7.9/10
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159 user 113 critic

The Lost Weekend (1945)

Not Rated | | Drama, Film-Noir | January 1946 (USA)
Trailer
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 »
Reviews
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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Did You Know?

Trivia

As well as the alcohol industry badgering Paramount Pictures into not releasing the film, the studio was also besieged by temperance groups lobbying that the film shouldn't be released, as it would only encourage drinking. It was released on a limited engagement at Billy Wilder's behest. Reviewers fell all over themselves in their praise of it, thus prompting Paramount to take the plunge and give it a wide release. See more »

Goofs

After her parents are stood up and Helen arrives at Don's apartment, she's on the couch and catches Wick trying to hide the bottle that just rolled out. When the cameras change, she goes from leaning over to sitting up. 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 Dawson's Creek: The Lost Weekend (2001) 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
See more »

User Reviews

Sad end to the life of author Charles Jackson (The Lost Weekend)
20 August 2006 | by gene-perrSee 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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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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