Friday, December 28, 2012

Farewell Jack Klugman: He Played Jim Hungerford ~ One AA Sponsor Extraordinaire!

English: Jack Klugman in August 2005
English: Jack Klugman in August 2005 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Remembering Jack Klugman 


On Christmas Eve 2012 Jack Klugman died. Mr. Klugman will be remembered for many of his television roles like Oscar Madison of The Odd Couple and Dr. R. Quincy, M.E. of Quincy, M.E.; however, there is a good chance that many in recovery will best remember Jack Klugman's role in the Academy Award winning 1962 movie Days of Wine and Roses when he played Jim Hungerford, Jack Lemmon's (Joe Clay) Alcoholics Anonymous sponsor.

Days of Wine and Roses and Recovery


It was 50 years ago this week, in fact on December 26, 1962, when Days of Wine and Roses was released in movie theaters across the United States. The movie tells the story of a couple, two average Americans, who succumb to alcoholism and attempt to deal with their problem. It was considered groundbreaking at the time with its very realistic portrayal of a couple dealing with their alcoholism.  According to Wikipedia:
"Director Blake Edwards became a non-drinker a year after completing the film and went into substance recovery. He said that he and Jack Lemmon were heavy drinkers while making the film. Edwards used the theme of alcohol abuse often in his films, including: 10 (1979), Blind Date (1987) and Skin Deep (1989). Both Lemmon and Remick sought help from Alcoholics Anonymous long after they had completed the film. Lemmon revealed to James Lipton on Inside the Actors Studio his past drinking problems and his recovery. The film had a lasting effect in helping alcoholics deal with their problem. Today, Days of Wine and Roses is required viewing in many alcoholic and drug rehabilitation clinics across America."
Groundbreaking, indeed!

Days of Wine and Roses trailer...

 





If you are having trouble viewing the trailer, you can see it here.

Learning from movies...


This year, like most, there have been a few movies that dealt with alcoholism and addiction. We posted about airplane pilot Captain Whitaker's (portrayed by Denzel Washington) battle in the movie Flight and Kate's (portrayed by Mary Elizabeth Winstead) struggle in the movie Smashed. Each of these movies featured the importance of the role an "anonymous sponsor" plays in the road to recovery. But, for sure, Jack Klugman's Jim Hungerford will always be remembered as the most powerful depiction of a sponsor, one that continues to help recovering alcoholics to understand Alcoholics Anonymous and the concept of one day at a time.

Here's to a Happy and Healthy New Year


As we prepare to welcome 2013, we want to wish all of our readers a Happy New Year. If you are searching for treatment and recovery we hope you will find one safe place and a Passport to Recovery. If you are in recovery...take a few minutes and be grateful for your sponsor and all that they do for you and others.

If you've never seen Days of Wine and Roses...take a break over the holiday and treat yourself to this movie which was originally tagged:  This, in its own terrifying way, is a love story.



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