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The Lost Weekend
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The Lost Weekend (1945) More at IMDbPro »

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Up 8% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Charles R. Jackson (from the novel by)
Charles Brackett (screen play) ...
View company contact information for The Lost Weekend on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
16 November 1945 (USA) See more »
How daring can the screen dare to be? No adult man or woman can risk missing the startling frankness of The Lost Weekend! See more »
The desperate life of a chronic alcoholic is followed through a four day drinking bout. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Won 4 Oscars. Another 12 wins & 3 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
Days of wine and Four Roses See more (131 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Ray Milland ... Don Birnam

Jane Wyman ... Helen St. James
Phillip Terry ... Wick Birnam
Howard Da Silva ... Nat

Doris Dowling ... Gloria

Frank Faylen ... 'Bim' Nolan
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
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Andy Andrews ... Alcoholic (uncredited)
Gene Ashley ... Male Nurse (uncredited)
Walter Baldwin ... Man from Albany (uncredited)
Harry Barris ... Pianist at Harry & Joe's (uncredited)
Ian Begg ... (uncredited)
Jess Lee Brooks ... (uncredited)

Jack Rube Clifford ... Guard (uncredited)
David Clyde ... Dave (uncredited)
James Conaty ... Man in Nightclub Washroom (uncredited)
Willa Pearl Curtis ... Mrs. Wertheim's Assistant (uncredited)

John Deauville ... Cloakroom Attendant (uncredited)
Helen Dickson ... Mrs. Frink (uncredited)
Clark Eggleston ... Cloakroom Attendant (uncredited)

Franklyn Farnum ... Concert Attendee (uncredited)
Byron Foulger ... Shopkeeper (uncredited)
John Garris ... Opera Singer (uncredited)
Jayne Hazard ... M. (uncredited)
Ted Hecht ... Man with Bandaged Ear (uncredited)
Ernest Hilliard ... Headwaiter (uncredited)

Earle Hyman ... Smoking Man (uncredited)
Jerry James ... Male Nurse (uncredited)
Stan Johnson ... Nurse (uncredited)
Jack W. Johnston ... Nightclub Guest (uncredited)

Karl 'Karchy' Kosiczky ... Baby (uncredited)
Eddie Laughton ... Mr. Brophy (uncredited)
Perc Launders ... Doorman (uncredited)
Audrey Long ... Cloak Room Attendant (uncredited)
Theodora Lynch ... Opera Singer (uncredited)
Bertram Marburgh ... Jewish Man (uncredited)
William Meader ... Hardware Man (uncredited)
James Millican ... Nurse (uncredited)
Frank Mills ... Drunk in Alcoholic Ward (uncredited)
Pat Moriarity ... Irishman (uncredited)
William Newell ... Liquor Store Proprietor (uncredited)
William O'Leary ... Irishman (uncredited)
Peter Potter ... Shaky and Sweaty Man (uncredited)
Mark Power ... (uncredited)
Stanley Price ... Fruit Clerk (uncredited)
Craig Reynolds ... George (uncredited)
The San Francisco Opera Company ... Themselves (uncredited)
Lester Sharpe ... Jewish Man (uncredited)
Lee Shumway ... Guard (uncredited)
Sophie ... Mrs. Deveridge's Dog (uncredited)
Douglas Spencer ... Beetle Man in Drunk Tank (uncredited)
Al Stewart ... Mattress Man (uncredited)
Amzie Strickland ... Woman in Bar (uncredited)
Bunny Sunshine ... Little Girl (uncredited)
Harry Tenbrook ... Drunk in Alcoholic Ward (uncredited)
Fred 'Snowflake' Toones ... Washroom Attendant at Harry & Joe's (uncredited)
Emmett Vogan ... Doctor (uncredited)
Max Wagner ... Mike (uncredited)
Milton Wallace ... Pawnbroker with Helen's Coat (uncredited)
Gisela Werbisek ... Mrs. Wertheim (uncredited)
Crane Whitley ... Waiter at Harry & Joe's Bar (uncredited)
Ernest Whitman ... Black Man Talking to Himself (uncredited)
Harry Wilson ... Drunk (uncredited)
Isabel Withers ... Woman Before Pawn Shop (uncredited)

