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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 (27 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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Drink It Up March 8 2004
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
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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5.0 out of 5 stars Skip the DVD version Jan. 16 2004
By A Customer
A classic, no doubt about it. But if you're buying the DVD version for anything but the widescreen effect, forget it. The "extras" consist of two versions of a self-congratulatory trailer (Jack Lemmon breaking character to expound on what a bold movie they'd made.) Meanwhile, the much-touted "interview" with Lemmon is a corny promotional device apparently aimed at local TV stations, with the actor, seen talking on the phone, rattling off answers to trite pre-scripted questions, giving the impression that he was actually having a phone interview with local TV personalities whose own images were later edited into the split-screen featurette.And the less said about director Blake Edwards' "commentary", the better.After explaining that he's not much good "at this kind of thing," Edwards proceeds to prove it in spades by confessing he hasn't seen the movie in 40 years, professing to be surprised when he realizes (10 minutes in!) that the film wasn't shot in color, then actually wonders aloud how audiences will be able to understand the plot if he keeps talking throughout the movie. Sad!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Not Everyone Can Resist the Lure June 28 2003
Format:VHS Tape
The Hollywood depiction of the corrosive effects of alcoholism has rarely been so stark as that in DAYS OF WINE AND ROSES. More recent efforts like LEAVING LAS VEGAS suggest that alcoholism is but one offramp on the highway of self-destruction. Director Blake Edwards presents a tale that begins in middle-class happiness, then winds down to the sodden depths of the perversion of Corporate Suburban America, before finishing with the brutal truth that the ability of an alcoholic to free himself from this disease is a function of his inner strength that can only be nurtured, not forced, by Alcoholics Anonymous.
Jack Lemmon is Joe Clay, a man on the rise in his corporate culture. He is a public relations executive, a job that today we would call a spin control mechanic. He makes the good image of a company better while trying to downplay the downside. This image of altered reality forms a subtext which becomes evident when Joe and his fiancee (Lee Remeck) are having dinner with her father (Charles Bickford), who is trying to understand exactly what his daughter's boyfriend does for a living. Joe hems and haws but admits to enhancing the positive aspects of his corporate clients. But the father persists and asks what about any harmful sides to that image. Joe weakly adds that he would then gloss over the downside while always bringing the positive to bear. It is this altering of reality that allows Joe, then later his wife, to get caught up in the freewheeling culture of a drug abuse that has now morphed in one of cocaine. The lure of Wine and Roses is neither absolute nor irresistable. The film makes it clear early on that much time and dissolution is needed to become entangled. One does not take a sip one day to become ensnared the next.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars wine and roses
I love the song and the acting is excellent. I don't really enjoy watching a movie of people getting drunk.
Published 1 month ago by Catherine Sandberg
5.0 out of 5 stars Depressing but flawless.
Really wonderful if depressing.
Published 2 months ago by Scissorpaws
5.0 out of 5 stars A Message For All Young People About The Dangers Of Alcohol
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... Read more
Published on Jan. 19 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
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
1.0 out of 5 stars Dark and honest by HW standards, but still tedious.
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... Read more
Published on March 6 2002 by darragh o'donoghue
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
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