Jacqueline Susann's Once Is Not Enough (film)

Jacqueline Susann's Once Is Not Enough is a 1975 American drama film directed by Guy Green and 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
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
Box office$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 Best Supporting Actress – Motion Picture for her role as Linda Riggs.[2]


In the film version, Mike Wayne (Kirk Douglas) 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 (Deborah Raffin), 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 (Alexis Smith), 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 (George Hamilton), 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 (Brenda Vaccaro), 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 (David Janssen), 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.

The novel includes much more drug use and sexual content, and has quite a different ending. After the events of the film transpire, January tries acid and partakes 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.

In the film version's ending, 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.



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]

See also


  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.
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