Dedications: My four late friends Rory, Stan, Bryan, Jeff - shine on you crazy diamonds, they would have blogged too. Then theres Garry from Brisbane, Franco in Milan, Mike now in S.F. / my '60s-'80s gang: Ned & Joseph in Ireland; in England: Frank, Des, Guy, Clive, Joe & Joe, Ian, Ivan, Nick, David, Les, Stewart, the 3 Michaels / Catriona, Sally, Monica, Jean, Ella, Anne, Candie / and now: Daryl in N.Y., Jerry, John, Colin, Martin and Donal.

Monday, 6 April 2015

"They are not long, the days of wine and roses ...."

I have a vivid memory of being 16 and watching DAYS OF WINE AND ROSES at my local cinema in 1962, and being entranced by that young couple up there on the screen, as they stand and look out at the water, before their descent into alcoholism .....
My friend Daryl has now sent me some stills from the film, so its a pleasure to post them here, as they are too little seen. 
Joe Clay is a top-notch public relations man. Anything a client wants Joe can arrange for them, whether it be dancing girls or an article in a prominent magazine. Part of the job however is drinking and Joe's ability to consume alcohol seems boundless. When he meets the very pretty Kirsten Arnasen, she prefers chocolate to alcohol but Joe has a solution to that in the form of a Brandy Alexander (made up of brandy and creme de cocoa). They eventually marry but their love is insufficient to prevent them from the downward spiral that alcohol brings to them. They try desperately to break the habit but continually relapse until only one of them manages to break free...

Lee Remick has always been a particular favourite of mine (I met her in 1970 and saw her on the stage in BUS STOP in 1976, as per Remick label) and she excels here and for my money should have won the Oscar that year for best actress - but the competition was fierce: apart from Katharine Hepburn and Bette Davis delivering iconic performances there were also those two powerhouse actresses Geraldine Page and Anne Bancroft (who won), 
but Lee captures perfectly the arc of the chocolate-loving secretary Karin who starts with Brandy Alexanders and is soon a hopeless drunk. Jack Lemmon matches her in one of his great performances - this and SOME LIKE IT HOT may be his best, I did not want to see a lot of his later stuff; whereas Lee Remick here and in ANATOMY OF A MURDER and WILD RIVER is at her best too. I have now seen most of her later work - she and Lemmon were re-united in 1980's TRIBUTE
see my review of a year or so ago at their labels, but that was a much lesser work. Charles Bickford is marvellous too as Karin's strict father, and that great scene of merrily drunk Lemmon looking for the hidden bottle and wrecking Bickford's greenhouse as he gets more and more out of control ..... Henry Mancini's great score sets the moods and that great theme song, with lyrics by Johnny Mercer is certainly a perennial. 

Blake Edwards was certainly on a roll in those early Sixties years, after dramas like MISTER CORY and comedies like THE PERFECT FURLOUGH (STRICTLY FOR PLEASURE) and OPERATION PETTICOAT, then the cult classic and popular perennial BREAKFAST AT TIFFANY'S he did that tense thriller EXPERIMENT IN TERROR, also with Lee Remick, in 1962 and followed that with THE DAYS OF WINE AND ROSES, and then the delicious first PINK PANTHER in 1963 ....

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