Pop Culture 101: THE LOST WEEKEND
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The ending to The Lost Weekend was certainly a "happy" one on the surface, but Billy Wilder left it ambiguous in one respect. As Wilder himself put it, "We don't say that the man is cured. We just try to suggest that if he can lick his illness long enough to put some words down on paper, then there must be some hope."
Later movies would capitalize on the new ground broken by The Lost Weekend. Smash Up, the Story of a Woman (1947), I'll Cry Tomorrow (1955), Days of Wine and Roses (1962), and many others all contributed in their own way to educating moviegoers about the problem of alcoholism.
Filmmaker Roman Polanski paid homage to the infamous bat and mouse sequence from The Lost Weekend in a scene in Repulsion (1965). Joel and Ethan Coen alluded to the film's bizarre, German expressionistic imagery in their nightmarish masterpiece, Barton Fink (1991).
Bob Hope quipped on finding a hidden liquor bottle in My Favorite Brunette (1947), "Ray Milland's been here."
By Scott McGee