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  • The Likely Lads [Blu-ray] The Likely Lads | Blu Ray | (01/04/2019) from £13.99  |  Saving you £N/A (N/A%)  |  RRP £N/A

    Spinning off from the incredibly popular 1960s sitcom and its BAFTA-winning 1970s sequel, James Bolam and Rodney Bewes star as Terry Collier and Bob Ferris, two life-long friends with vastly different outlooks on life! Written by comedy legends Dick Clement and Ian la Frenais - who would go on to further success with series like Porridge and Auf Wiedersehen, Pet - The Likely Lads is presented here as a brand-new High Definition transfer from the original film elements in its original theatrical aspect ratio. Thelma's continued annoyance at her husband Bob's disruptive friend shows no sign of abating. But when Terry lands himself a new girlfriend Thelma sees her chance to finally get Terry married off and out of her and Bob's life forever! Her solution of touring the north of England in a caravan, however, leaves a lot to be desired...

  • Nosferatu [Masters of Cinema] [Blu-ray] Nosferatu | Blu Ray | (18/11/2013) from £9.99  |  Saving you £10.00 (50.00%)  |  RRP £19.99

    An iconic film of the German expressionist cinema and one of the most famous of all silent movies F. W. Murnau's Nosferatu: A Symphony of Horror continues to haunt - and indeed terrify - modern audiences with the unshakable power of its images. By teasing a host of occult atmospherics out of dilapidated set-pieces and innocuous real-world locations alike Murnau captured on celluloid the deeply-rooted elements of a waking nightmare and launched the signature Murnau-style that would change cinema history forever. In this first-ever screen adaptation of Bram Stoker's Dracula a simple real-estate transaction leads an intrepid businessman deep into the superstitious heart of Transylvania. There he encounters the otherworldly Count Orlok - portrayed by the legendary Max Schreck in a performance the very backstory of which has spawned its own mythology - who soon after embarks upon a cross-continental voyage to take up residence in a distant new land... and establish his ambiguous dominion. As to whether the count's campaign against the plague-wracked populace erupts from satanic decree erotic compulsion or the simple impulse of survival - that remains perhaps the greatest mystery of all in this film that's like a blackout... Remade by Werner Herzog in 1979 (and inspiring films as diverse as Abel Ferrara's King of New York and The Addiction and E. Elias Merhige's Shadow of the Vampire) F. W. Murnau's surreal 1922 cine-fable remains the original and landmark entry in the entire global tradition of the horror film. The Masters of Cinema Series is proud to present newly restored on 1080p Blu-ray at long last Nosferatu: A Symphony of Horror in its definitive restoration complete with original intertitles and accompanied by the score that played with the film at the time of its initial release. Special Features: Brand new high-definition restoration by Friedrich-Wilhelm-Murnau-Stiftung Two audio commentaries: one newly recorded by film historian David Kalat; the second by historian R. Dixon Smith and critic Brad Stevens The Language of Shadows a 53-minute documentary on Murnau's early years and the filming of Nosferatu New video interview with BFI Film Classics Nosferatu author Kevin Jackson Newly translated English subtitles with original German intertitles More surprises to be revealed closer to release date! PLUS: a 56-page booklet featuring writings and rare imagery

  • Rear Window - 60th Anniversary Edition [Blu-ray] [1954] [Region Free] Rear Window - 60th Anniversary Edition | Blu Ray | (04/08/2014) from £10.99  |  Saving you £7.00 (38.90%)  |  RRP £17.99

    Like the Greenwich Village courtyard view from its titular portal, Alfred Hitchcock's classic Rear Window is both confined and multileveled: both its story and visual perspective are dictated by its protagonist's imprisonment in his apartment, convalescing in a wheelchair, from which both he and the audience observe the lives of his neighbors. Cheerful voyeurism, as well as the behavior glimpsed among the various tenants, affords a droll comic atmosphere that gradually darkens when he sees clues to what may be a murder. Photographer L.B. "Jeff" Jeffries (James Stewart) is, in fact, a voyeur by trade, a professional photographer sidelined by an accident while on assignment. His immersion in the human drama (and comedy) visible from his window is a by-product of boredom, underlined by the disapproval of his girlfriend, Lisa (Grace Kelly), and a wisecracking visiting nurse (Thelma Ritter). Yet when the invalid wife of Lars Thorwald (Raymond Burr) disappears, Jeff enlists the two women to help him to determine whether she's really left town, as Thorwald insists, or been murdered. Hitchcock scholar Donald Spoto convincingly argues that the crime at the center of this mystery is the MacGuffin--a mere pretext--in a film that's more interested in the implications of Jeff's sentinel perspective. We actually learn more about the lives of the other neighbors (given generic names by Jeff, even as he's drawn into their lives) he, and we, watch undetected than we do the putative murderer and his victim. Jeff's evident fear of intimacy and commitment with the elegant, adoring Lisa provides the other vital thread to the script, one woven not only into the couple's own relationship, but reflected and even commented upon through the various neighbours' lives. At minimum, Hitchcock's skill at making us accomplices to Jeff's spying, coupled with an ingenious escalation of suspense as the teasingly vague evidence coalesces into ominous proof, deliver a superb thriller spiked with droll humour, right up to its nail-biting, nightmarish climax. At deeper levels, however, Rear Window plumbs issues of moral responsibility and emotional honesty, while offering further proof (were any needed) of the director's brilliance as a visual storyteller. --Sam Sutherland

