An alcoholic marries a young woman and systematically addicts her to booze so that they can share his "passion" together.

Director:

Blake Edwards

Writer:

J.P. Miller (as JP Miller)
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 ... 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:

This, in its own terrifying way, is a love story. See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The cast and crew were very concerned that the bleak ending would be changed. Director Blake Edwards recalled for Entertainment Weekly magazine, that studio head Jack L. Warner wanted a lighter ending, but he came into a screening with a very attractive date who blasted the decision. Warner reluctantly gave in. In addition, Jack Lemmon purposely flew to Paris after filming had wrapped so he would be "unavailable" for reshoots. See more »

Goofs

At the Alcoholics Anonymous meeting, both Jim and Joe say their full names; last names are usually not used in AA meetings, which is how people remain "anonymous". See more »

Quotes

Joe Clay: It's facing all the people.
Jim Hungerford: You sure?
Joe Clay: What do you mean?
Jim Hungerford: Well, it's facing yourself, isn't it?
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Connections

Referenced in Heart and Soul (1988) See more »

Soundtracks

I Only Have Eyes for You
(uncredited)
Music by Harry Warren
Played while Joe's on the telephone at the restaurant
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User Reviews

 
Sobering Drama
5 March 2001 | by Jon KolenchakSee all my reviews

Have you ever been at a party or gathering where you are the only sober person? It's an experience that is hard to describe. Everyone that is moderately to heavily drunk thinks that they are so clever, funny, entertaining, and so on. It has a certain surreal aspect.

There are several scenes in this film which bring back that feeling to me. When Jack Lemmon and Lee Remick are at their most slap-happy rip-roaring state of drunkenness and having a great time, it gave me this odd sensation -- these people are not funny, not clever, and not entertaining. This is at least one of the points made in this very well made film.

The story is well told, and answers the question that many people have about alcoholism, and perhaps addiction in general (How do things ever get so terribly out of control?). It happens slowly, and it happens for a multitude of reasons. The reasons that this film deals mostly with include loneliness, wanting to please others, wanting to do one's job without compromising one's integrity, childhood abandonment, low self-esteem, and just the fact that in the social world "everyone" drinks.

Lemmon and Remick do a fabulous job as your ordinary young couple who get started slowly but surely going down the wrong track. Charles Bickford as Remick's father has little screen time, but makes every moment of it count. Jack Klugman is also very good as Lemmon's Alcoholics Anonymous friend.

Some things are wonderfully telegraphed. Lee Remick has this "thing" about chocolate (addiction potential). There's just a moment when you see a smoldering cigarette in an ashtray, and you get the feeling that something bad is going to happen (it does). When Jack Lemmon, in a drunken state comes home one evening, he impetuously picks some flowers for Lee Remick. The elevator door closes on them, cutting off the tops of the flowers. (When he arrives home, the couple have their first really big fight.) Also, I think it is interesting that every time that Lee Remick is watching the television, she is watching cartoons -- an interesting statement.

The cinematography is realistic, sometimes downright gritty. Filming it in black and white helped to enhance this mood, especially in the greenhouse and the psychiatric ward scenes.

Perhaps the most important point of the story is that addiction, be it alcohol or other things can happen to anyone. Sometimes you just don't realize it until it's too late.

The Days of Wine and Roses is a fine "message" movie that gets its point across without getting preachy or self-righteous, with believable performances by all.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

4 February 1963 (Brazil) See more »

Also Known As:

Days of Wine and Roses See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$8,123,077
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Company Credits

Production Co:

Jalem Productions See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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