The Lost Weekend (1945 USA)

The now very famous title is obviously a reference to what can happen to the confirmed alcoholic when they feel compelled by their bodies to embark on the mother of all benders. As this is an addiction – or a disease, however you prefer to label it – gaps in time tend to occur quite frequently. The drunk will not remember nor care about the depths they have sunk to, but director Billy Wilder was able to superbly capture all of the squalor on film for his audience. The Lost Weekend is almost beyond reproach in its sobering message, sending a strong no-preaching tone. It has a wonderful, sometimes offbeat, script, a wide character range underscored by a marvelous supporting cast and an often moving lead in Ray Milland, our lush under the microscope, who does a grand job projecting despair and cynicism. [Read more…]

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Who’s Afraid Of Virginia Woolf? (USA 1966)

whos-afraid-of-virginia-woolf-01-1Richard Burton used to reach over to Elizabeth Taylor during off-camera moments, take her breasts in his hands, and squeeze them like antique car horns, making “honk! honk!” noises. Dirty bastard. So he must have relished some of the lines he had to utter in this cinematic tour-de-force: “Well dear, if I kissed you I’d get all excited. Then I’d have to take you, by force, right here on the living room rug.” Liz and Dick were married in real life and it was reported that they had similar encounters with Jack Daniels and boisterous ‘conversations’ at home, so this should have been a walk-in-the-park acting job for both of them. [Read more…]

Confessions From A Holiday Camp (1977 UK)

confessions from a holiday campTwas the first day of August, a Monday I believe, when a momentous event in the annals of cinematic history took place. The Confessions film series bid a fond farewell to the public. Knickers down, trousers unzipped, so tawdry and gleefully smutty, on display for one final glorious outpouring. This was a franchise with a bigger box office than James Bond in England. Surely it had to give something worthwhile to the viewer? Apart from VD. [Read more…]

The Thin Man (Dashiell Hammett)

bookThis book actually is worth reading a couple of times. Read it the first time for fun, but then reread it to see what you missed seeing the first time around. A former private eye has given up on the detective work after his wife has inherited her father’s businesses, and is running her financial affairs for her. On vacation, they run into his former acquaintances and, of course, a mystery develops which he reluctantly is persuaded to investigate. [Read more…]

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