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Posts tagged “oscar

The Lost Weekend (1945) – The Tale of A Hopeless Drunk

Okay, this is another movie that doesn’t belong on a site – this is an Academy Award winning film (really – I’m not being sarcastic), still it is an unusual film, and I watched it so I’m putting it here… Deal with it

The Lost Weekend is a great Billy Wilder film Noir staring Ray Milland (see my write up on The Thing With Two Heads), as Don Birman, once a young writer that was full of potential, now a down and out alcoholic, living off his brother, Wick (Phillip Terry) and doted on by a devoted girl friend Helen St. James (Jane Wyman), both of whom just want Don to leave the bottle behind and get on with his life. At the start of the film Wick and Don are getting ready to go off on a weekend vacation together, in order for Don to get away and relax (and escape the call of the bottle). Don, though has other plans and quickly connives Wick and Helen into leaving him alone while he “collects his thoughts.” Once they are gone, Don searches the apartment for ant possibly forgotten stashes of Rye whiskey (Wick had just found and emptied the one Don was sure of). Not finding any, he manages to screw the housekeeper out of her pay for the week ($10) and heads out, promptly purchasing two bottles of the cheapest rye, the to Nat’s Bar where he’s informed that he will receive no credit – Don pulls out some cash and pays for his booze – asking the bartender to let him know when it’s a certain time, so he can get back before Wick and Helen return. Of course being the big drunk he is, he ignores the bartender and is late. He arrives home in time to see his brother leave in a cab. Avoiding Helen, he heads to his apartment and begins a weekend bender.

Over the weekend, he tells the story to Bartender Nat of how he and Helen met at an opera when the coat check managed to swap their coat check tickets. We hear how he managed to stay sober for weeks, so in love with Helen that he is willing to try to go dry for her. Unfortunately, the stress of going to meet Helen’s parents sets him drinking again – a drinking binge that goes on… and on. Don manages to make and break a date with a prostitute that has a crush on him, visit a new bar, but run up a tab that he can’t afford (and steals a ladies purse to pay, but is caught and humiliated), and fall down a flight of stairs and end up in the alcoholic ward of a local hospital – of which he promptly escapes. We see him in the grips of Alcoholic hallucinations (the D.T.s)… This guy is a mess.

This is a story of someone at his lowest, but with people that still care for him. This is a story of the devotion of a loved one, unwilling to give up on the person they love. This is the story of a raging alcoholic. This is a good movie.

I watched it for free on Youtube, so hopefully it is now public domain, so you too can see it on Youtube. Search for it and you will most likely find it.

Check out the trailer here:

And the Whole Movie (for as long as the link lasts):


Outland (1981) – Sean Connery Kicking Ass as a Federal Marshal – In Space

Let me start by saying that I like this movie. I first saw it as a kid, and found it boring and dumb back then, but am glad to say that my opinion has now changed.

Set in a titanium mine on Jupiter’s moon, IO, Federal Marshal William O’Niel (Sean Connery) is assigned to the stating to lead it’s security detail – something that should be routine. Well, if this was going to be a routine assignment then this wouldn’t be much of a movie, right? Luckily, things don’t stay routine – for us, at least.

Not a very fast moving film, it is filled with darkness and a foreboding feeling. This mine is not an overly happy place. Soon, miners start acting weird and doing inexplicably psychotic things that either cause death to themselves – There’s a problem on IO. Seems as though Marshal O’Niel has a drug problem in the mine to fight – and a bad one at that. Add to the fact that the drugs are being supplied by the leader of the mine, Mark Sheppard (played by Peter Boyle), who also starts a campaign to have Marshal O’Niel eliminated. A great performance is also had by Frances Sternhagen (you might not know the name, but you most probably will recognize her from countless roles) as the jaded, but ethical Doctor Lazarus. Also – look out for John Ratzenberger of Cheers fame – he’s in here somewhere…

Dark, moody and plodding may not sound like positive things to say about a movie, but in this case they are positives. This movie is supposed to be Dark, moody and plodding. If you’re looking for a sci-fi movie with a lot of action, well this isn’t it. If you’re looking for a sci-fi movie with depth and drama, watch this. Plus, it freakin’ has Sean Connery in it. Add a few exploding heads due to rapid decompression and you have a most watchable movie. That’s easy to do as I just discovered that the whole thing is available on Youtube – you’ll find that right after the trailer, below.

Check out the trailer here:

And the Whole movie right here:


Ed Wood (1994) – A Masterpiece

I remember being excited when I read that Tim Burton was making a film starring Johnny Depp as the infamous B-Movie director/actor/writer Ed Wood. I remember saying I was going to go see that movie opening night. That was in 1994. Tonight I watched this film for the first time. Will someone tell me what is wrong with my head?

For those out there that don’t know who Ed Wood was here’s a real quick description: A strange, driven cross dressing film maker, Ed Wood created such low budget classics as Glen or Glenda, Bride of the Monster the movie he will forever be remembered for, Plan 9 From Outer Space – widely considered to be one of, if not the worst movies ever made. I wrote about it recently here on the blog. Several of these Ed Wood’s films starred his friend, the ageing Bela Lugosi. This is the story of Ed Wood and his struggle to get these classic, terrible films made and the people that got caught up in the whirlwind that he was. Johnny Depp is amazing as Ed wood himself. I really enjoyed his portrayal of this quirky individual. He really had me rooting for a lunatic. Bela Lugosi is played by Martin Landau in a roll that won him the Academy Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role. Landau made me forget that it wasn’t Lugosi himself. Add to that amazing supporting rolls from an all star cast that included Sarah Jessica Parker, Bill Murray, Jeffery Jones (and more), and you have a great film. Ed Wood is simply a great film. I am a big Tim Burton fan. I am a big Johnny Depp fan. I love those cheezy Ed Wood films. Tim Burton made a film about Ed Wood starring Johnny Depp. Perfect… Everything works. Add to the that the film was great and that is why I call this a masterpiece. Tim Burton made a film about a film maker that was better than any film that film maker ever made. Try saying that ten times while hopping on one foot while juggling. 

If you haven’t seen this film, you must. If you have seen it, then why not watch it again. 

Here’s the trailer: