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The Lost Weekend (1945)

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

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(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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Cast

Complete credited cast:
... Don Birnam
... Helen St. James
... Wick Birnam
... Nat
... Gloria
... 'Bim' Nolan
... Mrs. Deveridge
... Mrs. Foley (as Anita Bolster)
Lilian Fontaine ... Mrs. St. James
... Opera Cloak Room Attendant
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:

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

January 1946 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Días sin huella  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,250,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$9,460,000, 31 December 1946
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Ray Milland actually checked himself into Bellevue Hospital with the help of resident doctors, in order to experience the horror of a drunk ward. Milland was given an iron bed and locked inside the "booze tank." That night, a new arrival came into the ward screaming, an entrance which ignited the whole ward into hysteria. With the ward falling into bedlam, a robed and barefooted Milland escaped while the door was ajar and slipped out onto 34th Street where he tried to hail a cab. When a suspicious cop spotted him, Milland tried to explain, but the cop didn't believe him, especially after he noticed the Bellevue insignia on his robe. The actor was dragged back to Bellevue where it took him a half-hour to explain his situation to the authorities before he was finally released. See more »

Goofs

When Helen pours whiskey for Don near the end then divides it into two glasses, it is nowhere near a quarter of the way up the glass. When Don chooses not to drink it moments later, and drops his cigarette in the glass, it is more than half-way full. 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.
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Connections

Referenced in Bandstand: Episode dated 15 May 1965 (1965) See more »

Soundtracks

It Was So Beautiful (and You Were Mine)
(1932) (uncredited)
Music by Harry Barris
Lyrics by Arthur Freed
Played on piano and sung by Harry Barris at Harry and Joe's
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Sad end to the life of author Charles Jackson (The Lost Weekend)
20 August 2006 | by See all my reviews

In 1968, I was just 22 years old and driving a taxi part-time in Ft. Lee, New Jersey. One day, I drove Charles Jackson (author of "The Lost Weekend") from Englewood Cliffs, NJ to a run-down hotel in Times Square, New York City. I had seen and really liked the movie of the same name, starring Ray Milland, who did a wonderful job portraying an alcoholic on a weekend binge. The film was so realistic, I had a strong feeling that Charles Jackson had written the book based on his own life. I got up the nerve to ask him, and he told me that....yes, he indeed was the alcoholic portrayed in his book. We talked quite a bit about his life on the way into Times Square. He seemed like a very nice person, although he seemed quite depressed. However, it still came as quite a shock when, shortly after having him in my cab, I read in the papers that he had hung himself in his hotel room in NYC. That's an experience I will never forget!


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