Days of Wine and Roses (1962)
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as Joe Clay
as Ellis Arnesen
as Jim Hungerford
as Mrs. Nolan
as Liquor Store Proprietor
as Elevator Operator
as Belly Dancer
as Loud Man
Critic Reviews for Days of Wine and Roses
Grim, strong drama about alcoholism with Lemmon and Remick's stellar work.
Except for the (fake) ending, this is one of Hollywood's best films about the devastating effects of alcoholism, going beyond Wilder's Lost Weekend, and proficiently helmed by Blake Edwards just before the Pink Panther films changed completely his career
Audience Reviews for Days of Wine and Roses
An alcoholic and his wife struggle to give up the drink. This classic film brims with authenticity primarily because of the performances by Jack Lemmon and Lee Remick. Though he has a few comic moments and scenes in which his character's drunkenness allows him to use comedic physical work, Lemmon creates scenes of moving verisimilitude as Joe Clay. He's at times charming and at others thoroughly tortured. Remick, likewise, is completely lost in the world of alcohol, and her drunken moments are absolutely believable, rarely descending into caricature. The film is superbly constructed, disposing of all the connective tissue and leaving us with only the elements necessary to tell the story. Blake Edwards's direction is pitch-perfect. During the second act, there are a few scenes that seem like a public service announcement for AA. As a drunkard, not an alcoholic, I don't know if all AA meetings begin with the convener reading the organization's list of principles, but regardless, this section seemed false to me. Overall, The Days of Wine and Roses is a fantastic, moving drama about the ravages of alcoholism that stands as one of Jack Lemmon's finest performances.
This film has two things going for it: Lemmon's wonderful acting and Edward's camera work. Other than that the film does not earn the emotion that it is attempting to generate. The audience is taken through the developing relationship and subsequent alcohol drenched years at such a brisk pace that it is really hard to get a feel for these characters. What should be a gripping masterwork regarding addiction feels more like a really well acted commercial for AA. Taking into account how groundbreaking this film must have been upon it's release in 1962, I cannot say the film is a bad. It just hasn't aged well.
Well that was upbeat! I must say that this topic in the early 60s is an original idea. It very well showed an average couple and how drinking became the relationship's vice and then the relationship. Powerfully acted and horribly depressing. Especially if you're an occasional drinker.
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