7.9/10
10,292
107 user 36 critic

Days of Wine and Roses (1962)

Approved | | Drama | 4 February 1963 (Brazil)
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3:33 | Trailer

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An alcoholic marries a young woman, whom he systematically addicts to booze so they can share his "passion" together.

Director:

Blake Edwards

Writer:

J.P. Miller (as JP Miller)
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Won 1 Oscar. Another 9 wins & 13 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Jack Lemmon ... Joe Clay
Lee Remick ... Kirsten Arnesen Clay
Charles Bickford ... Ellis Arnesen
Jack Klugman ... Jim Hungerford
Alan Hewitt ... Rad Leland
Tom Palmer Tom Palmer ... Ballefoy
Debbie Megowan Debbie Megowan ... Debbie Clay
Maxine Stuart ... Dottie
Jack Albertson ... Trayner
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Storyline

Joe Clay is a top-notch public-relations man. Anything a client wants, Joe can arrange, from dancing girls to an article in a prominent magazine. But part of the job is drinking, and Joe's ability to consume alcohol seems boundless. When he meets the very pretty Kirsten Arnesen, she prefers chocolate to alcohol; Joe's solution is Brandy Alexander, which is made up of brandy and crème de cacao. Joe and Kirsten eventually marry, but their love can't prevent the downward spiral brought on by alcohol. They try desperately to break the habit but continually relapse until only one of them manages to break free. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Nights of Shame and Terror! See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

4 February 1963 (Brazil) See more »

Also Known As:

Días de vino y rosas See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Jalem Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Film debut of Lynn Borden. See more »

Goofs

When Lemmon enters the sleazy motel room where his wife is having a bender he presses the lower button on the old fashioned button type light switch to turn the light on. In fact, the electrical code called for the upper button to always be the ON button. See more »

Quotes

[Joe offers to reconcile with Kirsten - but only if she quits drinking]
Joe Clay: You remember how it really was? You and me and booze - a threesome. You and I were a couple of drunks on the sea of booze, and the boat sank. I got hold of something that kept me from going under, and I'm not going to let go of it. Not for you. Not for anyone. If you want to grab on, grab on. But there's just room for you and me - no threesome.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Hollywood: The Gift of Laughter (1982) See more »

Soundtracks

Days of Wine and Roses
Words by Johnny Mercer
Music by Henry Mancini
Performed by Chorus
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
A fantastic movie about alcoholism that rings true
5 June 2005 | by MartinHaferSee all my reviews

This movie was first a television play performed live and then went on to Hollywood for a slightly glossier production. This is NOT a bad pedigree, as shortly before this the TV movie "Marty" was also brought to Hollywood and became one of the best movies of the 1950s. Both the TV and Hollywood versions are excellent--see either or both if you get the chance.

To me this movie is the antithesis of "The Lost Weekend". "The Lost Weekend" was not a very realistic portrayal of alcoholism in many ways--particularly the ending where the lead suddenly just kicks his addiction and everything is hunky-dory. Get real! ""Days of Wine and Roses instead does not pull punches. It refuses to give in to sentimentality and take the typical Hollywood approach to films. There is no happy ending, there were surprises and heartbreak--much like dealing with alcoholism in real life.

Because it would spoil it to give too much information, I will only briefly discuss the plot. Jack Lemmon is a business man who slowly goes from the "two martini lunch" to alcoholism. His acting was very convincing and gut-wrenching. Equally compelling is his wife, Lee Remick, who puts on the performance of her life as the long-suffering wife who slowly goes from co-dependent to alcoholism herself. I've worked in a chemical dependency program and I've got to tell you, all the excuses and bargains and excesses in the movie were exactly what my clients had said and done as well. It is obvious the writers were doing their homework, as the movie delivers on every level.

UPDATE: Since this review, I was able to see the original teleplay--which, along with a few other teleplays of the era, are available through the Criterion Collection. See this in its original form. While not nearly as glossy, it still packs a huge dramatic punch!


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