Movies that make drinking look good. Movies that don’t.

First of all, a tip of the cap to the masters of playing sober while drunk: Burton, Hopkins, O’Toole, Reed, and Taylor.


Drinking is fun, and funny

Arthur (1981) – No happy drunks in the remake. We’re a sober generation.

Road House (1989) – Drinkin and fightin.

My Favorite Year (1982) – O’Toole keeling over in the bathroom, that was funny.

Animal House (1978) – John Belushi, R.I.P. See, that’s what happens to happy drunks, even if it was a speedball that actually killed him.

Strange Brew (1983) – Doodle ee oop ee doodle de doo (if I remember the McKenzie brother’s theme song correctly).

Hooper (1978) – I’m thinking of the scene in which stunt man Reynolds and his buddies are driving backwards down the coast highway at high speed and come up next to a Highway Patrol car.


Drink Coke

Thieves Like Us (1974) – If you like to drink Coke out of a 6-ounce bottle on a hot day in the South, this is the movie for you.


Drinking turns you into a drama queen, or a corpse (movies that make drinkers want to drink)

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958) – Brick, honey, put down that bottle and come to bed.

Who’s Afraid of Virgina Woolfe (1966) – Drunks playing drunks.

Long Day’s Journey into Night (1962) – Compare and contrast alcohol addiction, drug addiction, money addiction, and TB.

The Lost Weekend (1945) – He hides his bottle up in the light fixture and hangs it out the window on a rope. The movie influenced thousands of drinkers. Look at any picture of an apartment house taken in the 1940s and you’ll see bottles hanging out of windows on ropes.

Leaving Las Vegas (1995) – I like Cage better sober yet crazy.

Under the Volcano (1984) – A day in the life (the last one). Read Lowry’s book, one of the great novels of the 20th century.

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3 Responses

  1. I think I asked that question badly. I meant more Katherine Hepburn with a martini kind of drinking. And, truthfully, I’d rather hear about sex than drinking. Drinking makes me sad.

    Anyway, I have read Lowry’s book. When I was 24. I sent it to this guy I loved in college because it was so good and I thought he’d like it. He was on a long vacation from his family — his mom, the B movie actress, and his dad, the do-nothing son of a rich guy from Chicago. I thought there was no man more sad and attractive than that guy, who was in Spain writing one act plays with one word titles. I paid something like $20 to send that book to him and I could barely afford to buy yogurt. The next time I saw him he made a joke about it. He didn’t say thank you. He didn’t say he read it. He married someone else. I still love him, but not as much as I did before I sent him Under the Volcano.

  2. It must be scary to be a man. All that stuff you can only remember enough to hope it wasn’t as bad as you suspect it might have been. But then again if you’re a woman you remember it so well that you can’t pretend it wasn’t as bad as it really was.

    Then again, if it was good, you get to remember that in great detail.

    And here’s a toast to those for whom writing well excuses pretty much everything.

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