Days of Wine and Roses (1962)

Days of Wine and Roses Poster

An alcoholic falls in love with and gets married to a young woman, whom he systematically addicts to booze so they can share his "passion" together.

"Days of Wine and Roses" is a heart-wrenching, engaging 1962 drama exploring the terrible impacts of alcoholism on a young, caring couple. Based on a Playhouse 90 television play, the movie was directed by Blake Edwards and had Jack Lemmon and Lee Remick as leads. The movie defines the progression of the lead characters' lives from their first conference to the dissolution of their marriage, a casualty of their uncontrollable alcohol addiction.

Plot Overview
The film starts with Joe Clay, a public relations executive, played by Jack Lemmon, who is already fighting an alcohol problem. He fulfills and falls in love with Kirsten Arnesen, who is a secretary and especially a teetotaler, played by Lee Remick. Joe persuades Kirsten to consume socially which turns into a habit, and eventually, both of them descend into severe alcoholism. Joe's alcohol dependence intensifies, impacting his work, and he ultimately loses his task.

The Downward Spiral
As their dependency worsens, Kirsten and Joe's life ends up being a series of failures and remorses. The birth of their child Debbie challenges them to end up being accountable moms and dads, however they come a cropper due to their dependency. Debbie, removed by Kirsten's father, generates temporary soberness in the couple just to relapse quickly. Their dependency drives them towards stealing, resulting in Joe's arrest, after which he chooses to start a life of sobriety.

Struggles and Realization
Following a horrific episode of delirium tremens throughout detoxification, Joe signs up with Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and slowly reconstructs his life. Kirsten, however, continues to deny their alcohol addiction and stops working to find support in AA. She contradicts her issue and deludes herself into thinking she can control her drinking. As Kirsten spirals deeper into alcoholism, Joe leaves her, a gut-wrenching choice supported by his AA coach. This now brings to the fore an extreme reality; the love they shared destroyed by their perpetual drinking habits.

End and Aftermath

The film culminates with Joe, now sober for a year, checking out Kirsten in hopes of reconciling. However, he discovers her inebriated and withdrawn in sobriety. With a look of realism, Joe acknowledges that "Days of Wine and Roses" are genuinely a thing of the past. Though he leaves sad, he stays durable in his course of sobriety.

"Days of Wine and Roses" is a poignant portrayal of the devastating impacts of alcohol addiction on individual relationships. The spectacular performances by the lead actors together with the genuine portrayal of compound abuse gathered the movie five Academy Award nominations. In spite of its melancholic theme, the film ends on a note of expect those going to confront and combat their dependencies. This exceptional movie continues to function as an influence for lots of movies on associated topics, and its classic theme still resonates with audiences today.

Top Cast

  • Jack Lemmon (small)
    Jack Lemmon
    Joe Clay
  • Lee Remick (small)
    Lee Remick
    Kirsten Arnesen Clay
  • Charles Bickford (small)
    Charles Bickford
    Ellis Arnesen
  • Jack Klugman (small)
    Jack Klugman
    Jim Hungerford
  • Alan Hewitt (small)
    Alan Hewitt
    Rad Leland
  • Tom Palmer (small)
    Tom Palmer
  • Debbie Megowan
    Debbie Clay
  • Maxine Stuart (small)
    Maxine Stuart
  • Jack Albertson (small)
    Jack Albertson
  • Leon Alton
    Party Guest (uncredited)
  • Don Anderson
    Party Guest (uncredited)