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The Lost Weekend, Billy Wilder (1945)

On the one hand, a melodramatic catalog of every alcoholic cliche in the book, from the aspiring writer pawning his typewriter for a bottle of rye to pleading with the local publican for just one on the house. But on the other hand, flashes of terrifying accuracy. Ray Milland escapes by night from the drying out ward at Bellevue, waits outside a liquor store for the owner to arrive and open up, and when he does, looks him in the eye and just takes the bottle of rye he needs. You’d be hard pressed to find a scene of greater intensity. It’s good to see a movie that shows the darkness in the bottle. Makes you realize how alcoholism is usually made to seem comic or cartoonish in the movies.

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