The filming by Paramount of “The Lost Weekend” marks a particularly outstanding achievement in the Hollywood setting. The psychiatric study of an alcoholic, it is an unusual picture. It is intense, morbid — and thrilling. Here is an intelligent dissection of one of society’s most rampant evils. Ray Milland and Jane Wyman are the stars. It is smash boxoffice.
This is no picture to serve as sheer entertainment, for herein is what may well be termed the heresy of filmmaking. A picture of doubtful entertainment value? Well, now.
“Weekend” hasn’t any laughs. Or gams. Or crackling, smart dialog. It is startling in its manic-depression. It required courage for Paramount to violate cardinal boxoffice rules to film it. Yet, here is a pic that should snowball b.o. interest on the basis of word-of-mouth and intelligent, conservative exploitation. That is, if the original novel by Charles R. Jackson hasn’t already developed that interest.