  • Sunrise (Dual Format Blu-ray+DVD) [Masters of Cinema] Sunrise (Dual Format Blu-ray+DVD) | Blu Ray | (12/09/2011) from £10.29  |  Saving you £4.70 (31.40%)  |  RRP £14.99

    This new edition of Sunrise (for the first time anywhere in the world on Blu-ray) contains two versions of the film: the previously released Movietone version and an alternate silent version of the film, recently discovered in the Czech Republic, of a higher visualquality than any other known source.The culmination of one of the greatest careers in film history, F. W. Murnau’s Sunrise blends a story of fable-like simplicity with unparalleled visual imagination and technical ingenuity. Invited to Hollywood by William Fox and given total artistic freedom on any project he wished, Murnau’s tale of the idyllic marriage of a peasant couple (George O’Brien and Janet Gaynor) threatened by a vamp-like seductress from the city (Margaret Livingston) created a milestone of film expressionism.Made in the twilight of the silent era, Sunrise became both a swan song for a vanishing medium and one of the few films to instantly achieve legendary status. Winner of three Oscars for Best Actress (Gaynor), Cinematography, and a never-repeated award for “Unique and Artistic Picture”, its influence and stature has only grown with each passing year. SPECIAL DUAL FORMAT EDITION: Film-restored HD transfers of two different versions: Movietone and Czech Original English intertitles on the Movietone and optional English subtitles on the Czech Original Movietone score (mono) + alternate Olympic Chamber Orchestra score (stereo) Full-length audio commentary by cinematographer John Bailey on the Movietone version Rare outtakes with John Bailey commentary Murnau’s 4 Devils: Traces of a Lost Film – Janet Bergstrom’s updated documentary Original theatrical trailer 20-page booklet with details of the film restorations and comparison of versions

  • The Third Man [Blu-ray] [1949] The Third Man | Blu Ray | (20/07/2015) from £11.99  |  Saving you £11.00 (47.80%)  |  RRP £22.99

    THE THIRD MAN has been beautifully restored in 4K for the first time showcasing the genius of this celebrated British noir voted the ‘The greatest British film of all time’ by a British Film Institute poll. Holly Martins (Joseph Cotton Citizen Kane ) a naïve writer of pulp westerns arrives in Vienna to meet his old friend Harry Lime (the incomparable Orson Welles) nut finds that Lime has apparently been killed in a suspicious accident. Martins too curious for his own good hears contradictory stories about the circumstances of Limes death and as witnesses disappear he finds himself chased by unknown assailants. Complicating matters are the sardonic Major Calloway (Trevor Howard Brief Encounter) head of the British forces and Lime’s stage actress mistress Anna Schmidt (Alida Valli). Will Martin’s curiosity lead him to discover things about his old friend that he’d rather not know? Brilliantly scripted by Graham Greene and set to Anton Karas’ evocative zither score this justly celebrated classic is further enhanced by Robert Karasker’s Academy Award winning cinematography and Orson Welles in one of his most iconic screen roles. Extras: Feature Audio Commentary Famous Fan Featurette Restoring the Third Man Interview & Zither Performance by Cornelia Mayer Guardian Interview Cotton (audio) Guardian Interview Greene (audio) Joseph Cotton’s Alternative Opening (Audio) Shadowing The Third Man Dangerous Edge Third Man on Radio (Audio) Trailer

  • Quatermass [Blu-ray] [1979] Quatermass | Blu Ray | (27/07/2015) from £11.95  |  Saving you £18.04 (60.20%)  |  RRP £29.99