Directed by
Billy Wilder 
Writing credits
Charles R. Jackson (from the novel by)

Charles Brackett (screen play) and
Billy Wilder (screen play)

Produced by
Charles Brackett .... producer
Original Music by
Miklós Rózsa  (as Miklos Rozsa)
Cinematography by
John F. Seitz (director of photography)
Casting by
Robert Mayo (uncredited)
Alice Thomas (uncredited)
Art Direction by
Hans Dreier 
A. Earl Hedrick  (as Earl Hedrick)
Set Decoration by
Bertram C. Granger  (as Bertram Granger)
Costume Design by
Edith Head (costumes)
Makeup Department
Wally Westmore .... makeup supervisor
Jack Daniels .... makeup artist (uncredited)
Doris Rowland .... hair stylist (uncredited)
William Woods .... makeup artist (uncredited)
Production Management
Richard Blaydon .... production manager (uncredited)
Frank Parmenter .... assistant production manager (uncredited)
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Douglas Bridges .... second assistant director (uncredited)
Charles C. Coleman .... assistant director (uncredited)
Charles C. Coleman .... second unit director (uncredited)
Tex Harris .... second assistant director (uncredited)
Art Department
Jack Colconda .... props (uncredited)
Gene Lauritzen .... construction coordinator (uncredited)
Charles Mason .... props (uncredited)
Sound Department
Stanley Cooley .... sound recordist
Joel Moss .... sound recordist
William Pillar .... stage engineer (uncredited)
Visual Effects by
Farciot Edouart .... process photography
Gordon Jennings .... special photographic effects
Loyal Griggs .... process photography assistant (uncredited)
Paul K. Lerpae .... special photographic effects assistant (uncredited)
Harry Perry .... process photography assistant (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
Mitch Crawley .... transparency grip (uncredited)
Ray Guy .... electrician (uncredited)
Earl Hardaway .... mike grip (uncredited)
James Hawley .... assistant camera (uncredited)
Walter Newman .... transparency grip (uncredited)
Otto Pierce .... second camera (uncredited)
Chet Stafford .... gaffer (uncredited)
Harlow Stengel .... assistant camera (uncredited)
Fred True .... grip (uncredited)
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Julio Alonso .... wardrobe (uncredited)
Grace Harris .... wardrobe (uncredited)
Eugene Joseff .... costume jeweller (uncredited)
Editorial Department
Doane Harrison .... editorial supervisor
Lee Hall .... assistant editor (uncredited)
Music Department
Sidney Cutner .... orchestrator (uncredited)
Samuel Hoffman .... musician: theremin (uncredited)
Russell Martin .... music recordist (uncredited)
George Parrish .... orchestrator (uncredited)
Leo Shuken .... orchestrator (uncredited)
Philip Wisdom .... music mixer (uncredited)
Eugene Zador .... orchestrator (uncredited)
Other crew
Armando Agnini .... technical advisor: opera (uncredited)
John Clark .... publicist (uncredited)
Rena Clark .... research assistant (uncredited)
Helen Hernandez .... assistant to producer (uncredited)
Sam Ledner .... dance supervisor (uncredited)
Al Mann .... dance director (uncredited)
Gladys Percey .... research director (uncredited)
Douglas Spencer .... stand-in: Ray Milland (uncredited)
George Thompson .... medical advisor (uncredited)
Marvin Weldon .... script clerk (uncredited)
Sam Wood .... coordinator (uncredited)
Crew verified as complete

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
101 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Western Electric Recording)
Argentina:16 | Australia:PG | Finland:K-16 | Germany:12 | Netherlands:18 (1947) | South Korea:15 (2003) | Sweden:15 (cut) | UK:PG | UK:A (original rating) | USA:Not Rated | USA:Passed (National Board of Review) | USA:Approved (PCA #10517) | USA:TV-PG (TV rating)

Did You Know?

