probably explains his choice of spouse in real life, too.

madAsHell said...

And by the way, a man will provide the guidance in this matter: Watch him withdraw his love if you become the Susan Anspach in this story. You are warned.

You got all that from a Woody Allan movie??

annteeva said...

Susan Anspach lived a life that, in her words, "demands strength". She was raised by a great aunt until she was 5. With her aunt's death she was returned to her parents who neglected and physically abused her. Her view of marriage was formed by early personal experience. The comment "if the kids get attached to him and you break up, it just isn't fair" was made in reference to her refusal to move in with a boyfriend while her children were young. RIP


Bad Lieutenant said...


Ann Althouse said...
Woody Allen movies often have a nervous, amorphously unsatisfied woman from whom the male central character escapes to be with a more sweet, unspoiled woman.


You say this like it's a bad thing.