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The War of the Roses Details


Divorce lawyer Danny De Vito warns his prospective client that the story he's about to tell isn't a pretty one, but the client listens with eager intensity -- as do the folks out there in the movie in the audience. The War of the Roses can best be described as a slapstick tragedy concerning the decline and literal fall of a marriage. After 17 years, Oliver (Michael Douglas) and Barbara (Kathleen Turner) Rose want a divorce. Not for this couple is there anything resembling a "civilized understanding": Barbara wants their opulent house, and Oliver isn't about to part with the domicile. Barbara nails the basement door shut while Oliver is downstairs, Oliver disrupts Barbara's fancy party by taking aim at the catered dinner, Barbara lays waste to Oliver's sports car....and so it goes, culminating in a disastrous showdown around, about and under the living room's fancy chandelier. DeVito and screenwriter Michael Leeson never let us forget that the couple's self-indulgent imbroglio exacts an awful price upon their children (Sean Astin and Heather Fairfield). The War of the Roses was adapted from the novel by Warren Adler. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

  • Release date:December 8, 1989


Awarded by
Berlin International Film Festival Danny DeVito In Competition 1990 Nominee
Hollywood Foreign Press Association Kathleen Turner Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy 1989 Nominee
Hollywood Foreign Press Association Michael Douglas Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy 1989 Nominee
American Society of Cinematographers Stephen H. Burum Best Cinematography 1989 Nominee


Michael Douglas
as Oliver Rose
Kathleen Turner
as Barbara Rose
Danny DeVito
as Gavin D'Amato
Marianne Sägebrecht
as Susan
Sean Astin
as Josh, Age 17
Heather Fairfield
as Carolyn, Age 17
G.D. Spradlin
as Harry Thurmont
Peter Donat
as Larrabee
Trenton Teigen
as Josh, Age 10
Bethany McKinney
as Carolyn, Age 10
Jeffrey Thomas
as Orderly
Philip Perlman
as Bidder at Auction
Mary Fogarty
as Mrs. Dell
Jacqueline Cassell
as Gavin's Secretary
Prince Hughes
as Bleeding Man
Harlan Arnold
as Mr. Dell
Lisa Howard
as Nurse
Popeye the Dog
as Bennie
Robert Harper
as Heath
Eunice Suarez
as Latin Woman
Roy Brocksmith
as Mr. Fisk
Fred Scialla
as Stand-In
Vickilyn Reynolds
as Nancy, Oliver's Secretary
Sue Palka
as Anchorwoman
Patricia Allison
as Maureen
David Wohl
as Dr. Gordon
Michael Adler
as Dr. Hillerman
Shaun Wickers
as Josh, Age 3
Rika Hofmann
as Elke
Peter Brocco
as Elderly Mourner
Tony Crane
as Teenage Boy
Gloria Cromwell
as Mrs. Marshall
Shirley Mitchell
as Mrs. Dewitt
Danitra Vance
as Manicurist Trainee
Dan Castellaneta
as Man in Chair
Ellen Crawford
as Nurse


Danny DeVito
Warren Adler
Book Author
Warren Adler
Michael Leeson
Stephen H. Burum
David Newman
Composer (Music Score)
Nicholas C. Smith
Lynzee Klingman
Ida Random
Production Designer
Mark Mansbridge
Art Director
Michael Leeson
James L. Brooks
Arnon Milchan
Doug Claybourne
Executive Producer
Polly Platt
Executive Producer
Stan Tropp
Set Designer
Anne McCulley
Set Designer
Mark Fabus
Set Designer
Gloria Gresham
Costume Designer
John Frazier
Special Effects
Dustin Blauvelt
Camera Operator
Mike Runyard
Stephen Abrums