    John Mills brings a stoic intensity to the role of Professor Bernard Quatermass in this key piece of British dystopian fiction from visionary writer Nigel Kneale. Unsettling in its vision of a crumbling society coming under alien attack, Quatermass is directed with characteristic style by BAFTA winner Piers Haggard and features the high production values associated with Euston Films. Shot on 35mm, the original negatives have been used for this stunning, brand-new High Definition restoration a new 5.1 mix from original triple-track audio elements is also presented here alongside the original mono soundtrack.Bernard Quatermass, former head of the British Rocket Group, lives in seclusion in western Scotland, watching in appalled silence as Britain slowly turns into a vision of violence, gang rule and governmental collapse. A desperate search for his missing granddaughter plunges him into a terrifying situation when he comes to realise that the mass disappearance of thousands of youths is nothing less than the culling of the human species by an unknown alien intelligence...Special Features: Brand-new 5.1 mix for episodic versionBrand-new HD restoration of The Quatermass Conclusion in its original theatrical aspect ratioMusic-only tracks for all four episodesEpisode recapsTextless titles Image GalleryBooklet by archive TV historian Andrew Pixley

  • M (Masters of Cinema) Dual Format (Blu-ray + DVD) M (Masters of Cinema) Dual Format (Blu-ray + DVD) | Blu Ray | (14/11/2011) from £9.99  |  Saving you £10.00 (50.00%)  |  RRP £19.99

    Of all Fritz Lang’s creations, none have been more innovative or influential than M, the film that launched German cinema into the sound era with stunning sophistication and mesmerising artistry. A spate of child killings has stricken a terrified Berlin. Peter Lorre gives a legendary performance as the murderer Hans Beckert, who soon finds himself chased by all levels of society.From cinema’s first serial killer hunt, Lang pulls back to encompass social tapestry, police procedural, and underworld conspiracies in an astonishingly multi-faceted and level-headed look at a deeply incendiary topic. One of the greatest psychological thrillers of all time, M remains as fresh and startling 80 years on. Special Features: Restored high-definition transfer in the correct 1.19:1 aspect ratio [1080p on Blu-ray] Two audio commentaries: one by German film scholars Anton Kaes and Eric Rentschler; the other featuring film restoration expert Martin Koerber, filmmaker Peter Bogdanovich, historian Torsten Kaiser and excerpts from Bogdanovich’s 1965 interviews with Lang The original 1932 British release version of M, presented in its entirety, recently rediscovered, featuring different actors, alternate takes, and Peter Lorre’s first performance in English, courtesy of the BFI National Archive [1080p on Blu-ray, 93 mins] Zum Beispiel Fritz Lang, a 1968 documentary by Erwin Leiser with Fritz Lang discussing his career in German cinema [480p, 21 minutes] 48-Page Booklet including writing by Fritz Lang, historian Robert Fischer, details of a missing scene, behind-the-scenes stills, and production drawings

  • A Star Is Born [Blu-ray] [2019] [Region Free] A Star Is Born | Blu Ray | (21/01/2019) from £7.99  |  Saving you £N/A (N/A%)  |  RRP £N/A

    The evergreen Oscar winner ablaze with music and stardust. // The fire of Barbra Steisand. The magnetism of Kris Kristofferson. The Reckless world of big-time rock 'n' roll. All three bring a new passion and timeliness to A Star is Born, one of the screen's classic love stories (previously filmed in 1937 and 1954) and winner of five Golden Globe Awards, including Best Picture, Actress and Actor (Musical/Comedy). // Paul Williams, Kenny Loggins, Leon Russel and others worked with Steisand on one of the most popular song scores ever, topped by the Streisand / Williams Evergreen winning the Academy Award and Golden Globe Award as 1976's Best Original Song. Their teamwork resulted in a box-office triumph as well as a considerable achievement (Clive Hirschhorn, The Hollywood Musical). Features: Commentary by Barbra Steisand, Additional Scenes, wardrobe Tests, Soundtrack Remastered in Dolby Digital 5.1, A Star Is Born Trailer Gallery.

