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Days of Wine & Roses

Jack Lemmon , Lee Remick , Blake Edwards    Unrated   DVD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
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Days of Wine and Roses is one film not to watch if you are melancholic by nature, as this tale of middle-class alcoholism rings very true. Jack Lemmon and Lee Remick are the besotted couple who find that life is not always fun when viewed through rosé-colored glasses. He's the San Francisco business executive who marries Remick and seduces her into a cocktail culture that soon overpowers them both. It is not a pretty picture when their life shatters around them, but this film is extremely compelling for their performances. It is matched only by Billy Wilder's Lost Weekend and the more explicit Leaving Las Vegas. This was nominated for five Academy Awards and won for the title song by Henry Mancini and Johnny Mercer. Filmed by Blake Edwards in 1962, it is based on a Playhouse 90 television production from 1958, starring Cliff Robertson and Piper Laurie. --Rochelle O'Gorman

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Most helpful customer reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Drink It Up March 8 2004
Format:DVD
I grew up laughing out loud, as film director Blake Edwards teamed with the likes of Peter Sellers, in the Pink Panther movies, and Dudley Moore in 10. These comedies went straight for the funny bone. The slapstick stuff was just outrageous. While I have seen the likes of some of his latter films, including SOB and Victor/Victoria, they weren't as "classic" as those I mentioned before. Up until the 2004 Oscar Ceremony, I had no idea that Edwards even did any dramatic films. The fact that The Days Of Wine And Roses starred one of my all time favorite actors, the late great Jack Lemmon, just made me want to finally see the movie all the more.
The film is a disturbing adaptation of J.P. Miller's Playhouse 90 story. Joe Clay, (Lemmon) is a San Francisco public relations man who likes to hoist a few and have a good time. When he meets secretary Kirsten Arnesen (Lee Remick), who doesn't drink, he is taken be her, and after a short time they marry. After a few more months, Kirsten is able to put away as much liquor as her husband. As the years pass, Joe loses one job after another and his wife neglects their child until he begins to realize that both of them are alcoholics. soon the couple moves into her father's (Charles Bickford) nursery to dry out, but following a couple of weeks "on the wagon", they go on a total drinking binge. Joe nearly destroys a greenhouse in a fanatic search for a drink and ends up in hospital ward. Former alcoholic Jim Hungerford (Jack Klugman) tries to help them both...
Edwards offers an unflinching look at alcoholism. I remember seiing The Lost Weekend (also featuring an alcoholic) in film school, and being amazed, I felt the same way after I saw this movie. Lemmon and Remick are very good together.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars LAUGH AND RUN AWAY June 6 2004
Format:DVD
When this movie first came out, I was much too young to appreciate the veracity and power. Blake Edwards helms an extremely powerful, if tragic, tale of alcoholism and how it affects the marriage of two middle class individuals.
Jack Lemmon proves what a tremendously versatile actor he was, and he gives a performance that is honest, brutal and unbelievably brilliant. His scenes in the greenhouse and in the drying out unit are some of the best acting caught on celluloid. Lee Remick, the late and underrated beauty, matches Lemmon's performance which is even more devastating as her plunge into alcohol is at Lemmon's urging, and she's the one who can't go without a drink. Remick is mesmerizing in the motel scene where she forces Lemmon to drink with her again.
Wonderful support comes from Charles Bickford as Remick's father and Jack Klugman as Lemmon's AA friend. Of course, the score by Henry Mancini is one of the best.
