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Blake Edwards
Jack Lemmon, Lee Remick, Jack Klugman
Writing Credits:
JP Miller

An alcoholic marries a young woman, whom he systematically addicts to booze so they can share his "passion" together.

Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
English DTS-HD MA Monaural
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 117 min.
Price: $21.99
Release Date: 10/29/2019

• Audio Commentary with Director Blake Edwards
• Jack Lemmon Interview
• Trailer


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Days of wine and Roses [Blu-Ray] (1962)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (November 27, 2019)

Hot off the success of 1961ís Breakfast at Tiffanyís, director Blake Edwards went after another character-based drama. With 1962ís Days of Wine and Roses, Edwards takes on alcoholism and its impact on relationships.

Joe Clay (Jack Lemmon) works as a PR man, and he excels at his job, as he always finds ways to make clients happy. This means he schmoozes a lot, and that leads him to imbibe massive amounts of alcohol.

All that boozing doesnít bother Joe, however. Instead, he enjoys the large quantities of alcohol he downs and sees no issue with his lifestyle.

At a party, Joe meets teetotaler Kirsten Arnesen (Lee Remick), his clientís secretary. Though she initially dislikes Joe, she ultimately agrees to go out with him.

This leads to a relationship, and along the way, Joe pressures Kirsten to join him in his alcoholic ways. She eventually relents, and the booze-soaked couple suffers a mix of concerns related to their drinking.

Given the subject matter and Edwardsí tendency toward schmaltz, I went into Days with guarded expectations at best. I maintain a feeling of affection toward Edwards because I enjoyed his comedies as a kid, but I admit Iíve been less than enchanted with what Iíve seen as an adult.

Still, hope springs eternal, and I thought perhaps Days would give me something more substantial. And it does Ė for a while, at least.

Unquestionably, Days fares best in its first act. Edwards manages to paint Joeís drinking problem in a subtle manner and shows its escalation/damage in a slow, gradual way.

This feels believable and it avoids the melodrama I feared. We get to know Joe and Kirsten in a realistic scenario and buy into them as people without heavy-handed moralizing.

Once both get into the bottle so much that they become genuine drunks, unfortunately, Days goes wholly off the rails. The film doesnít paint Joe and Kirsten as your everyday alcoholics Ė no, it forces them to mutate into crazed, danger-to-society addicts.

This seems like the proverbial bridge too far. As soon as Kirsten burns down the apartment in a drunken stupor, Days leaves all semblance of reality in the crapper.

Of course, I know that people under the influence do make poor choices and cause real damage. I donít argue that behaviors like those seen in the film fail to exist.

However, Days pushes Joe and Kirsten to such extremes that it seems fairly ridiculous. At one point, Joe winds up screaming in agony while bound in a straightjacket, for heavenís sake!

Days keeps its heart in the right place, and I understand that my 2019 eyes see the tale differently than 1962 eyes would. Something like this wouldíve seemed more revelatory at that point, as not that many films took on socially relevant subjects like alcoholism.

Nonetheless, Days still seems too overwrought and hysterical to work. I like its first act and its ambiguous ending, but a lot of it simply grates on the viewer.

The Disc Grades: Picture B+/ Audio B-/ Bonus C

Days of Wine and Roses appears in an aspect ratio of 1.85:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. This turned into a satisfying image.

Sharpness worked nicely. A couple of shots demonstrated mild softness, but those remained minor and infrequent, so the majority of the flick boasted solid delineation

I saw no issues with jagged edges or shimmering, and edge haloes stayed absent. The image also failed to display any print flaws.

Blacks came across as deep and tight, and contrast was a strength. Low-light shots demonstrated nice clarity and dimensionality. All of this added up to a pretty strong presentation.

For its era, the movieís DTS-HD MA monaural soundtrack worked fine, and dialogue sounded clear and acceptably natural. In a manner typical for the era, speech seemed a little thin at times, but I detected no concerns related to intelligibility or edginess. Effects were also clear and decently realistic, and they lacked problems related to distortion.

Music seemed to be similarly clean and bright. The mix delivered no substantial dynamic range, but it replicated the score and incidental music with acceptable accuracy.

I heard no concerns related to background noise or source flaws. Overall, the soundtrack to Days served the movie in a more than adequate manner.

The disc provides an audio commentary from director Blake Edwards. He brings a running, screen-specific look at cast and crew, issues related to alcoholism and production notes.

At the start of the commentary, Edwards claims that heís not good at this form of discussion. The man doesnít lie.

Not that Edwards is the worst commentator Iíve heard, but he lets lots of movie pass without discussion. Iíd guess he speaks for maybe 15-20 minutes across the 117-minute film.

Much of that feels like a PSA for sobriety. We get some decent notes about the movieís stars but donít really learn a lot in this dull track.

In addition to the filmís trailer, we find a Jack Lemmon Interview. With this five-minute, six-second reel, we find a one-sided affair.

By that I mean the interview went out to TV stations with just Lemmonís answers. The station personnel then asked the pre-determined questions so it looked like they got their own personal chat with the actor.

Oddly, the presentation fails to show us the questions, so we solely hear Lemmonís replies. He chats about the movie and his career. The absence of the queries annoys, but this still feels like a fun time capsule piece.

A well-meaning piece of social commentary, at times Days of Wine and Roses brings an effective character drama. Unfortunately, too much of it embraces gaudy melodrama. The Blu-ray comes with very good picture, positive audio and a few bonus features. Despite some positives, the end result seems less than engaging.

Viewer Film Ratings: 2 Stars Number of Votes: 1
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