Helen: Well in that case, why don’t you write short stories?
Don: Oh, I have some of those – first paragraphs. And there’s one half of the opening scene of a play which takes place in the leaning tower of Pisa that attempts to explain why it leans and all sensible buildings should lean.
The Lost Weekend is a cautionary tale of a writer experiencing an alcoholic binge over the course of an elongated weekend. He struggles with alcoholism, interacting with his favorite bartender, brother, several women and a hospital nurse, not to mention his own mind, and the two Dons, the writer and the drunk.
During my post-movie research, I came across a claim made by the director, Billy Wilder, that the liquor companies offered Paramount $5 million to not distribute this film. I’d believe it, as a number of times the movie seemed to be oddly reminiscent of some of the old DARE movies we watched in Middle School.
That being said, I did enjoy the film. The pacing is a big slow, but the movie isn’t too long. And I was curious to see how the movie would end. You can’t expect a Best Picture winner to pull a lot of punches, especially about a topic as sensitive as alcoholism (being made in a time where one generation had lived through prohibition and another was coming back from war).
And believe me, it doesn’t pull the punches.