Once Is Not Enough (film)

Jacqueline Susann's Once Is Not Enough is a 1975 American romance film, directed by Guy Green, starring Kirk Douglas, Alexis Smith, David Janssen, George Hamilton, Brenda Vaccaro, Melina Mercouri, and Deborah Raffin. It was produced by Howard W. Koch and written by Julius J. Epstein, based on the 1973 novel Once Is Not Enough by Jacqueline Susann.

Jacqueline Susann's Once Is Not Enough
Once Is Not Enough poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byGuy Green
Produced byHoward W. Koch
Written byJulius J. Epstein
Based onOnce Is Not Enough
by Jacqueline Susann
StarringKirk Douglas
Alexis Smith
David Janssen
George Hamilton
Melina Mercouri
Brenda Vaccaro
Deborah Raffin
Music byHenry Mancini
CinematographyJohn A. Alonzo
Distributed byParamount Pictures
Release date
  • June 20, 1975 (1975-06-20) (United States)
Running time
121 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$7.8 million (US/Canada rentals)[1]

It featured Alexis Smith's return to the big screen after an absence of 16 years, and Brenda Vaccaro was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress and won the Golden Globe award for her role as Linda Riggs.[2]


Mike Wayne is a middle-aged motion-picture producer whose career has fallen on hard times. Try as he might, Mike no longer can get a new Hollywood project made.

Accustomed to a lavish lifestyle, Mike has pampered his daughter, January, providing her with an expensive education in Europe and everything else money can buy. January worships her father and eagerly returns to America to be with him again.

Needing capital, Mike enters into a loveless marriage with Deidre Milford Granger, one of the world's wealthiest women. She has already been through multiple marriages and demands that things be done her way. She also is secretly carrying on a lesbian affair. January is devastated to learn that Mike is now wed to this rude, arrogant woman.

Deidre attempts to draw January into a relationship with her cousin David Milford, a ladies' man who also usually gets his own way. He finally persuades January into going to bed with him, only to discover that she is a virgin.

Unsure what to do with her life, January is advised by an old friend, Linda Riggs, now a magazine editor, to author a book. Linda enjoys a free-spirit life with many lovers and urges January to do likewise. But due in no small part to her father complex, January instead falls for a much-older Tom Colt, a hard-drinking, impotent novelist who is an adversary of her father's.

Mike bitterly resents the affair. He punches Colt upon catching January in a Beverly Hills hotel bungalow with him. Mike orders his daughter to make a choice between them, and Colt gives her the same ultimatum. She chooses her lover.

Deidre's demands and insults finally become too much for Mike, who wants a divorce. They amicably agree to one, but their airplane crashes and both are killed. The devastated January turns to Tom Colt for comfort, but he turns against her instead, leaving her to go on alone.

January learns that she has inherited $3 million from her father's insurance policy to begin a new life for herself. When she goes to tell the good news to Linda, she finds Linda angry and distraught for she was just fired from her job after having sex with her boss who used her. Realizing that nothing is perfect in life, not even in her own way, January is left all alone wandering Manhattan after dark, but with hope that tomorrow will be a better day.


Despite only 14 seconds of screen time, with just two lines ("You dumb drunken broad! You could’ve been killed!"), actor Phil Foster is included in the film's opening credits.


Guy Green was hired to direct the film, according to one Paramount executive, because he "might give it class". Green wanted Dick Van Dyke to play the role of Mike Wayne. He also wanted to fire David Janssen during rehearsals and replace him with Robert Shaw. Irving Mansfield said Kirk Douglas and Janssen directed themselves during the film.[3]

The ending was made more hopeful than in the source novel. The novel ends with January trying acid and partaking in an orgy. She then wanders onto the beach where she hallucinates that she sees her father and walks into the ocean after him, presumably drowning.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "All-time Film Rental Champs", Variety, 7 January 1976 p 44
  2. ^ "Movie Review - Once Is Not Enough". The New York Times. Retrieved 17 December 2014.
  3. ^ Enough, Already, About 'Enough'! Los Angeles Times 11 July 1974: g14

External linksEdit