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The War of the Roses (1989)

R | | Comedy | 8 December 1989 (USA)
A married couple try everything to get each other to leave the house in a vicious divorce battle.

Director:

Writers:

(novel), (screenplay)

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

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
Josh at 17
...
Carolyn at 17
...
Harry Thurmont
...
Jason Larrabee
...
Gloria Cromwell ...
Mrs. Marshall
Harlan Arnold ...
Mr. Dell
Mary Fogarty ...
Mrs. Dell
Rika Hofmann ...
Elke
Patricia Allison ...
Maureen
...
Elderly Mourner
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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:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

8 December 1989 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Der Rosenkrieg  »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$9,488,794, 10 December 1989, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$86,888,546

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$160,188,546
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

One of the film's main trailers featured a sing-a-long jingle that summarized the movie's story-line by spoofing the lyrics to the classic 1780 English Christmas carol "The Twelve Days of Christmas". The words to the song said: "In the War of the Roses my true love gave to me, twelve traps a flying, lots of orchids dying, piles of statues breaking, all the walls a shaking, lots of flying chairs, tumbling down the stairs, five broken teeth, four fractured bones, three cracked ribs, two wrecked cars, and a puppy in a pâté. Woof." The line about orchids refers to a scene that was deleted from the film, but can be seen in the DVD extras. See more »

Goofs

At the estate auction at the beginning of the film, Oliver and Barbara bid against each other for the figurine of a woman. Oliver's auction book shows a photo with the caption, "Chinese Homunculus". The auctioneer then describes it as an "exquisite Japanese carving". 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 Visionado obligado: Los asesinatos de mamá (2011) 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

 
Shrewd insight into the end of a relationship.
11 August 2005 | by See all my reviews

The War of the Roses offers the best analysis of the emotions behind the end of a relationship when one partner irreversibly falls out of love with another, who remains terminally hopeful that their love can be rekindled. Danny Devito manages to accomplish this while simultaneously putting together a very entertaining and funny black comedy.

Kathleen Turner does a tremendous job depicting a frustrated homemaker who has gradually and irreversibly grown to loathe her husband, played by Michael Douglas. Douglas in turn cleverly plays the oafish and smug breadwinner desperately seeking to preserve the marriage, though never quite admitting it to the audience or himself.

Overall, the War of the Roses remains a classic movie generally under-appreciated.


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