THE LOST WEEKEND
1945, Universal, 101 min, USA, Dir: Billy Wilder

Director Billy Wilder’s experiences working with Raymond Chandler on DOUBLE INDEMNITY reportedly drew him to this hard-hitting portrait of an alcoholic on a downward spiral. Ray Milland stars as New York writer Don Birnam, whose battle with the bottle takes him from bars to pawnshops to a psychiatric ward as he hits rock bottom. Co-starring Jane Wyman and Howard Da Silva, the film won Oscars for Best Picture, Director, Actor and Adapted Screenplay (by Wilder and producer Charles Brackett).


MINISTRY OF FEAR
1944, Universal, 86 min, USA, Dir: Fritz Lang

Ray Milland plays a Londoner traumatized by his wife’s murder who’s released after two years in an asylum - and walks straight into a network of Nazi spies trying to undermine the British war effort. But who’ll believe the warnings of a crazy person? Taking full advantage of the brilliant artifice of the Paramount art department, Lang spins a dizzying tale of alienation and espionage that’s more fun than any wartime thriller has a right to be. Based on the novel by Graham Greene, and featuring delicious supporting turns from Hillary Brooke and Dan Duryea.


ESCAPE TO WITCH MOUNTAIN
1975, Walt Disney Pictures, 97 min, Dir: John Hough

Orphaned siblings Ike Eisenmann and Kim Richards are pursued by ruthless millionaire Ray Milland and his lawyer Donald Pleasence, who are eager to exploit the children’s psychic powers; fortunately widower Eddie Albert helps the kids escape. Remade in 2009 as RACE TO WITCH MOUNTAIN.


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