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The Lost Weekend (1945)

Not Rated | | Drama, Film-Noir | January 1946 (USA)
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2:08 | Trailer
The desperate life of a chronic alcoholic is followed through a four-day drinking bout.

Director:

Billy Wilder

Writers:

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

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
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 Lilian Fontaine ... Mrs. St. James
Frank Orth ... Opera Cloak Room Attendant
Lewis L. Russell Lewis L. Russell ... Mr. St. James
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Storyline

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 last...one way or the other. Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

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 »

Genres:

Drama | Film-Noir

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

January 1946 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Lost Weekend See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,250,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Paramount Pictures See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The very near-sighted Phillip Terry wears his own glasses with prescription lenses in this film. See more »

Goofs

Don Birnam stops at the "A. Bloom" pawn shop. When it is closed, he walks uptown. He passes another pawn shop with a man standing in front of it and we can see the name "A. Bloom" again. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Wick Birnem: You better take this along, Don. It's gonna be cold on the farm.
Don Birnam: Okay.
Wick Birnem: How many shirts are you taking?
Don Birnam: Three.
Wick Birnem: I'm taking five.
Don Birnam: Five?
Wick Birnem: Yeah, I told them at the office I might not be back until Tuesday. We'll get there this afternoon. That'll give us all Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday. We'll make it a long, wonderful weekend!
Don Birnam: It sounds long all right.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Buffy the Vampire Slayer: The Dark Age (1997) See more »

Soundtracks

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")
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Risk-Taking Film-Making at Its Finest.
7 July 2002 | by tfrizzellSee all my reviews

Uncompromising, dark and definitely disturbing Best Picture Oscar winner from 1945 that deals with a writer's (Ray Milland in one of the very best performances ever shown on the silver which deservedly landed him his only Oscar) alcoholism and the effects that his problem has on himself, his work and those closest to him. The love of his life (Jane Wyman) and his very supportive brother (Phillip Terry) try to save Milland from a habit that has gotten terribly out-of-hand. Heart-wrenching flashbacks into Milland's demise are sometimes difficult sequences to get through. In the end it is not a sure thing if Milland can distance himself from his disease and return to a normal life. Billy Wilder's uncompromising direction and screenplay yielded him Oscars in this film that scared many studios away in the early-1940s due to its intense subject matter and the question of whether the film could create interest. Made during a time when patriotic movies and romantic comedic farces dominated the cinema, "The Lost Weekend" was truly unlike anything ever experienced before. A very well-made production that is first class all the way. A real classic in every sense of the term. 5 stars out of 5.


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