6.8/10
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The War of the Roses (1989)

R | | Comedy | 8 December 1989 (USA)
Trailer
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.

Director:

Danny DeVito

Writers:

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

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Michael Douglas ... Oliver Rose
Kathleen Turner ... Barbara Rose
Danny DeVito ... Gavin D'Amato
Marianne Sägebrecht ... Susan
Sean Astin ... Josh at 17
Heather Fairfield ... Carolyn at 17
G.D. Spradlin ... Harry Thurmont
Peter Donat ... Jason Larrabee
Dan Castellaneta ... Man in Chair
Gloria Cromwell Gloria Cromwell ... Mrs. Marshall
Harlan Arnold Harlan Arnold ... Mr. Dell
Mary Fogarty Mary Fogarty ... Mrs. Dell
Rika Hofmann Rika Hofmann ... Elke
Patricia Allison Patricia Allison ... Maureen
Peter Brocco ... 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:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

8 December 1989 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Der Rosenkrieg See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$26,000,000 (estimated)

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

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby SR

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

In 1953, Alfred Newman composed and recorded the 20th Century Fox Fanfare "with CinemaScope extension". In 1989, his son, David Newman re-recorded the fanfare for "The War of the Roses" in order to have the last note of the fanfare segue seamlessly into the first note of the opening titles music. See more »

Goofs

When Barbara cartwheels down the stairs, the stairs are clearly flat, slanting downwards, making it easier for the stunt performer to perform the cartwheels. Additionally, they are standing on a curved staircase, but the stairs on which the stunt person does the cartwheels appear to be perfectly straight. 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 For a Good Time, Call... (2012) See more »

Soundtracks

Only You (And You Alone)
Written by Buck Ram and Ande Rand
Performed by The Platters
Courtesy of PolyGram Special Projects a division of
PolyGram Records, Inc.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Brilliant script, splendid movie
17 February 2014 | by CinefanRSee all my reviews

This gem of a movie oddly never got enough praise. It's a stroke of genius right there, and the whole thing is simply flawless. The screenplay is extremely clever and for once there are no compromises in this script. One can only admire the movie's commitment to the truth. It has a certain sincerity that I find absolutely refreshing, so those who call it "cynical" miss the point entirely. Marriage and its dissolution are dissected with a stunning finesse of psychological observation; it's all very funny, insightful, touching, ruthless, relentless. Three major stars in their prime (Douglas, Turner, De Vito)play their roles to perfection and deliver the best performance of their careers.

One of the best films ever made (don't watch it on a first date though!)


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