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6,000 days ago, o.d.a.a.t. October 31, 2007

Posted by Jeff in 1929 through WWII, Movies, Zook.

A nicely appropriate anniversary to fall on Halloween, i.m.h.o.

This is from The Lost Weekend (1945), Ray Milland’s best performance, directed by Billy Wilder, from Wilder and Charles Brackett’s script. They all won Oscars, as did the picture. That’s the late Jane Wyman coming to Milland’s aid.

It shrinks my liver, doesn’t it, Nat? It pickles my kidneys, yeah. But what does it do to the mind? It tosses the sandbags overboard so the balloon can soar. Suddenly I’m above the ordinary. I’m competent. I’m walking a tightrope over Niagara Falls. I’m one of the great ones. I’m Michaelangelo, molding the beard of Moses. I’m Van Gogh painting pure sunlight. I’m Horowitz, playing the Emperor Concerto. I’m John Barrymore before movies got him by the throat. I’m Jesse James and his two brothers, all three of them. I’m W. Shakespeare. And out there it’s not Third Avenue any longer, it’s the Nile. Nat, it’s the Nile and down it moves the barge of Cleopatra. C’mere …

“The Lost Weekend”The studio built a faithful replica of P.J. Clarke’s, the famous bar at 3rd Ave. and 55th St. Milland claimed that every afternoon at five o’clock during the shoot the door of the set would open, a man would walk up to the bar (whether filming was going on or not), order a straight bourbon, chat about the weather, plunk down fifty cents, and stroll out. It was Robert Benchley, who was homesick for New York.

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