Which movie broke ground for women's lib? Check out this week's Ask the Critic question and be sure to post your own

By Lisa Schwarzbaum
October 22, 2004 at 04:00 AM EDT
An Unmarried Woman: TM & © 20th Century Fox Film Corp./Courtesy Everett Collection

An Unmarried Woman

Which movie broke ground for women’s lib?

Which movie broke ground for women’s lib and made you stand up and be proud? — Frank Ponce
Since you’re using the no-bras-and-Ms.-magazine term ”women’s lib,” I’ll go with An Unmarried Woman, Paul Mazursky’s groundbreaking 1978 snapshot of that tumultuous era of personal growth. A magnificent Jill Clayburgh starts out as a dependent, middle-class wife shocked into nausea when her husband informs her that he’s leaving her for someone younger. And by the time we leave her, she has matured into a person who’s stronger, more independent, and (most encouraging for others looking to exit their dollhouses) more sexually selfconfident. It’s hard to underestimate the film’s power when it came out — or to think there was a time not long ago when women didn’t feel such self-determination was within their grasp.

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An Unmarried Woman

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