UC Berkeley Library

Alcohol in Film

Don't Come Knocking (2005)

Directed by Wim Wenders. Cast: Sam Shepard, Jessica Lange, Tim Roth, Gabriel Mann, Sarah Polley, Fairuza Balk, Eva Marie Saint. Howard Spence, a washed-up Western movie star, uses alcohol, drugs, and young women to escape from the pain of his life. One day he suddenly flees the set of his latest Western on horseback and goes to visit his mother in Nevada. She tells him that he might have a grown son in Montana, where he once had a fling with a local waitress. Howard sets out to meet his son with an insurance agent from his abandoned film in pursuit. 111 min.

Drunken Angel (Yoidore tenshi) (Japan, 1948)

Director: Akira Kurosawa. Cast: Takashi Shimura, Toshiro Mifune, Reizaburo Yamamoto, Michiyo Kogure, Chieko Nakakita, Noriko Sengoku, Shizuko Kasagi. Set in post-war Tokyo in 1945, a tuberculosis-infected criminal starts an unhealthy relationship with an alcoholic doctor. The patient needs to feel better so that he can retain his status as gang-leader after the ex-leader is released from prison, and the doctor needs to feel like he has a place in society and that life is worth living.

Drunks (1995)

Directed by Peter Cohn. Cast: Richard Lewis, Faye Dunaway, Spalding Gray, Amanda Plummer, Diane Wiest. Story of a small group of recovering alcoholics who meet in a Times Square church basement for an AA meeting. Collectively they share their hopes, fears triumphs and frailties -- keeping their faith even as a dramatic upheaval threatens the life of a man they all admire. 88 min. Credits and other information from the Internet Movie Database

Factotum (2005)

Directed by Bent Hamer. Cast: Matt Dillon, Lili Taylor, Marisa Tomei, Fisher Stevens, Didier Flamand, Adrienne Shelly, Tom Lyons, Karen Young. This drama centers on Hank Chinaski, the fictional alter-ego of author Charles Bukowski, who wanders around Los Angeles, trying to live off jobs which don't interfere with his primary interest, which is writing. Based on the novel by Charles Bukowski. 94 min. Credits and other information from the Internet Movie Database

Felix the Cat Woos Whoopee (1928)

Directed by Otto Messmer. Animated short. "Long before Felix the Cat used his magical "Bag of Tricks" to foil the nefarious plans of the Professor, Rock Bottom, and the Master Cylinder (Anyone else grow up in the 70’s?) he got bombed out of his skull in the silent short subject Felix the Cat Woos Whoopee. The plot of the cartoon is simple--Felix carouses until 6 a.m. at the Whoopee Club, chugging beer, wine, and anything else he can lay his hands on, while his wife waits up impatiently with a rolling pin.

Gervaise (France, 1956)

Directed by Rene Clement. Cast: Maria Schell, François Perier, Suzy Delair, Jacques Harden, Jany Holt, Mathilde Casadesus, Florelle, Armand Mestral. A story of mid-19th-century Parisian slums in which a young girl's dreams of a happy home and a successful laundry are cruelly destroyed by a drunken husband. Based on Emile Zola's L'Assommoir. 117 min. Credits and other information from the Internet Movie Database