Blood and Wine

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Blood and Wine
Blood and wine 1996 poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Bob Rafelson
Produced by Jeremy Thomas
Screenplay by
  • Alison Cross
  • Nick Villiers
Story by
  • Bob Rafelson
  • Nick Villiers
Music by Michal Lorenc
Cinematography Newton Thomas Sigel
Edited by Steven Cohen
Distributed by Fox Searchlight Pictures
Release dates
  • September 1996 (1996-09) (Spain)[1]
  • February 21, 1997 (1997-02-21) (US)
Running time
101 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $26 million[2]
Box office $1.1 million[3]

Blood and Wine is a 1996 neo-noir thriller directed by Bob Rafelson from a screenplay written by Nick Villiers and Alison Cross. It features Jack Nicholson, Stephen Dorff, Jennifer Lopez, Judy Davis and Michael Caine. Rafelson has stated that the film forms the final part of his unofficial trilogy with Nicholson, with whom he made Five Easy Pieces and The King of Marvin Gardens in the 1970s.[4]


Alex Gates is a wealthy wine merchant who has distanced himself from his alcoholic wife Suzanne with his philandering, and from his stepson Jason with his indifference. Alex is heavily in debt, and cases the house of his clients, the Reese family. After he steals a valuable diamond necklace with the help of his Cuban mistress Gabriela and his safe-cracker partner Victor, things start to fall apart fast.

Suzanne sets out to interrupt what she thinks is another one of Alex's weekend dalliances down in the Florida Keys, but his trip is really to pawn the jewels. Trouble escalates when she discovers the truth and gets involved.



British producer Jeremy Thomas was attracted to work with Rafelson due to what he perceived as the director's European sensibilities. He later remembered:

It was a different experience for me, because growing up as an independent producer it was difficult to interact with a corporate system. But then I got this screenplay which had Jack Nicholson attached to it and Bob Rafelson, who I knew quite well, and so I thought, I had never gone near a genre-type of film and so maybe I will try some noir-ish sort of film, set in Miami, which is the flavour of Hollywood, and see if we can do it. It was certainly an incredible cast, and I sold the film to 20th Century Fox, and I had a moment of flirtation with a studio movie type of film. I am very fond of the film.[5]

Blood and Wine was shot in Miami, South Florida and the Florida Keys, including some scenes at the Caribbean Club in Key Largo.[6] Alex’s family home is located in the Coral Gables/Pinecrest area. Gabriela is shown to live in Little Havana. The Reeses live in Millionaire’s Row in Miami Beach. Their house is next to Indian Creek and has a view of Collins Avenue. Jason’s fishing boat is anchored in the Miami River, near Downtown Miami. Before the dance scene between Alex and Gabriela, we see a view of Southeast Financial Center in Downtown Miami.


Rotten Tomatoes, a review aggregator, reports that 61% of 31 surveyed critics gave the film a positive review; the average rating is 6.1/10.[7] David Rooney of Variety called it "an amusingly caustic, straight-up serving of film noir staples spiced with star charisma".[8] Film critic Roger Ebert wrote, "Blood & Wine is a richly textured crime picture based on the personalities of men who make their living desperately. Jack Nicholson and Michael Caine are the stars, as partners in a jewel theft that goes wrong in a number of ways, each way illustrating deep flaws in how they choose to live." [9] Edward Guthmann of the San Francisco Chronicle rated it 2/4 stars and wrote, "Blood & Wine has elements of classic film noir – but it's film noir with a sledgehammer and none of the genre's suggestiveness or style."[10]

Caine won Best Actor at the San Sebastian International Film Festival.[11]


  1. ^ McDougal, Dennis (2008). Five Easy Decades: How Jack Nicholson Became the Biggest Movie Star in Modern Times. John Wiley & Sons. p. 362. ISBN 9780471722465. 
  2. ^ "Blood and Wine". The Numbers. Retrieved April 9, 2015. 
  3. ^ "Blood and Wine". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved April 9, 2015. 
  4. ^ Johnson, Gary. "Jack Nicholson is His Seedy Best in Blood & Wine". Images Journal. Retrieved August 10, 2013. 
  5. ^ Thomas, Jeremy; Lieberson, Sanford (2006-04-11). "At the Cutting Edge – Producer Jeremy Thomas, interviewed by producer Sandy Lieberson". Berlinale Talent Campus. Retrieved August 10, 2013. 
  6. ^ Miami Bar Guide: Caribbean Club web site. Accessed: April 3, 2010.
  7. ^ "Blood and Wine (1997)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved April 9, 2015. 
  8. ^ Rooney, David (September 30, 1996). "Review: 'Rafelson's 'Wine' a Vintage Noir'". Variety. Retrieved April 9, 2015. 
  9. ^ Ebert, Roger. Film review of Blood and Wine, Chicago Sun-Times, February 21, 1997. Accessed: August 10, 2013.
  10. ^ Guthmann, Edward (February 21, 1997). "Sour Notes Kill 'Wine' / Nicholson pure evil as lowlife thief". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved April 9, 2015. 
  11. ^ Green, Jennifer (August 29, 2000). "Caine to receive San Sebastian Donostia award". Screen Daily. Retrieved April 9, 2015. 

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