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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

Directed by Billy Wilder
USA 1945

 

Directed by Billy Wilder (Double Indemnity, Sunset Boulevard, Some Like It Hot), this gut-wrenching adaptation of Charles Jackson's The Lost Weekend horrified its studio, was rejected by test audiences, and was lobbied by temperance groups, yet went on to huge success and became the awards sensation of its year.

Ray Milland stars as Don Birnam, a New York author struggling with years of alcoholism and writer's block. Trying to keep him on the path to rehabilitation are his straight-laced brother Wick (Philip Terry) and devoted long-time girlfriend Helen (Jane Wyman). When Don absconds from a country excursion, he embarks on a four-day binge, spiraling towards rock bottom.

Winner of the Grand Prix at the first ever Cannes Film Festival, as well as Oscars for Best Picture, Director, Actor, and Screenplay, this brutal noir provided one of cinema's first in-depth studies of addiction. Crackling with rapier dialogue, vivid performances, and Wilder's superlative direction.

***

Billy Wilder's searing portrait of an alcoholic features an Oscar-winning performance by Ray Milland as Don Birnam,... a writer whose lust for booze consumes his career, his life, and his loves. The story begins as Don and his brother Wick (Philip Terry) are packing their bags in their New York apartment, preparing for a weekend in the country. Philip, aware of his brother's drinking problem, is keeping an eye of him, making sure he doesn't sneak a drink before the departure of their train. Arriving at the apartment is Don's girlfriend, Helen St. James (Jane Wyman), who has tickets to a Carnegie Hall concert that night. Don persuades Wick and Helen to go to the concert without him, hoping to find one of his well-hidden bottles of booze. But when Wick and Helen go to the concert, Don discovers that Wick has gotten rid of the liquor. Don has no money, so he can't visit the neighborhood bar -- that is, until the cleaning lady arrives to reveal money hidden in a sugar-bowl. Don grabs the cash and hits the street, heading off to Nat's Bar. Nat (Howard Da Silva), a bartender who has seen it all, is surprised to see Don. But when Don shows he can pay for his drinks, Nat reluctantly serves him, telling Don, "One's too many and a hundred's not enough." Soon Don plunges in an alcoholic haze, his boozing landing him in a harrowing drunk tank, presided over by the cynical attendant Bim (Frank Faylen).

Posters

Theatrical Release: October 5th, 1945

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Comparison:

Masters of Cinema - Region 'B' - Blu-ray vs. Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

Box Cover

Also available in a Blu-ray Steelbook from The Masters of Cinema:

  

Bonus Captures:

Distribution Masters of Cinema - Region 'B' - Blu-ray Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray
Runtime 1:40:45.039         1:40:40.951 
Video

1.33:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 48,011,457,225 bytes

Feature: 28,342,745,088 bytes

Video Bitrate: 34.99 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

1.37:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 35,824,598,390 bytes

Feature: 32,649,289,728 bytes

Video Bitrate: 39.30 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate Masters of Cinema Blu-ray:

Bitrate Kino Blu-ray:

Audio DTS-HD Master Audio English 709 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 709 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 512 kbps / 16-bit)

DTS-HD Master Audio English 1554 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1554 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)
Commentary:

Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps

Subtitles English (SDH), None English (SDH), None
Features Release Information:
Studio:
Masters of Cinema

 

1.33:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 48,011,457,225 bytes

Feature: 28,342,745,088 bytes

Video Bitrate: 34.99 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:

• Exclusive new video introduction by director Alex Cox (6:37)
• The three-part 1992 BBC Arena programme Billy, How Did You Do It? directed by Gisela Grischow and Volker Schlöndorff, featuring Schlöndorff in conversation with Billy Wilder (3:03:16)
• The 1946 Screen Guild Theater radio adaptation of The Lost Weekend – starring Ray Milland, Jane Wyman, and Frankie Faylen (30:01)
• The original theatrical trailer (2:06)
• 36-PAGE BOOKLET featuring a new essay on the film by critic and filmmaker David Cairns; a reproduction of the famous hallucination sequence in three forms: an excerpt from Charles R. Jackson’s novel, an excerpt from Charles Brackett and Billy Wilder’s screenplay, and a presentation of actual frames from the corresponding scene in the film; a vintage public service advertisement by Seagram’s about The Lost Weekend and the broader social dilemma of alcoholism; and rare archival imagery


Blu-ray Release Date:
June 25th, 2012
Transparent Blu-ray Case

Chapters 17

Release Information:
Studio:
Kino

 

1.37:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 35,824,598,390 bytes

Feature: 32,649,289,728 bytes

Video Bitrate: 39.30 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:

Audio Commentary by Film Historian Joseph McBride
Radio Adaptation (27:36)
TRAILERS FROM HELL with Mark Pellington (2:31)
Theatrical Trailer (2:08)


Blu-ray Release Date:
November 24th, 2020
Standard Blu-ray Case

Chapters 9

 

 

Comments:

NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

ADDITION: Kino Blu-ray (November 2020): Kino have transferred Billy Wilder's The Lost Weekend to Blu-ray via a "Brand New 4K Master". There is quite a difference from the Masters of Cinema 1080P of 8-years previous. Where the Kino is 'superior' in terms of detail, sharpness, smoothness (less blotchy), is lighter, it looks cleaner but it also shows less information in the frame. The UK transfer is in the 1.33:1 aspect ratio where the Kino is ion the, more accurate, 1.37:1 aspect ratio. Both have max'ed out bitrates. If you're not bothered, by what we perceive as 'cropping' then the Kino is a much better HD presentation, imo. This is notable in-motion as well.   

