The Lost Weekend

The Lost Weekend: A film (1945) adapted by director Billy Wilder and Charles Brackett from a 1944 novel by Charles R. Jackson about a struggling writer who surrenders to alcoholism one weekend after he falls victim to writer’s block. Starring Ray Milland, the film caused a considerable stir: representatives of the liquor industry offered $5 million of the negative, so that it could be destroyed, fearing the effect it would have upon sales of alcohol, and members of the temperance movement also tried to have the films stopped, suspecting that it might actually encourage people to drink. The novel and film popularized the phrase ‘lost weekend’ for any period spend in dissolute living or drunkenness.”

Excerpted from: Crofton, Ian, ed. Brewer’s Curious Titles. London: Cassell, 2002.

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