|Long thought of and highly regarded as a light comedic actor, Jack Lemmon welcomed the chance to flex his dramatic muscles as an alcoholic in Blake Edwards' savage Days of Wine and Roses (1962). An Oscar winner for Mister Roberts (1955), Lemmon had followed that with two nominations for best actor in Some Like It Hot (1959) and The Apartment (1960) before Edwards cast him opposite Lee Remick as an executive who begins to drink socially, and then allows his drinking to spiral drastically out of control.|
Audiences had never seen Lemmon like this before, and he was extraordinary, creating a pathetic character at war with the bottle but also himself and his hard drinking wife. There was nothing light or the least bit funny about this performance and Lemmon was rightfully nominated for an Oscar as best actor. How sad he gave this performance in the same year Gregory Peck mesmerized audiences as Atticus Finch in To Kill a Mockingbird (1962) becuase in any other year Lemmon would have won. Eleven years later he would finally claim a best actor Oscar for his work in Save the Tiger (1973) though everyone in the business knew it was a long overdue award for this film.
Lee Remick is equally superb as his wife, and the sequence in the green house as Lemmon furiously searches for a hidden bottle is now a classic fully displaying the madness of alcoholism.
The DVD is presented in widescreen format, beautifully restored so that audiences are seeing a clean black and white transfer, but make no mistake, the reason to see this film is the stunning performance of the late, great Jack Lemmon.