Days of Wine and Roses hails from television’s Playhouse 90 series, and has been faithfully and painstakingly translated to the screen by two of the men responsible for the praised TV version – producer Martin Manulis and writer J. P. Miller.
Miller’s gruelling drama illustrates how the unquenchable lure of alcohol can supersede even love, and how marital communication cannot exist in a house divided by one-sided boozing. The wife (Lee Remick), originally a non-drinker with a yen for chocolates that is a tip-off of her vulnerability to the habit pattern, begins to drink when her husband (Jack Lemmon), a p.r. man and two-fisted belter whose career is floundering, is dismayed by a gap in their togetherness. Upshot is the disastrous compatibility of mutual alcoholism.
Lemmon gives a dynamic and chilling performance. Scenes of his collapse, particularly in the violent ward, are brutally realistic and terrifying. Remick, too, is effective, and there is solid featured work from Charles Bickford and Jack Klugman and a number of fine supporting performances.
1962: Best Song (‘Days of Wine and Roses’).
Nominations: Best Actor (Jack Lemmon), Actress (Lee Remick), B&W Costume Design, B&W Art Direction