6.8/10
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The War of the Roses (1989)

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A married couple try everything to get each other to leave the house in a vicious divorce battle.

Director:

Danny DeVito

Writers:

Warren Adler (novel), Michael Leeson (screenplay)
Nominated for 3 Golden Globes. Another 2 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Michael Douglas ... Oliver Rose
Kathleen Turner ... Barbara Rose
Danny DeVito ... Gavin D'Amato
Marianne Sägebrecht ... Susan
Sean Astin ... Josh at 17
Heather Fairfield ... Carolyn at 17
G.D. Spradlin ... Harry Thurmont
Peter Donat ... Jason Larrabee
Dan Castellaneta ... Man in Chair
Gloria Cromwell Gloria Cromwell ... Mrs. Marshall
Harlan Arnold Harlan Arnold ... Mr. Dell
Mary Fogarty Mary Fogarty ... Mrs. Dell
Rika Hofmann Rika Hofmann ... Elke
Patricia Allison Patricia Allison ... Maureen
Peter Brocco ... Elderly Mourner
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Storyline

The Roses, Barbara and Oliver, live happily as a married couple. Then she starts to wonder what life would be like without Oliver, and likes what she sees. Both want to stay in the house, and so they begin a campaign to force each other to leave. In the middle of the fighting is D'Amato, the divorce lawyer. He gets to see how far both will go to get rid of the other, and boy do they go far.. Written by Rob Hartill

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Once in a lifetime comes a motion picture that makes you feel like falling in love all over again. This is not that movie.

Genres:

Comedy | Romance

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

8 December 1989 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Der Rosenkrieg See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$26,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$9,488,794, 10 December 1989, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$86,888,546

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$160,188,546
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby SR

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Phil Collins was tapped to compose a song for the film, eventually becoming "Something Happened On The Way To Heaven". By the time Collins finished recording, the offer of composing a song for the film had been taken back. Instead the track can be found on Collins' 1989 album "...But Seriously". See more »

Goofs

When Barbara is asking Oliver about the cat at the cellar sauna, the glass window is clearly evident by droplets of steam/water. The camera cuts to a close shot with both Oliver & Barbara's faces, and the glass in the window between them is clearly removed, as there is no evidence of condensation/steam. In the next shot of the sauna door, the glass is back, droplets and all. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Gavin: [Gavin is talking to a client] You have some valid reasons for wanting a divorce.
[blows his nose with a handkerchief]
Gavin: Excuse me. My sinuses are very sensitive to irritants.
[sprays nasal decongestant up his nostrils]
Gavin: In the past five months, I think I've breathed freely with both sides working maybe a week total.
[pulls a cigarette out of a pack]
Gavin: I gotta cut this out. It's gonna kill me.
[lights his cigarette]
Gavin: I hadn't smoked for thirteen years. I kept the last cigarette from my last ...
[...]
See more »

Connections

Featured in WatchMojo: Top 10 Breakup Movies (2015) See more »

Soundtracks

Pretty Lady, Lovely Lady
Written by Nicky Addeo
Performed by Nicky Addeo
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
when love goes the route of attempted murder
15 June 2005 | by blanche-2See all my reviews

You know a movie is funny when you're by yourself and laughing out loud. This is a hilarious saga of a divorcing couple, both of whom refuse to leave their house. "The gloves are off," Michael Douglas announces to wife Kathleen Turner, although for the viewer, they had been off for some time. Both stop at nothing to drive the other out.

It's a strange film in a way because it starts out as a love story and slowly builds, as little signs that all is not well in paradise begin to emerge. Once the ugliness starts, there's no stopping it, and the film rapidly becomes a very black comedy.

Turner and Douglas receive able support from a very funny Danny Devito, who also directed, and the wonderful Marianne Sagebrecht, who provides a gentle presence amidst the chaos.


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