The 10 Best Movies Where The Husband Directed His Wife

5. Woody Allen and Mia Farrow: Hannah and Her Sisters (1986)

Hannah and Her Sisters

Mia Farrow and Woody Allen were together from 1980 to 1992. In that time they made 13 films together including “Zelig” (1983), “The Purple Rose of Cairo” (1985), “Husbands and Wives” (1992), “Crimes and Misdemeanors” (1989) and “Hannah and Her Sisters” (1986), one of the greatest films in Mia Farrow’s and Woody Allen’s career.

In the film, over a period of two years, Hannah’s husband falls in love with her sister Lee, and meanwhile, her ex-husband revives his relationship with the third sister, Holly. With great performances by a cast full of acclaimed actors like Allen, Farrow, Michael Caine, Max von Sydow, Dianne Wiest and Carrie Fisher, this is one of the best written films in all of Allen’s career.

With great humour to approaching family themes, jealousy and passion, “Hannah and Her Sisters” won three Oscars including Best Original Screenplay for Woody Allen, Best Supporting Actress for Dianne Wiest and Best Supporting Actor for Michael Caine.

“Hannah and Her Sisters” is probably the greatest collaboration between Farrow and Allen and without a doubt one of the best films in the 1980s. That makes it number five on our list.

Other collaborations between Mia Farrow and Woody Allen you should watch:

– The Purple Rose of Cairo (1985)
– September (1987)
– Crimes and Misdemeanors (1989)
– Husbands and Wives (1992)


4. Federico Fellini and Giulietta Masina: Juliet of the Spirits (1965)

Juliet of the Spirits

What happens when one of the greatest directors in history gets married to one of the greatest actresses of all time? Brilliant movies. Many brilliant movies.

Giulietta Masina and Federico Fellini are one of the most iconic couples in the history of film. Married in 1943, the couple stayed together until Fellini’s death in 1993. As director and actress, they worked together eight times and made some of the most acclaimed films from the 20th century like “La Strada” (1954) and “The Nights of Cabiria” (1957), but in this article we’re approaching one of their latest collaborations: “Juliet of the Spirits” (1965).

In this story starring Masina, Fellini approaches themes like mysticism, sexuality and infidelity in one of the most visually impressive films of his career. With surreal traces all over it and a brilliant performance by Masina as Juliet, a naive woman who searches for the strength to leave her husband, “Juliet of the Spirits” is one of their greatest collaborations and a mandatory movie for any cinephile.

Other collaborations between Giulietta Masina and Federico Fellini you should watch:

– La Strada (1954)
– The Nights of Cabiria (1957)
– Ginger and Fred (1986)


3. Jean-Luc Godard and Anna Karina: Pierrot le Fou (1965)

Pierrot Le Fou

Another film from 1965 marks an iconic collaboration between husband and wife: “Pierrot le Fou”. Directed by Jean-Luc Godard and starring Anna Karina, the film marks the last collaboration of the couple during the years they were together. They married in 1961 and divorced in 1965.

On “Pierrot le Fou”, we follow a couple on the run: Ferdinand Griffon, a man who escapes society by traveling from Paris to the Mediterranean Sea, and Marianne, a woman chased by hitmen. Together they go on a radical journey that might have a tragical ending.

With many pop culture references, breaking the fourth wall and using strong and vivid colours, “Pierrot le Fou” is one of the most intriguing works in Godard’s career and one of his best works with Karina.

Other collaborations between Anna Karina and Jean-Luc Godard you should watch:
– The Little Soldier (1960)
– My Life to Live (1962)
– Band of Outsiders (1964)
– Alphaville (1965)


2. John Cassavetes and Gena Rowlands: A Woman Under the Influence (1974)

a woman Under the Influence

John Cassavetes, a pioneer of independent film in America, and Gena Rowlands, one of the greatest actresses of all time, were married from 1954 to 1989, until his death. Together they made iconic movies such as “Faces” (1968), “Minnie and Moskowitz” (1971), “Opening Night” (1977) and, the best work of both of their careers, “A Woman Under the Influence” (1974).

With Rowlands delivering one of the greatest performances in the history of film, “A Woman Under the Influence” follows Mabel Longhetti (Rowlands), a mentally unstable woman, and her husband (Peter Falk) trying to hold their family together in the face of Mabel’s bizarre behavior.

As aforementioned, Rowlands’ performance as Mabel is one of the best in cinema history. Her commitment to the part she was playing takes the audience through dreadful paths during this story where everything in her life seems to be falling apart.

“A Woman Under the Influence” is without a doubt the best collaboration between two of the most amazing artists from the second half of the 20th century, and should definitely be watched by anyone who loves film for its great acting, writing and directing.

Other collaborations between Gena Rowlands and John Cassavetes you should watch:

– Faces (1968)
– Minnie and Moskowitz (1971)
– Opening Night (1977)
– Gloria (1980)


1. Ingmar Bergman and Liv Ullmann: Persona (1968)


Ingmar Bergman and Liv Ullmann were partners from 1965 to 1970 and worked together on many films, even after their relationship ended. Being together for five years but with an artistic collaboration that lasted way more than their relationship, Ullmann and Bergman are one of the most influential and acclaimed couples in film history.

In 1968 they released a film that is not only probably the best of their careers, but one of the most important and brilliant films ever made: “Persona”. Starring Ullmann and Bibi Andersson, the movie follows the story of a young nurse, Alma, who needs to take care of Elisabeth Vogler, an actress who, although being apparently healthy, does not talk. While time passes by, Alma confesses many things to the actress and seems to submerge in Elizabeth’s persona.

Being one of the most poetic and philosophical films in Bergman’s career – and having in mind that he is famous for being poetic and very philosophical on his works – “Persona” is among the most impressive and complex films ever made.

With a brilliant performance by Ullmann and marking what is probably the peak of the careers of one of the best directors of all time and one of the best actresses of all time, “Persona” should definitely be number one on our list.

Other collaborations between Liv Ullmann and Ingmar Bergman you should watch:

– Hour of the Wolf (1968)
– Cries and Whispers (1972)
– Scenes from a Marriage (1973)
– Autumn Sonata (1978)

Author bio: Vítor Guima is a filmmaker, writer and musician from São Paulo, Brazil. Every day he watches a movie, reads a few pages from a book, listens to an album and freaks out with the feeling of not having enough time to see everything. You can follow him on Instagram on @ovitorguima.