  • Gone With The Wind - 75th Anniversary Edition [Blu-ray] [1939] [Region Free] Gone With The Wind - 75th Anniversary Edition | Blu Ray | (06/10/2014) from £9.99  |  Saving you £14.50 (58.00%)  |  RRP £24.99

    Epic romantic drama based on Margaret Mitchell's Pulitzer-winning novel set during the American Civil War. Southern belle Scarlett O'Hara (Vivien Leigh) often uses men to get what she wants, but is unable to get the one man she truly desires, Ashley Wilkes (Leslie Howard). She soon meets her match in the roguish Captain Rhett Butler (Clark Gable) and in the war itself which destroys the genteel way of life she has always known. With determination she rebuilds her life from the shattered remai.

  • The Longest Day [Blu-ray] The Longest Day | Blu Ray | (01/01/2009) from £6.59  |  Saving you £16.40 (71.30%)  |  RRP £22.99

    On June 6 1944 the Allied Invasion of France marked the beginning of the end of Nazi domination over Europe. The attack involved 3 000 000 men 11 000 planes and 4 000 ships comprising the largest armada the world has ever seen. Presented in its original black & white version The Longest Day is a vivid hour-by-hour re-creation of this historic event. Featuring a stellar international cast and told from the perspectives of both sides it is a fascinating look at the massive preparations mistakes and random events that determined the outcome of one of the biggest battles in history. Winner of two Oscars (Special Effects and Cinematography) The Longest Day ranks as one of Hollywood's truly great war films.

  • Dracula (Blu-ray + DVD) [1958] Dracula (Blu-ray + DVD) | Blu Ray | (28/10/2013) from £11.49  |  Saving you £13.50 (54.00%)  |  RRP £24.99

    There's no shortage of competition in the battle to be named the ultimate screen Dracula, but Peter Cushing's turn in Terence Fisher's take on Bram Stoker's classic novel surely makes him a candidate worth considering. As the first Hammer Dracula movie, it's long been cherished by both Hammer and horror enthusiasts. And this Blu-ray release could, with some justification, be described as definitive. There are several reasons for this. Firstly, this release brings together two different takes on the feature, including the 2012 restoration work from Hammer itself, which added in material that had been unseen for many years. Furthermore, the film's transfer is excellent, a real labour of love and an outright justification alone for getting hold of the Blu-ray. But then there are the further two discs of extra material, which dig into the story of the film, as well as spending some time exploring the restoration work that brought it into its current state. Furthermore, there's an excellent commentary track to enjoy as well. The film itself? It remains the star of the show, and one of the best of Hammer's impressive catalogue. Cushing is magnetic in the central role, and the supporting work from the likes of Christopher Lee and Michael Gough adds majesty to an already impressive production. How refreshing, then, that it's all arrived packaged on a Rolls Royce-standard disc release, that shows that with real care and diligence, it's possible to put together Blu-ray packages of older films that are something really very special indeed. --Jon Foster

  • Sister Street Fighter Collection [Blu-ray] Sister Street Fighter Collection | Blu Ray | (04/03/2019) from £18.75  |  Saving you £N/A (N/A%)  |  RRP £N/A

    After the massive success of The Street Fighter, the Toei Company decided to build a new karate series around a female lead, and cast a young actress who had appeared in a cameo role alongside her mentor Sonny Chiba. Still a teenager at the time, Etsuko Shihomi exploded onscreen in her first leading role and created a new character type: a tough fighter who was fierce, fearless, good-hearted, and decidedly non-sexualised, a departure from Toei's typical formula. In 1974's Sister Street Fighter, Shihomi is the half-Chinese, half-Japanese Li Koryu, who travels to Yokohama to investigate the disappearance of her brother, an undercover cop. Li discovers a smuggling ring run by a drug lord with his own personal army of deadly fighters, and must penetrate his evil lair with the help of a fellow karate master (played by Chiba). Shihomi and director Kazuhiko Yamaguchi (Wolf Guy) made two additional films based on the same character over the next year, Sister Street Fighter: Hanging By A Thread and Return Of The Sister Street Fighter, with a final unrelated follow-up (Sister Street Fighter: Fifth Level Fist) helmed by original Street Fighter director Shigehiro Ozawa appearing in 1976. Genre entertainment of the highest order, the Sister Street Fighter films are a wild ride through some of the best exploitation cinema Japan produced in the 1970s. Funky and over-the-top, filled with wall-to-wall action, and featuring some of the craziest villains ever depicted onscreen, the series embodies female power in a male-dominated genre and is a magnificent showcase for the physical presence and martial arts skills of its lead star. SPECIAL EDITION CONTENTS: High Definition digital transfers of all four films High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentations Original uncompressed Japanese mono audio Original English dubbed audio for Sister Street Fighter New optional English subtitle translation for all four films English SDH subtitles for the English dub for Sister Street Fighter New video interviews with actor Shinichi Sonny Chiba, director Kazuhiko Yamaguchi, and screenwriter Masahiro Kakefuda Original Japanese theatrical trailers for all four films Original U.S. theatrical trailer for Sister Street Fighter, plus original English opening titles to the film Original German theatrical trailer for Sister Street Fighter, plus original German opening titles to the film Stills and poster gallery Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Kungfubob O'Brien FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Illustrated booklet featuring writing on the series by Patrick Macias and a new essay on the U.S. release of Toei's karate films by Chris Poggiali

