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The War of the Roses (1989)

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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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A bitter ex-husband wants his former spouse dead. A put-upon momma's boy wants his mother dead. Who will pull it off?

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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

While shooting the scene where Michael Douglas (Oliver Rose) and Kathleen Turner (Barbara Rose) are sitting in the chandelier, director Danny DeVito pretended to break for lunch while the two actors were 30 feet above ground. See more »

Goofs

When the 2 wires come loose letting the chandelier fall, they're shown wired directly to the fuse box without a switch - no way to control the electricity. 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 The Simpsons: The War of the Simpsons (1991) See more »

Soundtracks

We Wish You a Merry Christmas
Traditional
Arranged by Sam Pottle
Performed by Sesame Street Cast
Courtesy of Children's Television Workshop
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Shrewd insight into the end of a relationship.
11 August 2005 | by a01carSee 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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