The Lost Weekend

Blu-Ray Rating: ****

Reviewed by: Owen Van Spall

Read Owen Van Spall's film review of The Lost Weekend
The Lost Weekend

The Masters of Cinema Eureka range is not known for scrimping on the extra features or the quality of restoration and packaging, and this release is no exception.

Picture and sound quality are crisp with a high definition master, and given this is a 1940s film, probably the best this will ever look and sound. The disc comes packaged both in in a standard edition & a limited edition steelbook for the more discerning collector. There are a plethora of extra goodies too.

Copy picture

Director Alex Cox (Repo Man) gives an exclusive new video introduction to the film which is entertaining, incisive, cheeky, but heartfelt.

The inclusion of all of the three-part 1992 BBC Arena programmes “Billy, How Did You Do It?” is perhaps the jewel in the extras crown, as it ranges far and wide over Wilder's life as well as discussing the director's and artists Wilder himself found influential (such as Ernst Lubitsch). Directed by Gisela Grischow and Volker Schlöndorff, the programme features Schlöndorff himself in conversation with Billy Wilder, appropriate given Schlöndorff's influence on Wilder and their similar heritage and shared language (Wilder conducts much of the interview in German). There are some fascinating nuggets to be savoured in this programme and its hard not to be fascinated by Wilder's life story, which comes across as a classic American immigrant's rags to riches tale, though it is a stretch at 3 hours long which is twice the length of the film itself.

An unusual and unique extra is The 1946 Screen Guild Theater radio adaptation of The Lost Weekend. It actually stars Ray Milland and Jane Wyman who reprise their roles from the film. It's an interesting experience to listen to, though it would've benefitted from a still montage or something similar that could play on screen to accompany and illuminate the audio dialogue and effects.

There is also the bevy of more traditional extras such as the option for English subtitles and the original bombastic theatrical trailer (which emphasises the horrifying aspects of the story, the critical acclaim lavished on the film and its literary roots), both of which round out the package nicely.

Reviewed on: 25 Jul 2012
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The Lost Weekend packshot
The desperate life of a chronic alcoholic is followed through a four day drinking bout.

Product Code: B007196V24

Region: 0

Ratio: 1.37

Sound: Monaural

Extras: Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hearing impaired, Exclusive new video introduction by director Alex Cox, The three-part 1992 BBC Arena programme Billy, How Did You Do It?, The 1946 Screen Guild Theater radio adaptation of The Lost Weekend , The original theatrical trailer + 36-page booklet.

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