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Days of Wine and Roses

4.6 out of 5 stars 359 customer reviews

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(Jan 06, 2004)
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Jack Lemmon and Lee Remick are unforgetable-and the title tune wins an Oscar(R) in Blake Edwards' searing, bittersweet study of an alcoholic couple on the rocks. Year: 1962 Director: Blake Edwards Starring: Jack Lemmon, Lee Remick, Charles Bickford

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

Special Features

  • Vintage interview with Jack Lemmon

Product Details

  • Actors: Jack Lemmon, Lee Remick, Charles Bickford, Jack Klugman, Alan Hewitt
  • Directors: Blake Edwards
  • Writers: J.P. Miller
  • Producers: Martin Manulis
  • Format: Anamorphic, Black & White, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Warner Bros. Pictures
  • DVD Release Date: January 6, 2004
  • Run Time: 117 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (359 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0000EYV6U
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #82,999 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Days of Wine and Roses" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: VHS Tape
The late Jack Lemmon is likely to be remembered by most moviegoers for his memorable comic presence in classics like "Some Like It Hot" and the "Odd Couple", but anyone who ever doubted his capacity for dramatic acting should screen "Days Of Wine And Roses". This shattering 1962 Blake Edwards drama was shockingly realistic for its time (apparently prompting opening-week "walkouts" by many Lemmon fans expecting another "funny" role). The film still packs quite a wallop in its depiction of an alcoholic couple and thier hellish descent. Lee Remick, forever underrated, (undoubtedly due to her luminous beauty) delivers another of her brainy, mature performances. Everyone mentions the "greenhouse scene", but I feel the most intense moment comes in the "padded room" scene, with a sweating, screaming, strait-jacketed Lemmon writhing in "withdrawal". Call it "sense memory", "method" or whatever, but to this day it remains one of the the most "naked" scenes of an actor totally "in the moment" ever captured on film. A great American film, and a classic Henry Mancini score to boot.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Joe Clay (Jack Lemmon) is an up-and-coming Public Relations agent in the era of the three-martini lunch and "drinks with the boys" following the workday. While providing a client with, literally, a boatload of girls, Joe meets receptionist Kirsten Arnesen (Lee Remick), a good girl from a stable country upbringing.

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 ›
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Format: VHS Tape
I was never really interested in drinking alcohol and after catching "Days of Wine and Roses" on late night television I knew I was never going to drink, never get drunk, and never end up like the character of Joe Clay, played by the late Jack Lemmon. Joe is in public relations and cannot have a good time unless he is drinking. He meets up with Kirsten Arnesen (Lee Remick), and informed she does not drink but loves chocolate, he orders her a Brandy Alexander. Joe and Kirsten marry, although her father Ellis Arnesen (Charles Bickford), is not sure he approves. Joe's alcoholism finally costs him his job and by then Kirsten is boozing just as much. In one of the most ghastly scenes in movie history, Joe destroys the Arnesen greenhouse, looking for the bottles of booze he has buried with one of the plants. With the help of A.A. Counselor Jim Hungerford (Jack Klugman), Joe finally starts to get his life together. But Kirsten cannot do the same, even for the sake of their daughter Debbie.
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.
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Format: VHS Tape
"Days of Wine and Roses" might be one of the least pleasant movies you will ever watch. But one of the main reasons to watch this wonderful film is the great interaction between Boston natives Jack Lemmon and the late Lee Remick. Lemmon plays busy-body Joe Clay, a very agreeable man who ends acquiring a decidedly UNagreeable habit while pressing flesh with business peers--alcoholism. Joe finds time to court pretty Kirsten (Remick), and she finds herself trying to keep up with Joe and his crazy nightlife. In the span of a couple of months, Kirsten is herself caught in a maze of booze and sleepless nights.
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.
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