Upon completion, Billy Wilder confidently predicted that Ray Milland would win an Oscar for his performance. He was right.See more »
Continuity: Don removes from his typewriter the title page for his novel "The Bottle" and crumples it up. Near the end of the movie, Helen hands it to him as a flat, crisp piece of paper.See more »
Don Birnam:Are you in the phone book?
Helen St. James:Yes, but I'm not home very much.
Don Birnam:Well, I'll call you at your office.
Helen St. James:Editorial Research. If Henry Luce answers, hang up.
See more »
LouiseSee more »


Is "The Lost Weekend" based on a book?
What is the significance of the three balls outside of the pawnbroker's shop?
See more »
40 out of 46 people found the following review useful.
Days of wine and Four Roses, 20 January 2005
Author: jotix100 from New York

The American cinema can count itself lucky with the wave of arrival of the best European talent in the days prior to World War II. Among the most distinguished directors that came to Hollywood was Billy Wilder who left a legacy, not only as a director, but in the many screen plays he wrote. One of his great works was "The Lost Week-end". Written with Charles Brackett, one of his most frequent collaborators, this is a film that dared to talk about a thing that no one dared to speak before: alcoholism.

If you haven't seen the film, please stop reading now.

On the opening scene of the picture we watch Don Birman, and his brother Wick packing suitcases for a long weekend in the country. We realize not everything is all right as we watch a bottle tied with a piece of string hanging out of a window. It's clear to see what was wrong with that picture, Don is an alcoholic! Wick, having enough common sense, wants to keep his brother near him, in order to control the situation.

Things get complicated with the arrival of Helen, the woman in love with Don. Helen St. James has been in a relationship with Don that has gone nowhere because of his drinking problem. Helen, as well as Wick, don't have the courage to have him committed to have him cured of his addiction. In fact, both are to blame about the condition affecting Don, but neither realize how deep is the problem.

In 1945 themes involving addiction were never told to the movie going public. Alcoholism was a vice that affected a lot of people in the country, but those were the days where people with drinking problems stayed in the closet, not daring to recognize how their lives were being ruined by the heavy use of alcohol.

We watch in horror as Don spends a weekend in hell going from one scheme to the next trying to get money to support his nasty habit. We also see Don Birman experience the worst night of his life when he is taken to a hospital, after falling down from a staircase. There, he sees first hand the horrors his addictions will bring to him. In a way, the exposure to the men in the hospital is a wake up call for Don, who decides to end it all because drinking has taken over his life. The movie should be seen by anyone suffering from this terrible social disease.

Ray Milland transforms himself into this troubled man. He gives an incredible performance. Mr. Milland has to be given credit in undertaking the portrayal of this lost soul in such a convincing fashion. By Hollywood standards, Ray Milland, an actor better known for his work in comedies, transforms himself into this Don Birman.

The supporting cast was excellent as well. Jane Wyman as Helen St. James is seen in one of her better roles of her career. Phillip Terry, as Wick, the kind brother is also good. Howard DaSilva, the bartender Nat, makes an impressive appearance in the film. Doris Dowling, as Gloria the friendly prostitute is equally effective.

Of course, this is a movie that shows Billy Wilder at his best. By filming on location in Manhattan, a rich texture is added. From Nat's bar we can watch the trams that circulated on Third Ave. at that time, as well as the 3rd. Av. El. The excellent black and white cinematography of John Seitz looks as good today, as it must have looked in 1945, when the film was released. The music score by the great Milos Rozsa is haunting without being too obvious.

This is, without a doubt, one of Billy Wilder's best movies, one that endures the passing of time. Mr. Wilder dared to speak out loud about something no one wanted to talk about.

Was the above review useful to you?
See more (131 total) »

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Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for The Lost Weekend (1945)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
Bim old_tv_guy
Birnam's reaction to the pawn shops being shut? trist962
I found this movie ridiculous... russ453
Does it REALLY get this bad?? learyblaine
I need a drink after this one... redsox9
The ending. Johnny____
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