The Lost Weekend
The Lost Weekend (1945)

This grim, realistic treatment of alcoholism stars Ray Milland as Don Birnam, a troubled novelist with a drinking problem. Escaping from the apartment his worried brother has confined him to for the weekend, Don makes his way to his… More

Directed By:
Rated: Unrated
Running Time:
Release Date: November 16, 1945
DVD 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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Fernando F. Croce

Dry alkies and wet teetotalers perpetually out of balance, startlingly laid out by Wilder as a lonely metropolis' quivering nervous system

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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.

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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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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Jim Schembri
The Age (Australia)

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

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More reviews for The Lost Weekend

Flixster Audience Score: 90% Flixster User Reviews
Chris Garman
Looking at the films of the 1940's. many of these films featured high society types in zany situations, gallivanting between set up and set up and setting… 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
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