105 Must See Films

105 Must See Films: The Lost Weekend (1945)


Starring: Ray Milland, Jane Wyman, Phillip Terry

Director: Billy Wilder

Four days in the city, in the life of an alcoholic as he tries to quit, and then tries anything to get his hands on a drink. A strong indictment of alcoholism and addiction at it’s worst.

Ray Birnum (Milland) is a writer living in New York, with his whole life ahead of him, a man with talent, but his alcoholism has broken him, leaving him barely able to function. This weekend, he plans on getting clean, with the support of his brother and girlfriend, but he soon succumbs to the need to drink.

A shocking subject at the time, the film did not have the confidence of the studios, and it was vilified by the alcohol industry for demonising drink, and also by the teetotalers for promoting drinking. However, on it’s release, the film did very well, earning accolades at both Cannes and the Academy Awards.

Why Is It A Must See? A highly unusual film, the story is about addiction in a time when no one really talked about alcoholism as a disease. Most drunks were kind of cute in films, a subject of humour. Here they are taken to hospital to suffer through the screaming horrors of withdrawal.

It also looks into the depravity of the main character being willing to do anything to get a drink, breaking the hearts of his brother, his long suffering girlfriend, and suffering the shame of being caught stealing and begging for a drink on credit. The film puts it all there up front for you to see, and it pulls no punches.

So many films about addiction pay a little homage to this one, and it’s influence on cinema is felt today.

See It If: you like your classic films with a bit of grit and vice, a really good drama.

9 thoughts on “105 Must See Films: The Lost Weekend (1945)”

  1. Great to see all these classic movie posters. I myself have not yet seen this film, but reading the synopsis and your review of it, I think it is about time that I do (if I can find the time lol). Nice reviewπŸ˜€

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, hon. πŸ˜ƒ I love it when you comment. ❀️ It was my goal for the year to watch more of these classics that I’d never seen before, but really should have. It’s been really good. πŸ˜ƒ

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You are welcome 😊 I love watching the classics as well, but it always comes down to time, of which I always seem to have way too little (or I just have way too much to see, that could also be it ofcourse πŸ˜‚).

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Really? Wow, I wish I had a job like that 😊 I had a week off, so had at least some time to catch up on things. But tomorrow it is back to my job again. Oh well, there always weekends 😊 Well, in my opinion you are doing a great job!

        Liked by 1 person

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