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Quotations from The Lost Weekend

The Lost Weekend is a drama film about an alcoholic New York writer. The film about Don Birnam covers the author over a three year period in which the writer was particularly a heavy drinker, especially on the weekend. The film begins with Birnam as a recovering alcoholic, having not drank any alcohol for ten days. However, after shooing his brother Wick out of the house, he looks frantically for some that he has hidden. Nonetheless, it's gone. Once the cleaning lady arrives for work, Birnam swindles her out of her wages and tells her to leave. He heads to the bar. Directed by Billy Wilder. Starring Ray Milland, Phillip Terry, and Jane Wyman.

The Lost Weekend won four Oscar awards: Best Actor; Best Director; Best Picture; and Best Writing, Screenplay. It was also nominated in three additional categories: Best Cinematography, Black-and-White; Best Film Editing; and Best Music, Scoring of a Dramatic or Comedy Picture. Continue reading for some quotes from The Lost Weekend.


Don Birnam: Let me have one, Nat. I'm dying. Just one.
Don Birnam: Most men lead lives of quiet desperation. I can't take quiet desperation!
'Bim' Nolan, Male Nurse: It's like the doctor was just telling me - delirium is a disease of the night. Good night.
Don Birnam: Don't wipe it away, Nat. Let me have my little vicious circle. You know, the circle is the perfect geometric figure. No end, no beginning.
Nat: One's too many an' a hundred's not enough.
Don Birnam: Are you in the phone book?
Helen St. James: Yes, but I'm not home very much.
Don Birnam: Well, I'll call you at your office.
Helen St. James: Editorial Research. If Henry Luce answers, hang up.
Don Birnam: What kind of party did you say that was?
Helen St. James: A cocktail party.
Don Birnam: In that case, I'll join you.
Wick Birnem: If it happens, it happens and I hope it does. I've had six years of this. I've had my bellyfull... Who are we fooling? We've tried everything, haven't we? We've reasoned with him. We've baited him. We've watched him like a hawk. We've tried trusting him. How often have you cried? How often have I beaten him up? Scrape him out of a gutter and pump some kind of self-respect into him and back he falls, back in every time.
Helen St. James: He's a sick person. It's as though there was something wrong with his heart or his lungs. You wouldn't walk out on him if he had an attack. He needs our help.
Wick Birnem: He won't accept our help. Not Don, he hates us. He wants to be alone with that bottle of his. It's all he gives a hang about. Why kid ourselves? He's a hopeless alcoholic.
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