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The War of the Roses (1989)

R | | Comedy | 8 December 1989 (USA)
0:25 | Trailer

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



(novel), (screenplay)
Nominated for 3 Golden Globes. Another 2 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »



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


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


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




R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

8 December 1989 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Der Rosenkrieg  »

Box Office


$83,699,711 (USA)

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


According to director Danny DeVito the first assembled cut of the film ran 3 hours and 4 minutes. It was then cut down to its final length of 1 hour and 56 minutes. Some of the deleted scenes (ca. 20 minutes) can be seen in the trailers and in the deleted scenes montage on the LaserDisc and the Special Edition DVD. See more »


When Oliver and Barbara are in their first, small house, the number of pencils in the box on Oliver's desk varies from shot to shot within a scene. See more »


[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 ...
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Referenced in Kurt & Courtney (1998) See more »


Pretty Lady, Lovely Lady
Written by Nicky Addeo
Performed by Nicky Addeo
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

when love goes the route of attempted murder
15 June 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

You know a movie is funny when you're by yourself and laughing out loud. This is a hilarious saga of a divorcing couple, both of whom refuse to leave their house. "The gloves are off," Michael Douglas announces to wife Kathleen Turner, although for the viewer, they had been off for some time. Both stop at nothing to drive the other out.

It's a strange film in a way because it starts out as a love story and slowly builds, as little signs that all is not well in paradise begin to emerge. Once the ugliness starts, there's no stopping it, and the film rapidly becomes a very black comedy.

Turner and Douglas receive able support from a very funny Danny Devito, who also directed, and the wonderful Marianne Sagebrecht, who provides a gentle presence amidst the chaos.

21 of 25 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Not A Comedy` dondi_v
Did part of her still love him? jcloud28
Why do people think that all conflicts among couples are like this? heidegg-1
Am I the only one who thinks Michael Douglas is hillarious. rbostic84
Is it me or has it improved with age? stuffic
Waste of Time !!! harry_potter_fan62
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