The Lost Weekend
(Días sin huella / Le poison / Giorni perduti)
(USA, 1945) [B&W, 101 m.].
AMG SYNOPSIS: Billy Wilder's searing portrait of an alcoholic features an Oscar-winning performance by Ray Milland as Don Birnam, a writer whose lust for booze consumes his career, his life, and his loves. The story begins as Don and his brother Wick (Philip Terry) are packing their bags in their New York apartment, preparing for a weekend in the country. Philip, aware of his brother's drinking problem, is keeping an eye of him, making sure he doesn't sneak a drink before the departure of their train. Arriving at the apartment is Don's girlfriend, Helen St. James (Jane Wyman), who has tickets to a Carnegie Hall concert that night. Don persuades Wick and Helen to go to the concert without him, hoping to find one of his well-hidden bottles of booze. But when Wick and Helen go to the concert, Don discovers that Wick has gotten rid of the liquor. Don has no money, so he can't visit the neighborhood bar -- that is, until the cleaning lady arrives to reveal money hidden in a sugar-bowl. Don grabs the cash and hits the street, heading off to Nat's Bar. Nat (Howard Da Silva), a bartender who has seen it all, is surprised to see Don. But when Don shows he can pay for his drinks, Nat reluctantly serves him, telling Don, "One's too many and a thousand's not enough." Soon Don plunges in an alcoholic haze, his boozing landing him in a harrowing drunk tank, presided over by the cynical attendant Bim (Frank Faylen). -- Paul Brenner
AMG REVIEW: Charles Bukowski, the poet and novelist well known for his alcoholic excesses, once said admiringly of The Lost Weekend, "It was Ray Milland's only bit of acting, but it was aces." While Bukowski's praise of Milland's work may have been tongue-in-cheek, it was also based in truth: Milland never gave a stronger performance than in this film, in which he captured the alcoholic personality with uncanny accuracy. Years before addiction became common currency in the movies (or in American life), Milland etched an indelible portrait of an alcoholic in denial, willing to lie to friends and family, steal from strangers, and give up his livelihood for a drink; Milland's pained and weary desperation as he searches for a pawnshop or the abject terror of his bout with DTs still ring horribly true. The Lost Weekend also manages the clever (and wholly appropriate) feat of making Milland's Don Birnam sympathetic without asking the audience to feel sorry for him or to ignore the deadly foolishness of his actions. Director Billy Wilder (who also co-wrote the screenplay with Charles M. Brackett) makes clear that Don is intelligent and not without talent; he's also weak-willed and a willing slave to the bottle, and while he knows what drink is doing to him, he's unable to stop himself until a final collapse grinds him to a halt. The Lost Weekend is also punctuated by bitter humor (Frank Faylen as the Bellevue alcoholic ward attendant is as funny as he is devoid of compassion) and a superb supporting cast, especially Howard Da Silva as Nat the bartender and Doris Dowling as the bar girl with a softer heart than we'd imagine; and Wilder seems to relish the unstated irony that the drug that's destroying Don Birnam is openly available and used readily by others all around him. -- Mark Deming
Eureka MOC (2012) / DVDBeaver review / Blu-Ray review.
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The.Lost.Weekend.1945.BD.MiniSD-TLF.mkv [761.11 Mb]
Subtitles (mkv container): English HI, Chinese.
Subtitles (direct download): english HI / spanish / italian.
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