Written by JP Miller, Days of Wine and Roses (1958) was a Playhouse 90 TV movie before it was remade as a theatrical film. Though technically crude, it is a memorably strong drama about the ruination of sought-after social mobility—and of people’s lives—by alcoholism. Joe and Kirsten are the broken hard drinkers. Without getting drunk, Kirsten can only see the world as a “dirty” place, and is the more vulnerable and myopic of the two.
The picture was well directed by John Frankenheimer. Cliff Robertson is a natural for the part of Joe. His acting is nigh effortless, whereas with Piper Laurie (Kirsten) we do see the effort. Laurie is inconsistently convincing, but—interestingly—she does manage to be deep. A psyche is there. . .
I’m glad I finally saw Days (on DVD) after all these years, and, yep, I’m sticking with the original.
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