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Days of Wine and Roses
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- Vintage interview with Jack Lemmon
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Joe introduces Kirsten to alcohol in the form of a Brandy Alexander, and before long the two fall in love and marry. Joe provides a good living for his wife and new baby daughter, but becomes depressed from the quiet family life and a baby that takes up all of his wife's attention. In a truly gut-wrenching scene, Joe berates and completely degrades Kirsten for not being any fun anymore, throwing a temper tantrum while drunk and demanding that she stop nursing her own baby (mammary envy) because its going to ruin her shape. A very poignant and heart braking scene.
Kirsten is deeply in love with Joe, and concedes to his demands to "loosen up a little and be fun again", which means having a couple of drinks with him. It isn't long before Kirsten is drinking all the time, and very common of women in the early sixties, Kirsten starts smoking (probably to help lose weight, though this isn't mentioned beyond Joe's comment about her shape).
Joe's career slides as his drinking increases, causing him to be late for work and upsetting his clients. His company assigns him to a lower-level client in far away Houston. While Joe tries to do his job there, Kirsten sets their apartment on fire from drinking and smoking. Joe is fired, and not long afterward Joe has an epiphany. He is a bum, and his wife is a bum, and they need to stop drinking.
Kirsten's father takes the struggling couple into his home where he runs a nursery.Read more ›
With Lemmon's death a lot of his old movies are suddenly popping up on cable television. I watched "Days of Wine and Roses" again last night and it is every bit as powerful and as horrific as I remember. No other film has made the life of an alcoholic look so hopeless, not "Leaving Last Vegas" and certainly not "Lost Weekend." Lemmon and Remick were both nominated for Oscars for their performances, while Henry Mancini's title song won the Academy Award. Charles Bickford repeated the role he originated in the "Playhouse 90" version aired in 1958, which was directed by James Frankenheimer. Blake Edwards directed this 1962 movie because the studio told Frankenheimer he could not direct a comedy like this film. Both scripts were written by J. P. Miller. Bottom line: Nobody who ever watches this movie will ever forget it.
Soon, the happy couple are both victimized by their addiction to drink, but are slow to realize it. Slowly, painfully, each scene of their lives is shown to revolve around the bottle; even their time alone is marred by a bottle of champagne.
Joe is the first to hit rock bottom. He finds assistance and solace by a member of Alcoholics Anonymous (Jack Klugman). Joe sets his sites on getting his wife free of the disease, but finds it will not be easy.
The scenes of Joe going through his final binge are scary indeed. The second half of the film is quite different from the first in mood. It is not pretty to watch such self-destruction, and director Blake Edwards (known for producing much lighter, screwier fare in the late 70's and early 80's) makes his audience feel the pain deeply; he succeeds to the point that we, the audience, can sense some urgency in Edwards' emphasis.
There is a tendency for too much preachiness in a story of this magnitude. However, Edwards does a good job in maintaining the plot line, letting IT tell the story. Klugman is a great supporting actor in this film. It's his performance in the second half that gives this film a better than average rating, as the voice of conscience to Joe Clay, setting the stage for the final, inevitable reality.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
always loved this movie. Enjoyed watching it after all these years.Published 13 days ago by anniece hemphill
I could watch this over and over again just to study the facial expressions of the 3 major stars. Lemmon exceeds himself.Published 17 days ago by jacqueline m leonard
Classic movie that rips at your heart. As pertinent a message today as back when the film first aired.Published 18 days ago by Amazon Customer
This is the most compelling movie about alcoholism I've ever watched. The characters are so genuine. Read morePublished 18 days ago by 1toomany
Finally got to see the movie that I have heard about most of my adult life.Published 20 days ago by Abner39
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