The Lost Weekend (1945)

Not Rated  |   |  Drama  |  16 November 1945 (USA)
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Ratings: 8.0/10 from 23,367 users  
Reviews: 133 user | 91 critic

The desperate life of a chronic alcoholic is followed through a four day drinking bout.



(from the novel by), (screen play), 1 more credit »
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Won 4 Oscars. Another 12 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »



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Complete credited cast:
Phillip Terry ...
Howard Da Silva ...
Mary Young ...
Mrs. Deveridge
Anita Sharp-Bolster ...
Mrs. Foley (as Anita Bolster)
Lilian Fontaine ...
Mrs. St. James
Frank Orth ...
Opera Cloak Room Attendant
Lewis L. Russell ...
Mr. St. James


Don Birnam, long-time alcoholic, has been "on the wagon" for ten days and seems to be over the worst; but his craving has just become more insidious. Evading a country weekend planned by his brother Wick and girlfriend Helen, he begins a four-day bender. In flashbacks we see past events, all gone wrong because of the bottle. But this bout looks like being his way or the other. Written by Rod Crawford <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The screen dares to open the strange and savage pages of a shocking bestseller! See more »




Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

16 November 1945 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Días sin huella  »

Box Office


$1,250,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


This was the first time that any film crews had been given permission to film in Bellevue Hospital. See more »


Don places the bottle on the right side of the ceiling lamp and later retrieves it from the left side. See more »


'Bim' Nolan, Male Nurse: It's like the doctor was just telling me - delirium is a disease of the night. Good night.
See more »


Referenced in My Favorite Brunette (1947) See more »


Somebody Stole My Gal
(1918) (uncredited)
Written by Leo Wood
Played on piano and sung by Harry Barris at Harry and Joe's, with modified lyrics ("Somebody Stole the Purse")
See more »

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User Reviews

Feeling thirsty? Then have a cup of tea.
4 January 1999 | by (London, England) – See all my reviews

Seedy bars, pawnshops, and an array of elaborate hiding places are the overriding images from this film. The Lost Weekend is a grimly realistic account of four days in the life of a chronic alcoholic, played by Ray Milland. In films of this quality one always takes away unforgettable images. The most striking is Milland's drunken efforts to remember where in his apartment the last hiding place he used is. Degraded and thoroughly beaten by his addiction, his last refuge is to try and keep it a secret from those who still love him. Billy Wilder's direction and script is brilliant - sympathetic, but unpatronising in his handling of a delicate and rarely dealt with affliction. Not until Nicolas Cage's portrayal of a man determined to drink himself to death in Leaving Las Vegas, has alcoholism been dealt with so well. Milland's performance is first rate - no hammy shlurring of words - and the atmosphere is dark and seedy like the bars he frequents. The scene where he spends several hours trying to find an open pawnshop on a public holiday is both harrowing and dazzling - it is remeniscent of the filmic image of a parched man trying to cross the desert.

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