Monday, December 6, 2010

The Lost Weekend

Ray Milland is a selfdestructive alcoholic. Also starring Jane Wyman, directed by Billy Wilder.

The first Hollywood film about alcoholism, it must have been a shock to the audience in 1945. It's still a powerful film and less dated than I had feared. Only towards the end does it get a bit melodramatic. And the ending is maybe a bit too simple, where he just decides to stop drinking. But a less happy ending would probably have been impossible at the time it was made. I've always considered Ray Milland to be a bland actor, but he's pretty good here, showing how charming an alcoholic can be, lying to everybody and hiding bottles everywhere. Milland got an Oscar for his performance, but still ended up doing b-movies like The Thing With Two Heads in the seventies.

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