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The Lost Weekend [Masters of Cinema] (Blu-ray) [1945]

Ray Milland , Jane Wyman , Billy Wilder    Parental Guidance   Blu-ray
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
Price: 8.05 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Frequently Bought Together

The Lost Weekend [Masters of Cinema] (Blu-ray) [1945] + Double Indemnity [Masters of Cinema] (Blu-ray) [1944] + Lifeboat [Masters of Cinema] (Dual Format) [Blu-ray] [1944]
Price For All Three: 32.64

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Product details

  • Actors: Ray Milland, Jane Wyman
  • Directors: Billy Wilder
  • Format: Widescreen
  • Subtitles: English
  • Subtitles For The Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region B/2 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: PG
  • Studio: Eureka Entertainment Ltd
  • DVD Release Date: 25 Jun 2012
  • Run Time: 102 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B007196V1U
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 15,027 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)



"I'm not a drinker--I'm a drunk." These words, and the serious message behind them, were still potent enough in 1945 to shock audiences flocking to The Lost Weekend. The speaker is Don Birnam (Ray Milland), a handsome, talented, articulate alcoholic. The writing team of producer Charles Brackett and director Billy Wilder pull no punches in their depiction of Birnam's massive weekend bender, a tailspin that finds him reeling from his favorite watering hole to Bellevue Hospital. Location shooting in New York helps the street-level atmosphere, especially a sequence in which Birnam, a budding writer, tries to hock his typewriter for booze money. He desperately staggers past shuttered storefronts--it's Yom Kippur, and the pawnshops are closed. Milland, previously known as a lightweight leading man (he'd starred in Wilder's hilarious The Major and the Minor three years earlier), burrows convincingly under the skin of the character, whether waxing poetic about the escape of drinking or screaming his lungs out in the D.T.'s sequence. Wilder, having just made the ultra-noir Double Indemnity, brought a new kind of frankness and darkness to Hollywood's treatment of a social problem. At first the film may have seemed too bold; Paramount Pictures nearly killed the release of the picture after it tested poorly with preview audiences. But once in release, The Lost Weekend became a substantial hit, and won four Oscars: for picture, director, screenplay, and actor. --Robert Horton

Product Description

United Kingdom released, Blu-Ray/Region B DVD: LANGUAGES: English ( Dolby Digital 2.0 ), English ( Dolby DTS-HD Master Audio ), English ( Subtitles ), SPECIAL FEATURES: Black & White, Booklet, Interactive Menu, Remastered, Scene Access, Trailer(s), SYNOPSIS: Directed by Billy Wilder (Double Indemnity, Sunset Boulevard, Some Like It Hot), this gut-wrenching adaptation of Charles Jackson's The Lost Weekend horrified its studio, was rejected by test audiences, and was lobbied by temperance groups, yet went on to huge success and became the awards sensation of its year. Ray Milland stars as Don Birnam, a New York author struggling with years of alcoholism and writer's block. Trying to keep him on the path to rehabilitation are his straight-laced brother Wick (Philip Terry) and devoted long-time girlfriend Helen (Jane Wyman). When Don absconds from a country excursion, he embarks on a four-day binge, spiralling towards rock bottom. SCREENED/AWARDED AT: Cannes Film Festival, Golden Globes, Oscar Academy Awards, ...The Lost Weekend (Blu-Ray)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
Ray Milland delivers his finest performance in this 1945 drama. Even over 60 years later, it remains believable, tense and hard-hitting. A must for all Jane Wyman fans, too.
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43 of 46 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gritty and great 27 April 2006
By Henry Ireton VINE VOICE
This should be in everyone's list of the greatest films ever made. It profiles the slow descent of an alcoholic into an internal hell- it doesn't show the final moments of such a descent but lets us and him see where the story might end. It offers some hope but not much. Its wonderful particularly because of its insight into the psychology of its characters. The main character, Don, knows he is an alcoholic, understands it is a problem but can't get away from the thrill of it, he wants to but can't break out of it. His mornings and Sundays are consumed by guilt, the rest of the time he cadges, steals and begs money for drinks from others. His brother and girlfriend, his barman and a local whore stand by watching his descent into torture, trying to persuade him that there is something worth saving there. You can see especially in his brother and girlfriend's eyes the expression of mingled incomprehension and love that close friends feel for those going through these experiences- incomprehension that somebody like Don with so much to live for could think they have nothing and love for Don. In a strange way by the end of the film, we who begin the film understanding his point of view- the endless quest for a drink- understand theirs too and Wilder takes us to a place that no other film about addiction has ever taken me where we sympathise with the addicted victim and yet still more with those he damages by his addiction. This is a great film- if you haven't seen it watch it now.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Masters of Cinema Blu-ray # 45: The Lost Weekend 21 Jun 2012
'The Lost Weekend' is a film by Billy Wilder, released in 1945, and covers a 4-day period in the life of Don Birnham (played by Ray Milland in a career-best performance). Birnham is an alcoholic, and the film shows how he continues to sink to new lows in ever more desperate attempts to get his hands of a bottle of alcohol. If the film were released today, its subject matter would likely draw no attention. But in 1945, alcoholism (or dipsomania as it was known medically) was considered a disease, not the social condition it is now understood to be. So 'The Lost Weekend' gave cinema audiences their first real sympathetic glimpse at the underlying condition. Much of the film is shocking, and the famous hallucination scene is both masterly directed and acted. Other characters aside from Birnham are made three-dimensional, from his long-suffering girlfriend, Helen, to Bim, the cynical, worldly-wise nurse who deals with alcoholics every day. This is rightly considered one of the finest American films on the 1940s, and it really does deserve all the praise it's received, and continues to receive.

