MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Down 205 this week

The War of the Roses (1989)

R  |   |  Comedy  |  8 December 1989 (USA)
6.8
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 6.8/10 from 33,765 users   Metascore: 79/100
Reviews: 90 user | 43 critic | 17 from Metacritic.com

A married couple try everything to get each other to leave the house in a vicious divorce battle.

Director:

Writers:

(novel), (screenplay)
Watch Trailer
0Check in
0Share...

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Instant Video

ON TV
ON DISC
ALL

IMDb Picks: April

Visit our IMDb Picks section to see our recommendations of movies and TV shows coming out in April.

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 43 titles
created 14 Apr 2012
 
a list of 25 titles
created 26 May 2012
 
a list of 45 titles
created 24 Oct 2013
 
a list of 42 titles
created 10 months ago
 
a list of 41 titles
created 9 months ago
 

Related Items

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: The War of the Roses (1989)

The War of the Roses (1989) on IMDb 6.8/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of The War of the Roses.

User Polls

Nominated for 3 Golden Globes. Another 2 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Action | Adventure | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

This is the sequel to "Romancing the Stone" where Jack and Joan have their yacht and easy life, but are gradually getting bored with each other and this way of life. Joan accepts an ... See full summary »

Director: Lewis Teague
Stars: Michael Douglas, Kathleen Turner, Danny DeVito
Action | Adventure | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A romance writer sets off to Colombia to ransom her kidnapped sister, and soon finds herself in the middle of a dangerous adventure.

Director: Robert Zemeckis
Stars: Michael Douglas, Kathleen Turner, Danny DeVito
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A married man's one night stand comes back to haunt him when that lover begins to stalk him and his family.

Director: Adrian Lyne
Stars: Michael Douglas, Glenn Close, Anne Archer
Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A bitter ex-husband. A put upon momma's boy. Both want their respective spouse and mother dead, but who will pull it off?

Director: Danny DeVito
Stars: Danny DeVito, Billy Crystal, Kim Greist
Disclosure (1994)
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

A computer specialist is sued for sexual harassment by a former lover turned boss who initiated the act forcefully, which threatens both his career and his personal life.

Director: Barry Levinson
Stars: Michael Douglas, Demi Moore, Donald Sutherland
Crime | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A remake of the Alfred Hitchcock classic Dial M for Murder (1954).

Director: Andrew Davis
Stars: Michael Douglas, Gwyneth Paltrow, Viggo Mortensen
Black Rain (1989)
Action | Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Two NYC cops arrest a Yakuza member and must escort him when he's extradited to Japan.

Director: Ridley Scott
Stars: Michael Douglas, Andy Garcia, Ken Takakura
Drama | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A police detective is in charge of the investigation of a brutal murder, in which a beautiful and seductive woman could be involved.

Director: Paul Verhoeven
Stars: Michael Douglas, Sharon Stone, George Dzundza
Falling Down (1993)
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

An unemployed defense worker frustrated with the various flaws he sees in society, begins to psychotically and violently lash out against them.

Director: Joel Schumacher
Stars: Michael Douglas, Robert Duvall, Barbara Hershey
Action | Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.7/10 X  

A female PI babysitting for a boyfriend gets stuck with his daughter and the case of her murdered father.

Director: Jeff Kanew
Stars: Kathleen Turner, Jay O. Sanders, Charles Durning
Running (1979)
Drama | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

American marathon runner Michael Andropolis sets his heart on representing his country at the Olympic games. Meanwhile his marriage has fallen apart and his children have no respect for him... See full summary »

Director: Steven Hilliard Stern
Stars: Michael Douglas, Susan Anspach, Lawrence Dane
Comedy

Warren Adler's 'The War of the Roses' (Michael Douglas, Kathleen Turner, Danny DeVito) leaped onto the public consciousness and has since remained an essential thread in a wider tapestry of... See full summary »

Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
Peter Donat ...
...
Gloria Cromwell ...
Harlan Arnold ...
Mary Fogarty ...
Rika Hofmann ...
Patricia Allison ...
Peter Brocco ...
Edit

Storyline

The Roses, Barbara and Oliver, live happily as a married couple. Then she starts to wonder what life would be like without Oliver, and likes what she sees. Both want to stay in the house, and so they begin a campaign to force each other to leave. In the middle of the fighting is D'Amato, the divorce lawyer. He gets to see how far both will go to get rid of the other, and boy do they go far.. Written by Rob Hartill

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Once in a lifetime comes a motion picture that makes you feel like falling in love all over again. This is not that movie.

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

8 December 1989 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La guerra de los Roses  »

Box Office

Gross:

$83,699,711 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The film was made and released about eight years after its source novel of the same name by Warren Adler had been first published in 1981. See more »

Goofs

When Oliver is hit by the pot, his top hat falls off. In the next shot when he hits the floor, the hat is back on and falls off again. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Gavin: [Gavin is talking to a client] You have some valid reasons for wanting a divorce.
[blows his nose with a handkerchief]
Gavin: Excuse me. My sinuses are very sensitive to irritants.
[sprays nasal decongestant up his nostrils]
Gavin: In the past five months, I think I've breathed freely with both sides working maybe a week total.
[pulls a cigarette out of a pack]
Gavin: I gotta cut this out. It's gonna kill me.
[lights his cigarette]
Gavin: I hadn't smoked for thirteen years. I kept the last cigarette from my last ...
[...]
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Chasing Classic Cars: Wayne Goes Racing (2008) See more »

Soundtracks

Pretty Lady, Lovely Lady
Written by Nicky Addeo
Performed by Nicky Addeo
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
HE is HER victim
16 October 2002 | by (Vienna, Austria) – See all my reviews

A classic feature of Danny DeVito's (far too few) works as a director is that they are utterly evil. Cruel. Wicked. Merciless to their characters and merciless to the viewer. Although this is often combined with slight exaggeration, it is exactly what I love about them.

After seeing The War of the Roses the second time after having grown a little older, I still feel that particular satisfaction. But this time, there are a few more things I think about, a few more questions I ask myself. For instance: who is the bad guy in the film? Who is `to blame'? And although it's clear that the Roses both have extremely unmoveable and stubborn characters, which partly leads to the catastrophe, I came to the conclusion that Barbara is the driving force of the whole divorce story. She announces her wish to divorce upon grounds that are not quite convincing. Maybe people who do not like Michael Douglas can sympathize with her but her reasons are not fair. She invariably follows her instinct without paying any respect to other people. Kathleen Turner portrays her most believably in this insufferable phase.

Oliver Rose, on the other hand, is one of those people who are proud of doing everything in a perfectly correct manner. He is therefore very sensitive and easily confronted if one doesn't acknowledge his correct behavior. He then becomes completely helpless and unable to react properly. That makes him an ideal `victim' to Barbara's striking egoism.

I'm mentioning this only because it is a new aspect I found during second viewing, and I am sure it was also DeVito's intention to develop characters like this, so for him, the turbulent divorce story is not just a parable on how stupid people are in general. He of course reserved the best role in the film for himself – he is the wise man who tells the parable and who emerges victorious in the end.

The War of the Roses with its merciless cruelness remains one of my favourite comedies of all time.


46 of 59 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Not A Comedy` dondi_v
Favorite lines....... joby-wall-677-612691
Why do people think that all conflicts among couples are like this? heidegg-1
Did part of her still love him? jcloud28
Is it me or has it improved with age? stuffic
Am I the only one who thinks Michael Douglas is hillarious. rbostic84
Discuss The War of the Roses (1989) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page