ⓘ The War Between Men and Women

The War Between Men and Women

ⓘ The War Between Men and Women

The War Between Men and Women is a 1972 American comedy-drama film directed by Melville Shavelson and starring Jack Lemmon, Barbara Harris and Jason Robards. The film is based on the writings of humorist James Thurber, and was released by Cinema Center Films. It features animated cartoons interspersed in the story based on Thurbers works. Shavelson was creator of the 1969 Thurber-based television series My World and Welcome to It. The screenplay was by Shavelson and by Danny Arnold, who also worked on the 1969 series. Lisa Gerritsen, who plays Linda Kozlenko in the film, previously co-starred in My World and Welcome to It as Lydia Monroe.


1. Plot

Peter Wilson Jack Lemmon is a sarcastic near-sighted cartoonist, author and swinging bachelor living in Manhattan. He detests dogs and children. He is flustered by womens priorities and avoids commitment, much preferring transient physical relationships. At the office of his eye surgeon, Peter meets a leggy, eye-catching brunette named Terri Kozlenko Barbara Harris. He likes her very much, but discovers later that she is a single mother to three children.

Nevertheless, they develop a close friendship that grows into romance, when Peter realizes that Terri is the only woman who can tolerate his strong anti-feminist opinions. When she rejects his plan of a sexual relationship conducted exclusively at his bachelor pad so that he doesnt have to bond with her demanding family, he reluctantly proposes to her. They get married and he moves into her apartment, but her rogue ex-husband Stephen Jason Robards appears to spend more time with their children. Stephen and Peter clash at first, but they soon become good drinking friends, much to Terris disapproval.

Peters eyesight gradually worsens and his boss, Howard Mann Herb Edelman, begins to criticize his work. Peter schedules a risky operation that could cure his problem, and tries to keep it a secret from Terri to avoid worrying her. Howard gets hysterical and inadvertently ruins Peters alibi of working away from home on a book. Terri tells him that she had known that Peter was going blind when she first met him.


2. Cast

  • Margaret Muse as Woman at Literary Tea
  • Joey Faye as Delivery boy
  • Barbara Harris as Theresa Alice Kozlenko
  • John Zaremba as Minister
  • Lea Marmer as Old Hag
  • Lisa Eilbacher as Caroline Kozlenko
  • Severn Darden as Dr. Harris
  • Ruth McDevitt as Old Woman
  • Olive Dunbar as Woman at Literary Tea
  • Lucille Meredith as Mrs. Schenker
  • Lisa Gerritsen as Linda Kozlenko
  • Jack Lemmon as Peter Edward Wilson
  • Joyce Brothers as Herself as Dr. Joyce Brothers
  • Danny Arnold as Manhattan Policeman
  • Herb Edelman as Howard Mann
  • Janya Braunt as Nurse
  • Richard Gates as Bernie as Rick Gates
  • Jason Robards as Stephen Kozlenko
  • Moosie Drier as David Kozlenko
  • Bill Hickman as Large Gentleman as William Hickman
  • Alan DeWitt as Man
  • Burt Richards as Book Salesman

3. Award nomination

The screenplay by Melville Shavelson and Danny Arnold was nominated for a Writers Guild of America Award for Best Comedy Written Directly for the Screen.


4. DVD

Like many other films in the Cinema Center catalog, The War Between Men and Women was long unavailable on home video, with the exception of a brief release on VHS in 2000, although it was shown on television. It was released to DVD by Paramount Pictures Home Entertainment on January 28, 2014 as a Region 1 widescreen DVD. It was released on blu ray in 2016 by Kino Lorber.

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