The Blu-ray itself is another product of the Masters of Cinema series' partnership with Universal, and once again this is a fantastic release. The 1080p black-and-white image is very strong, with lots of detail visible in close ups of jackets etc., and there is a fine, though not intrusive, level of film grain noticeable throughout. Damage, apart from some noticeable dirt in the very first scene, is minimal, and overall this is a very strong transfer, with no signs of edge-enhancement or DNR. The mono DTS-HD Master Audio is also clear, and free from any hiss or noise that I could detect. The film is locked to Region B, and there are optional English subtitles on the film.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brill Insight 7 Jun 2009
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
If you want an movie insight in to the condition of alcoholism,then they don't come much better than this. May seem a little dated, but the message is still strong.
Other recommendations from me would be 'days of wine and roses' & 'leaving las vegas'
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Too powerful to be watched till the end... 12 Aug 2014
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I've seen only the first half of the movie. The film is great, but was too painful for me to watch till the end. As one of my friends died because of alcohol addiction before he turned 35, what is depicted it this drama is just too close to that experience.

One of the very powerful scenes in this movie is when the main character, already being an addict, sits in the theatre and watches La Traviata. He consults libretto and looks very decent and seems engaged in the performance, until the actors during the famous "Libiamo Ne'lieti Calici" aria all start to drink. They do it so joyfully, cheerfully, raising and touching their champagne coupes, and the butler makes sure that their glasses stay full. Immediately the mind of the guy becomes anxious, excited, one pointed - that is, he needs a drink himself! His lips starts to tremble and he can't help rushing out of the seat in the middle of the performance to get a drink. This scene was so powerful for me because that's exactly how it really happens with such who already felt down for booze, and stimulates heavily the others who still might have a chance. It is really very sad to realise that alcohol is everywhere: at home, in the movies, in the normal groceries (in Russia at least), even in theatres! I remember as a young kid of 5 I was told that one drop of alcohol can kill a horse, yet my parents and their guests always had alcohol on all occasions, and clearly more than one drop of course. When, after my friend's passing, I realised how much hypocricy is there about alcohol and that everyone who drinks do contribute, by example and support of this "tradition", to the new crowds of addicts, I ostentatiously quit drinking all liquor completely. I hope this movie will help many more people to do the same.

The movie, the acting and the script are great, highly recommended!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A must-see film if you want to see alcoholism in action.
This is a classic film, especially for its time (1945). It captures perfectly the symptoms of alcohol addiction and shows great insight into the charactiristics of the condition. Read more
Published 17 days ago by Victor
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
one great film ten stars
Published 1 month ago by Tommy
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Another gripping classic of a time gone by.
Published 2 months ago by Peter Davies
5.0 out of 5 stars The Lost Weekend
A real classic. Worth watching for the performance by Ray Milland alone, it is very theatrically staged. I loved it.
Published 4 months ago by Drabbs
5.0 out of 5 stars Peerless screenwriting
They say to write a great screenplay, the first shot tells the story. As we swoop down on a New York apartment, we see a bottle suspended on a piece of string from a window sill... Read more
Published 5 months ago by William Cohen
5.0 out of 5 stars That’s The Nice Young Man Who Drinks... whisper two elderly 'respectable’ ladies as they pass Ray Milland’s aspiring author and alcoholic Don Birnam in the street in this ground-breaking 1945 Billy Wilder film. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Keith M
5.0 out of 5 stars this is a classic
wow what a great movie, im a fan of cinema and will give most films a chance...the blu-ray edition is crisp considering the age of it. Read more
Published 6 months ago by CAL EL
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic viewing.
I purchased this movie for my father who is a big Ray Milland fan.The service from Amazon is really good.
Published 6 months ago by Patricia Mc Williams
5.0 out of 5 stars Very well made film for this subject
As a person that has experienced problems 1st hand as in the subject of this film. I think that this is the best film I have seen on this subject and I suggest any people that have... Read more
Published 7 months ago by John Wilde
5.0 out of 5 stars Prompt delivery and in good condition
Prompt delivery and in good condition, which after all are the main requirements of a customer. Good film too. Happy. Good to see the old films being restored
Published 9 months ago by John Burke
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