One of the most justly celebrated "problem films" of the 1940s. Though hailed in its time as a great advance in screen seriousness, this film just barely missed being shelved. The script by the noted team of Wilder and Brackett is dispassionate and unrelenting but also occasionally
poetic. The film's emotional power is greatly abetted by Seitz's evocative black-and-white cinematography, ranging from unvarnished realism to delirious Expressionism. Finally, Milland's virtuoso work as the hopeless alcoholic is surprising, shocking and utterly riveting.
Don (Milland) is a struggling writer who waters down his writer's block with booze. The film opens with the camera...