  • My Fair Lady: 50th Anniversary Restoration [Blu-ray] [1964] My Fair Lady: 50th Anniversary Restoration | Blu Ray | (11/07/2016) from £8.99  |  Saving you £11.00 (55.00%)  |  RRP £19.99

    More lovely than ever! Restored in 4K from 8K scans of original 65 mm elements with 96K resolution English 7.1 Dolby TrueHD audio, this 50th ANNIVERSARY EDITION celebrates the breathtaking musical extravaganza that won 8 Academy Awards, including Best Picture. This beloved adaptation of the Broadway stage hit stars AUDREY HEPBURN as Eliza Doolittle, a sassy, working-class London street vendor, and REX HARRISON as the elitist Professor Higgins, who attempts to turn Eliza into a sophisticated lady through proper tutoring. But, when the humble flower girl blossoms into the toast of London society, her teacher may have a lesson or two to learn himself

  • Flying Deuces [Blu-ray] Flying Deuces | Blu Ray | (15/06/2015) from £5.98  |  Saving you £9.01 (60.10%)  |  RRP £14.99

    This classic comedy caper sees Laurel and Hardy doing what they do best... in this case, wreaking havoc in the French Foreign Legion!Released in 1939, co-scripted by silent-era star Harry Langdon and featuring a guest appearance from long-standing Laurel and Hardy nemesis James Finlayson, The Flying Deuces is among the eternally popular duo's best-loved films. Restored in High Definition, the film is presented here in its as-exhibited theatrical aspect ratio and has never looked better.Whilst holidaying in Paris, Ollie is heartbroken to learn that Georgette, the beautiful innkeeper's daughter with whom he has fallen in love, is already married. In an attempt to forget her, he decides to enlist in the Foreign Legion, persuading Stanley to join him. The hapless pair are posted to Morocco, where an unfortunate chain of events ends with them being charged with desertion and sentenced to death by firing squad!SPECIAL FEATURES:German version: Dick und Doof in der FremdenlegionImage GalleryPromotional Material PDF

  • Sorcerer (40th Anniversary Collector's Edition) [Blu-ray] [1977] Sorcerer (40th Anniversary Collector's Edition) | Blu Ray | (06/11/2017) from £9.99  |  Saving you £N/A (N/A%)  |  RRP £N/A

    Exiled from their home nations, four strangers from separate corners of the earth agree to undertake a dangerous mission to transport unstable dynamite through the dense jungle of South America in order to earn their passage home. When the slightest bump in the road could equal instant death, the real question is not whether these men will survive this nerve-shredding ordeal but who will they have become if they return at all? After the success of The French Connection and The Exorcist, William Friedkin began work on his biggest project to date. Seizing the moment, he embarked on an ambitious and lengthy shoot in the dense jungles of the Dominican Republic and like Werner Herzog with Fitzcoraldo and Francis Ford Coppola on Apocalypse Now, Friedkin battled the elements, came face-to-face with nature and emerged victorious. Now, 40 years since its release, Sorcerer is regarded by critics and filmmakers alike as a true lost cinematic masterpiece a feat of filmmaking that encapsulates the revolutionary artistry of 1970s American cinema that is a triumph to behold Special Features: Sorcerers A Conversation with William Friedkin and Nicolas Winding Refn (74 mins) The Mystery of Fate A letter from director William Friedkin Newly commissioned artwork to celebrate the 40th Anniversary Reversible sleeve containing the newly commissioned and original theatrical artwork

  • Battle of Britain [Blu-ray] Battle of Britain | Blu Ray | (17/04/2019) from £7.99  |  Saving you £11.59 (58.00%)  |  RRP £19.98

    This is a spectacular retelling of a true story that shows courage at its inspiring best. Few defining moments can change the outcome of war; but when the outnumbered Royal Air Force defied unsurmountable odds in engaging the German Luftwaffe they may well have altered the course of history!

