Lost Weekend 1945 Billy Wilder
Days of Wine and Roses 1962 Blake Edwards
I am doing these movies together as I had never seen either of them before and watched them as sort of double bill. Now that I have not had a drink for 5 months i thought it was time to watch both these famous films.
I have always been a huge Billy Wilder fan. How I had missed this one right now baffles me but miss it I had. I always thought that Mr. Wilder always raised the bar a notch in every genre he explored. Arguably he made the Best Comedy, Best Prison Escape movie, Best movie about Hollywood, amongst others. Well in the alcoholic movie category these two are the best at least that I have seen. Blake Edwards I have always enjoyed but it has always been for his comedies. This showed to me he hasn’t got all the credit due to him.
To see the desperation of the three main characters in these movies. Ray Milland , as the desperate say anything to continue alcoholic who eventually lies to everyone he knows. And how Jane Wyman’s character stands behind him no matter what. As the movie ends we know it will be a tought road they will be going down. Jack Lemmon as the advertising executive who starts out as drinking as “part of the job” and how it turns into THE job then it turns into EVERYTHING. Lee Remick as his innocent wife who he leads into drink and how she becomes in so many ways more addicted than her husband.
The desperation of all these characters. The lies to their friends as well as to themselves.The frantic movements of the characters as they search for that “Missing Bottle”. And while the Lost weekend ended with Hope as its message, The Days of Wine and Roses ends in heartbreak. The one partner in the marriage, watching the other walk away as the only way they themselves have a chance to stay sober.
Both films are highly recommended. Even for those who feel they don’t have a problem. Like I never use to think. While I still don’t think I do have a problem with drink itself, My problem lies in choices. And if left uncontrolled, a problem with drink can develop and overwhelm the chance to even make a choice. Which is the most dangerous part of all.