Academy Awards 1962 -
Best Original Song: Henry Mancini & Johnny Mercer
Description by OLDIES.com:
When Blake Edwards' powerful film of J.P. Miller's heartrending teleplay Days of Wine and Roses hit movie screens, it won critical raves, box-office success and shone brightly as a career highlight for its two Oscar-nominated stars, Jack Lemmon and Lee Remick, playing a couple caught in alcoholism's web. A San Francisco public-relations hotshot is a "social" drinker...who never stops socializing. His vivacious wife starts drinking to keep him company. They live for good times. But eventually good times turn bad.
Days of Wine and Roses earned a total five Academy Award nominations and a Best Song Oscar for its haunting Henry Mancini/Johnny Mercer title tune. A poignant, harrowing portrait of human lives at their lowest, it also reflects filmmaking at its height.
Blake Edwards's disturbing adaptation of J.P. Miller's PLAYHOUSE 90 story, starring Jack Lemmon as Joe Clay, remains an anomaly in a body of work largely devoted to comedy. Clay, a San Francisco public relations man who likes to hoist a few, meets secretary Kirsten Arnesen (Lee Remick), who doesn't drink, 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. They move into her father's (Charles Bickford) nursery to dry out, but following a couple of weeks of sobriety, they go on a binge. Joe nearly destroys a greenhouse in a fanatical search for a bottle and ends up in hospital ward. Former alcoholic Jim Hungerford (Jack Klugman) tries to persuade Joe to join an organization ro help deal with his problem, but Kirsten coaxes him back to the bottle. Lemmon is at his best and Remick has rarely been better in this shattering portrait of a couple consumed by addiction. Refreshingly free of the moralistic clichés of this genre, its depiction of the glamor enjoyed by drinking in previous decades throws light on the ease with which many were able to slide into oblivion.
This biting drama deals with a young couple's struggle with alcoholism. Blake Edwards gives Jack Lemmon plenty of room--the production is more naturalistic than the original teleplay--and he makes the best of it. The fascinating PLAYHOUSE 90 teleplay was directed by John Frankenheimer and starred Cliff Robertson and Piper Laurie.
Character Study |
Essential Cinema |
Substance Abuse |
Tear Jerker |