  • Dr. Strangelove [Blu-ray] [1964] Dr. Strangelove | Blu Ray | (26/04/2010) from £5.49  |  Saving you £4.50 (45.00%)  |  RRP £9.99

    A brilliant film a classic black comedy. A group of war-eager military men plan a nuclear apocalypse that is both funny and frightening - and seems as relevant today as ever. Through a series of military and political accidents two psychotic generals - U.S. Air Force Commander Jack D. Ripper (Sterling Hayden) and Joint Chief of Staff Buck Turgidson (George C. Scott) - trigger an ingenious irrevocable scheme to attack Russia's strategic targets with nuclear bombs. The brains behind the scheme belong to Dr. Strangelove (Peter Sellers) a wheelchair-bound nuclear scientist who has bizarre ideas about man's future. The President is helpless to stop the bombers as is Captain Mandrake (Sellers again) the only man who can stop them...

  • Lifeboat [Masters of Cinema] (Dual Format) [Blu-ray] Lifeboat (Dual Format) | Blu Ray | (23/04/2012) from £10.09  |  Saving you £9.90 (49.50%)  |  RRP £19.99

    Based on an unpublished novella by John Steinbeck (written on commission expressly to provide treatment material for Hitchcock's screen scenario), Lifeboat found the Master of Suspense navigating a course of maximal tension - in the most minimal of settings - with a consistently inventive, beautifully paced drama that would foreshadow the single-set experiments of Rope and Dial M for Murder. After a Nazi torpedo reduces an ocean liner to wooden splinters and scorched personal effects, the survivors of the attack pull themselves aboard a drifting lifeboat in the hope of eventual rescue. But the motivations of the German submarine captain (played by Walter Slezak) on the eponymous craft might extend beyond mere survival... With a cast including Shadow of a Doubt veteran Hume Cronyn and the extraordinary, irrepressible Tallulah Bankhead, this picture of characters, as Franois Truffaut aptly termed the film, oscillates dazzlingly between comic reparte and white-knuckle suspense - a perfect example of the Hitchcock touch.

  • The Misfits [Blu-ray] [1961] The Misfits | Blu Ray | (17/03/2014) from £6.99  |  Saving you £5.50 (42.30%)  |  RRP £12.99

    Expertly directed by John Huston (The Maltese Falcon) from a screenplay by Pulitzer Prize winner Arthur Miller The Misfits is a 'probing exciting drama' (Film Daily) of honesty intensity and sheer poetic brilliance. Divorced and disillusioned Roslyn (Marilyn Monroe) befriends a group of 'misfits ' including an aging cowboy (Clark Gable) a heartbroken mechanic (Eli Wallach) and a worn-out rodeo rider (Montgomery Clift). Through their live-for-the-moment lifestyle Roslyn experiences her first taste of freedom exhilaration and passion. But when her innocent idealism clashes with their hard-edged practicality Roslyn must risk losing their friendship... and the only true love she's ever known.

  • The Lost Weekend [Masters of Cinema] (Blu-ray) The Lost Weekend (Blu-ray) | Blu Ray | (25/06/2012) from £8.99  |  Saving you £11.00 (55.00%)  |  RRP £19.99

    "I'm not a drinker--I'm a drunk." These words, and the serious message behind them, were still potent enough in 1945 to shock audiences flocking to The Lost Weekend. The speaker is Don Birnam (Ray Milland), a handsome, talented, articulate alcoholic. The writing team of producer Charles Brackett and director Billy Wilder pull no punches in their depiction of Birnam's massive weekend bender, a tailspin that finds him reeling from his favorite watering hole to Bellevue Hospital. Location shooting in New York helps the street-level atmosphere, especially a sequence in which Birnam, a budding writer, tries to hock his typewriter for booze money. He desperately staggers past shuttered storefronts--it's Yom Kippur, and the pawnshops are closed. Milland, previously known as a lightweight leading man (he'd starred in Wilder's hilarious The Major and the Minor three years earlier), burrows convincingly under the skin of the character, whether waxing poetic about the escape of drinking or screaming his lungs out in the D.T.'s sequence. Wilder, having just made the ultra-noir Double Indemnity, brought a new kind of frankness and darkness to Hollywood's treatment of a social problem. At first the film may have seemed too bold; Paramount Pictures nearly killed the release of the picture after it tested poorly with preview audiences. But once in release, The Lost Weekend became a substantial hit, and won four Oscars: for picture, director, screenplay, and actor. --Robert Horton

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