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The War of the Roses

The movie The War of the Roses was based on the book War of the Roses.

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Movie details for The War of the Roses

The movie was released in 1989. The War of the Roses was produced by 20th Century Fox. More information on the movie is available on Amazon.com and also IMDb.

Actors on this movie include Michael Douglas, Kathleen Turner, Patricia Allison, Harlan Arnold, Sean Astin, Peter Brocco, Dan Castellaneta, Gloria Cromwell, Peter Donat, Heather Fairfield, Mary Fogarty, Rika Hofmann, Susan Isaacs, Bethany McKinney, Shirley Mitchell, Philip Perlman, G.D. Spradlin, Marianne Sägebrecht and Trenton Teigen.

 

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Michael Douglas, Kathleen Turner, and Danny DeVito reunited for a third time to fabulous effect in this dark, disturbing comedy of martial trauma and revenge, which couldn't be more different from their sunnier outings in Romancing the Stone and The Jewel... Read More
Michael Douglas, Kathleen Turner, and Danny DeVito reunited for a third time to fabulous effect in this dark, disturbing comedy of martial trauma and revenge, which couldn't be more different from their sunnier outings in Romancing the Stone and The Jewel of the Nile. Douglas and Turner, in career-best performances, are the materialistic, consumer-driven Roses of the title (Oliver and Barbara) whose seemingly perfect marriage has soured beyond repair; their only point of contact, aside from their two college-bound kids, is their meticulously maintained dream house, which Douglas bought and Turner decorated to perfection. When Turner gets a taste of financial independence, she asks Douglas for divorce--all she wants is the house and everything in it (aside from his clothes and shaving kit). He laughs at her and she punches him in the face. Things only get worse from there, as nasty divorce proceedings (with DeVito as Douglas's lawyer) give way to insults, threats, ruined dinner parties, and pet abuse. And through it all, the Roses begin destroying their beloved home and its contents, just to spite each other. DeVito, who also directed, takes Michael Leeson's blacker-than-black screenplay and gives it a hyperstylized spin, complete with skewed camera angles and wonderfully expressionistic cinematography (by Stephen Burum) as Douglas and Turner barricade themselves in their house, both refusing to give an inch. Shocking for a mainstream studio picture, with its unsympathetic protagonists, escalating bitterness, and disturbing finale, Roses is a poisonously funny valentine to both marriage and '80s materialism, tempered only by its framing device as a cautionary tale. Definitely not a date movie. --Mark Englehart

Book details for War of the Roses

War of the Roses was written by Warren Adler. The book was published in 1981 by Landmark. More information on the book is available on Amazon.com.

Warren Adler also wrote Random Hearts (1984).

 

Read More About This Book

This is the novel that inspired one of the most famous movies about divorce ever made, starring Michael Douglas and Kathleen Turner. Oliver and Barbara Rose are a passionate couple who meet at a Cape Cod auction while bidding for matching figurines. The f... Read More
This is the novel that inspired one of the most famous movies about divorce ever made, starring Michael Douglas and Kathleen Turner. Oliver and Barbara Rose are a passionate couple who meet at a Cape Cod auction while bidding for matching figurines. The figurines belong together, and so do the Roses. Their perfect love, complete with dream home and wonderful children, is fated to disintegrate, however, and when Oliver collapses in an apparent heart attack, Barbara's indifference brings the true state of their marriage out into the open. The war they wage against each other eventually descends into brutality and madness, as they destroy each other's most prized possessions and spiral into chaos.

The global impact of both the book and the movie has brought the phrase "The War of the Roses" into the popular jargon describing the terrible hatred and cruelty engendered in divorce proceedings.

The Roses' bereft children are featured in the novel's sequel, The Children of the Roses. "Warren Adler writes with skill and a sense of scene."--New York Times Book Review

"Warren Adler surveys the terrain [of marital strife] with mordant wit. This accomplished tale...builds to a baleful yet all-too-believable climax."--Cosmopolitan

"The War of the Roses is a clever look at the breakup of a marriage....It is Adler's achievement that he makes the most bizarre actions of each (party) seem logical under the circumstances....Both frightening and revealing."--Washington Star