Days of Wine and Roses
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The following FAQ entries may contain spoilers. Only the biggest ones (if any) will be covered with spoiler tags. Spoiler tags have been used sparingly in order to make the page more readable.

For detailed information about the amounts and types of (a) sex and nudity, (b) violence and gore, (c) profanity, (d) alcohol, drugs, and smoking, and (e) frightening and intense scenes in this movie, consult the IMDb Parents Guide for this movie. The Parents Guide for Days of Wine and Roses can be found here.

Joe Clay (Jack Lemmon), an ambitious public relations agent who drinks a bit too much, meets and marries Kirsten Arenesen (Lee Remick), a nondrinker...until Joe entices her into drinking her first Brandy Alexander. Soon their drinking escalates to the point where Joe loses jobs, experiences withdrawals when not drinking, and their marriage begins to deteriorate due to their alcoholism. Joe attempts to stop drinking several times by joining Alcoholics Anonymous, but Kirsten attempts to go it alone.

Days of Wine and Roses was filmed from a screenplay by American playwright J(ames) P(inckney) Miller, who adapted the script from his own 1958 CBS teleplay 'Playhouse 90: Days of Wine and Roses (#3.2)'. The script is available in paperback form, published in 1973.

A Brandy Alexander consists of brandy, dark crme de cacao, and half-and-half with a light dusting of nutmeg.

The movie's title Days of Wine and Roses comes from an 1896 short poem 'Vitae summa brevis spem nos vetat incohare longam' by English writer Ernest Dowson [1867-1900]:

           'They are not long, the weeping and the laughter.
            Love and desire and hate: 
            I think they have no portion in us after
            We pass the gate.

            They are not long, the days of wine and roses:
            Out of a misty dream
            Our path emerges for a while, then closes
            Within a dream.'

A year passes since Joe has had a drink. He now has a job, and he and daughter Debbie (Debbie Megowan) are living in their own apartment. One day, he pays a visit to Kirsten's father, Ellis 'Pop' Arnesen (Charles Bickford), in order to apologize and make amends for some of the money that he and Kirsten wasted on booze and to ask how Kirsten is faring. At first, Pop tells him that Kirsten is at the movies. After Pop releases his anger at Joe for getting Kirsten started drinking, he admits that Kirsten hasn't been home in three days and that, two weeks earlier, she had to be hospitalized because of her drinking. Several nights later, Kirsten pays Joe a visit, just after Joe has put Debbie to bed. She claims that she hasn't had a drink in two days and wants to come home to him and go back to the way it was when they first got together. Joe confesses his love for her but admits that he can't be around her as long as she keeps drinking. Kirsten explains that she can't stop...won't stop...because the world is so dirty when she's not drinking. Although Joe aches to take Kirsten back, he stands firm and refuses to go back to the way it was...'you and me and booze...a threesome.' He offers to let Kirsten see Debbie, but Kirsten chooses to leave. As Joe watches her out the window, Kirsten walks down the street, passes under the blinking 'Bar' sign, and crosses the street in the opposite direction. Debbie wakes up and asks if that was Mommy she heard, but Joe says it must have been a dream. Debbie asks when Mommy is coming home, Joe explains that Mommy is sick and can't come home until she's well, and puts Debbie back in bed. In the final scene, Joe stares out the window again, looking at the empty street while the 'Bar' sign flashes on and off.


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