This is a must see for anyone who wants to see powerful acting and an unforgettable movie.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Format:VHS Tape
The problem with melodramas about alcoholics is that they have a clarity their subject lack. In 'The Days Of Wine And Roses', a film that repeats all the errors of its famous predecessor, Wilder's 'The Lost Weekend', the various factors that lead Jack Lemmon, and then his wife Lee Remick, to become alcoholics, are clearly illustrated. He hates the humiliation and pressure of a job where 'public relations officer' is a synonym for 'pimp', and where he has to hustle and lie to market his boss. He hates himself, and can't face his wife. He has a social inferiority complex too - his parents were vaudeville performers, not the ideal background for an ambitious executive. So he drinks. Because he can't drink alone, he gets his abstemious wife to join him. He is demoted, and moves to Texas - due to loneliness and the fear of her husband's violent moods, as well as a terror of disappointing a strict father, and possibly because she was a bright career woman reduced to motherhood, she too souses herself. Director Blake Edwards' camera is often to be found in a god's eye position looking down on his characters, like a judge, or scientist. By isolating the causes and effects of alcoholism so clearly, the problem can be located, maybe even treated. Preachy lectures (about not being preachy) and the obligatory Alcoholics Anonymous scene (whose brief is explained at length, as in a public information film) are prominent. Because Edwards keeps his distance from the characters, we can only look on at them, removed - any joy they personally get from alcohol is made to seem desperate, grotesque and dangerous to us. Despite the moody photography, the young(ish) stars and the lounge-jazz soundtrack (drowning in moonriverisms), this is the Issue Picture about Alcoholism Stanley Kramer never made. Read more ›
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5.0 out of 5 stars Depressing but flawless. July 16 2014
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Really wonderful if depressing.
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By A Customer
Format:DVD
The Days of Wine & Roses has equal impact today, as it did more than 40 years ago. It tells the story of alcoholisim as seen through the eyes of a "normal", white, middle class couple. The sickness creeps up on the viewer gradually until it's almost unbearable to watch. This is yet another fine example of the marvelous tempo all Billy Wilder movies posessed. Sunset Blvd had it in Spades. But The Days of Wine and Roses is perhaps the only Wilder movie, so completely void of humor.
Lemmon and Remmick are compelling as is the fine supporting cast. This is a great movie to covey the message about the dangers of drinking to young people. As a side note, I attended high school and was quite freindly with one J. D. Miller's sons. Unfortunatly the lessons of the story were not learned by his offspring. Then again, that was almost 40 years ago. Maybe there's a happy ending in there somewhere.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Skip the DVD version
A classic, no doubt about it. But if you're buying the DVD version for anything but the widescreen effect, forget it. Read more
Published on Jan. 16 2004
5.0 out of 5 stars A MODERN REALITY
This is as modern a portrayal of alcoholics struggling
against the disease with the help of AA as you'll ever
get, especially if you are an experienced AA attender. Read more
Published on July 28 2003 by W. P. Schaefer III
5.0 out of 5 stars Not Everyone Can Resist the Lure
The Hollywood depiction of the corrosive effects of alcoholism has rarely been so stark as that in DAYS OF WINE AND ROSES. Read more
Published on June 28 2003 by Martin Asiner
4.0 out of 5 stars A message of hope, a warning of doom
This early depiction of alcoholism was also among the first to present its sufferers as real people with souls and some dignity, and it remains a timeless and relevant film. Read more
Published on Jan. 9 2003 by Christopher M. MacNeil
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic
What more can you say, other than truly Classic? If you love anything with Jack Lemmon in it, this one certainly won't be a disappointment. Read more
Published on Nov. 13 2002 by "katskijens"
5.0 out of 5 stars Alcoholism seen from a right view.
Hollywood has flubbed it over the years, but this movie hits this topic square on the head. Featuring Jack Lemmon and Lee Remick in one of their earlier roles, this a powerfully... Read more
Published on Oct. 9 2002 by Gregory Nyman
5.0 out of 5 stars Powerful and Disturbing ! ! !
I was drawn to watch this film because the theme, written by Henry Mancini has since become a Jazz standard. Read more
Published on Feb. 17 2002 by Eddie Landsberg
2.0 out of 5 stars ORIGINAL IS STILL THE BEST
yeah, yeah, yeah we know this is the big Hollywood version..but you have to see the original Playhouse 90 version, with Cliff Robertson and Piper Laurie!! Read more
Published on Feb. 8 2002 by Ben R. Grego
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