NOTE: We have added 41 more large resolution Blu-ray captures (in lossless PNG format) for DVDBeaver Patrons HERE

On their Blu-ray, Kino use a DTS-HD Master dual-mono track (16-bit) in the original English language. It is another advancement, albeit tiny, being slightly more robust - notable in the score by Miklós Rózsa (The Naked City, Criss Cross, The Killers, The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes, The Strange Love of Martha Ivers, Double Indemnity) sounding marginally deeper. Kino offer optional English (SDH) subtitles on their Region 'A' Blu-ray.

The Kino Blu-ray has anew audio commentary by Film Historian Joseph McBride who is the author of several books on film (many biographies.) McBride is one of the heavyweights of film commentary and he shows his chops with some in-depth information on director Wilder and many facets of Lost Weekend. It's always a pleasure to listen to someone who really know their stuff. I think it add significant value to the BD. Kino also include a 1/2 hour Radio Adaptation, a Trailer From Hell segment with Mark Pellington and a theatrical trailer.  

Billy Wilder's The Lost Weekend is a subtly escalating film with grim realism peering around every corner. Ray Milland is so good at distracting with his congenial happiness and witty repartee. You can ignore reality, but you can't ignore the consequences of reality. This remains one of Wilder's best dramas. We bond to Don - accepting and understanding his disease making his fall all the more impactful. I can't believe that it took so long for this unforgettable masterpiece to come to Region 'A'  Blu-ray. We can easily recommend it as part of every digital library. Kino's McBride commentary, and 4-K restored image adds significant value to their Blu-ray. I'd even recommend double-dipping if you already own the UK edition. An essential film to own in the best home theatre quality!

***

Masters of Cinema (June 2012): Pretty sweet. The Lost Weekend appears very strong on Blu-ray from The Masters of Cinema arm of Eureka Cinema in the UK. Black levels are quite intense and may have been boosted - but I think it looks quite good and quite close to theatrical. Like Double Indemnity - there is an issue with contrast flickering - notable in the backgrounds. I didn't find it distracting nor would let it deter my viewing pleasure. Grain is very textured and pleasing. Details is surprising for such thick visuals - only a few minor speckles as damage although there are some less consistent parts of the film (source) where density may have been compromised. It has no gloss and the dual-layered high bitrate produces a very rich image. This Blu-ray has a nice realistic feel with a reasonable film-like sense to it. Visually this is pleasing.

Audio :
Masters of Cinema offer an uncompressed DTS-HD Master track with nothing extraordinary but a probable strong replication of the film's theatrical. The lossless track does its job well with clear dialogue and no prominent effects. Miklós Rózsa's score is impeccable being a large part of the viewing experience and it sounds superb via the uncompressed track. There are optional English (SDH) subtitles and my Momitsu has identified it as being a region 'B'-locked Blu-ray.

Extras :
Masters of Cinema have added some solid extras - we get a 6.5-minute video introduction by director director Alex Cox and his keen interpretations and appreciations are always welcome. The colossal three-part 1992 BBC Arena programme Billy, How Did You Do It? directed by Gisela Grischow and Volker Schlöndorff, featuring Schlöndorff in conversation with Billy Wilder is here in its 3-hour plus entirety and could have a full page review of its own. Wonderful passion in creating this - and Wilder fans shouldn't miss out. Included is the 1946 Screen Guild Theater radio adaptation of The Lost Weekend – starring Ray Milland, Jane Wyman, and Frankie Faylen running about a 1/2 hour and an original theatrical trailer - looking worse for wear. The package has a 36-page liner notes booklet featuring a new essay on the film by critic and filmmaker David Cairns; a reproduction of the famous hallucination sequence in three forms: an excerpt from Charles R. Jackson’s novel, an excerpt from Charles Brackett and Billy Wilder’s screenplay, and a presentation of actual frames from the corresponding scene in the film; a vintage public service advertisement by Seagram’s about The Lost Weekend and the broader social dilemma of alcoholism; and rare archival imagery. Excellent!

Gary Tooze

 


Masters of Cinema - Region 'B' - Blu-ray

 

Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray


CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

1) Masters of Cinema - Region 'B' - Blu-ray TOP

2) Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


1) Masters of Cinema - Region 'B' - Blu-ray TOP

2) Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


1) Masters of Cinema - Region 'B' - Blu-ray TOP

2) Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


1) Masters of Cinema - Region 'B' - Blu-ray TOP

2) Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


1) Masters of Cinema - Region 'B' - Blu-ray TOP

2) Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


1) Masters of Cinema - Region 'B' - Blu-ray TOP

2) Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


1) Masters of Cinema - Region 'B' - Blu-ray TOP

2) Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

More full resolution (1920 X 1080) Kino Blu-ray Captures for DVDBeaver Patreon Supporters HERE

 

 

 
Box Cover

Also available in a Blu-ray Steelbook from The Masters of Cinema:

  

Bonus Captures:

Distribution Masters of Cinema - Region 'B' - Blu-ray Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray


 


 

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