Study Guide

The Lost Weekend Drugs and Alcohol

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Drugs and Alcohol

Before The Hangover there was The Lost Weekend, the original cinematic account of a debauchery-filled weekend. Unlike The Hangover, however, The Lost Weekend isn't a laugh-a-minute riot—it's the harrowing account of one alcoholic's descent into madness. Fun stuff!

The film follows Don Birnam, an unemployed alkie who would gladly give his left arm to dive into a pool full of liquor, as Kendrick might say. As you might imagine given the subject matter, the movie quickly treads into uber-dark territory, giving us a startlingly intimate look into the mind of an addict.

Questions About Drugs and Alcohol

  1. Is Don free of his addiction by the end of the movie? Explain your answer.
  2. Is it accurate to say that Don's addiction was sparked by his failed writing? Why or why not?
  3. In what ways do Helen and Wick enable Don's addiction?
  4. What makes this weekend bender different than previous weekend benders? Is it different?

Chew on This

Don's decision to throw a cigarette into his whiskey instead of drinking it shows that he's finally freed himself from his addiction.

Although Don has escaped his addiction in the short-term, the cyclical nature of the condition means that he'll turn back to it eventually.

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