Blake Edwards's disturbing adaptation of J.P. Miller's PLAYHOUSE 90 story, starring Jack Lemmon as Joe Clay, remains an anomaly in a body of work largely devoted to comedy. Clay, a San Francisco public relations man who likes to hoist a few, meets secretary Kirsten Arnesen (Lee Remick), who doesn't drink, and after a short time they marry. After a few more months, Kirsten is able to put away as much liquor as her husband. As the years pass, Joe loses one job after another and his wife neglects their child until he begins to realize that both of them are alcoholics. They move into her father's (Charles Bickford) nursery to dry out, but following a couple of weeks of sobriety, they go on a binge. Joe nearly destroys a greenhouse in a fanatical search for a bottle and ends up in hospital ward. Former alcoholic Jim Hungerford (Jack Klugman) tries to persuade Joe to join an organization ro help deal with his problem, but Kirsten coaxes him back to the bottle. Lemmon is at his best and Remick has rarely been better in this shattering portrait of a couple consumed by addiction. Refreshingly free of the moralistic clichs of this genre, its depiction of the glamor enjoyed by drinking in previous decades throws light on the ease with which many were able to slide into oblivion.
Academy Awards Best Original Song 1962 Henry Mancini American Songwriter/Composer, THE PINK PANTHER Theme
Academy Awards Best Original Song 1962 Johnny Mercer Song Lyricist/Composer