The Twin Geeks 123: The Lost Weekend (1945)

We like to remember Billy Wilder today more for his outstanding efforts as the foremost comic director of his time, but before the days of Some Like it Hot (1959) and The Apartment (1960) Wilder’s greatest successes were of the dramatic kind, and none more so than his multi-Oscar winning study on the disease of alcoholism. The Lost Weekend still resonates today because its subject is a perennial one. The pains and desperation experienced by Ray Milland’s sickly writer extend beyond the inescapable grasp of the bottle, encompassing the wretched phenomenon of addiction itself. Wilder holds nothing back in depicting the bleak, horrifying, and debilitating tragedy of the drink here, balancing his penchant for humanistic wit with a cutting sense of pathos to balance the potentially histrionic elements of the depiction. But at the same time, that rawness and sense of overwrought emotion are the qualifying attributes that give credence to The Lost Weekend‘s endeavor to capture the true nature of alcoholism for the screen. It’s a tough pill to swallow, even today, but a sobering and meticulously crafted one just the same, and goes down with the same level of sleekness as those more fondly remembered comedies of Wilder’s celebrated oeuvre.

0:00 That Summer Feeling: At least five topics here
11:00 Tribeca & The Twin Geeks Store
20:10 Poser
23:13 The Lost Leonardo
30:16 Roadrunner: A Film About Anthony Bourdain
44:22 It’s All True (1993)
58:57 Calvin’s Full Recovery Story
1:29:13 The Lost Weekend

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