The Lost Weekend
The Lost Weekend (1945)

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… More

Directed By:
Rated: Unrated
Running Time:
Release Date: February 6, 2001
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Critic Score: 100% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews

Consensus: Director Billy Wilder's unflinchingly honest look at the effects of alcoholism may have had some of its impact blunted by time, but it remains a powerful and remarkably prescient film.

Kate Cameron
New York Daily News

Under Wilder's imaginative direction, Milland has been able to convey just what an uncontrollable craving for liquor does to a man's mind, his body and soul.

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Jonathan Rosenbaum
Chicago Reader

Today it's less impressive but not without its virtues.

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Adrian Turner
Radio Times

Despite the grim subject matter, there are glimpses of Wilder's characteristic mordant wit, and the director's location work in New York's Third Avenue district is exemplary. Casting the hitherto bland Milland was a stroke of genius.

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TIME Magazine

Director Billy Wilder's technique of photographing Third Avenue in the grey morning sunlight with a concealed camera to keep the crowds from being self-conscious gives this sequence the shock of reality.

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Tom Milne
Time Out

What makes the film so gripping is the brilliance with which Wilder uses John F Seitz's camerawork to range from an unvarnished portrait of New York brutally stripped of all glamour.

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Jim Schembri
The Age (Australia)

One of cinema's earliest and best portraits of drug addiction.

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Variety Staff

It is intense, morbid -- and thrilling. Here is an intelligent dissection of one of society's most rampant evils.

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Bosley Crowther
New York Times

A shatteringly realistic and morbidly fascinating film.

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Philip French
Observer [UK]

Although ultimately less bleak than Charles Jackson's autobiographical novel, the film is uncompromising in its depiction of the lies, self-deception and degradation that alcoholism leads to.

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More reviews for The Lost Weekend

Flixster Audience Score: 90% Flixster User Reviews
Jim Hunter
A boozing writer tries to reform himself with the love of a good woman. My one-sentence plot summary is inaccurate, but it's as close as I can come to… More
Chris Weber
By today's standards, this is pretty tame, a bit naive, and rather melodramatic (as opposed ot regular, serious, dramatic). Back in 1945 though, this was… More
Dan Schultz
A harrowing depiction of an alcoholic writer (Ray Milland) who is convinced he has nothing to live for except for getting drunk, and how his addiction takes a… More
Daniel Perry
Another classic from Billy Wilder, The Lost Weekend truly blew the lid off of alcoholism. I would argue that, despite its Best Picture win, this isn't… More
William Dunmyer
Billy Wilder's "The Lost Weekend," which beat "Mildred Pierce" for the Best Picture Oscar of 1945, must have felt like a watershed… More
Aj V
I understand that this is supposed to be a serious drama about a man who is an alcoholic, but it was too slow and boring for me to endure.