UC Berkeley Library

Alcohol in Film

Two Hearts in Wax Time (1935)

Musical short. A department store employee who carries mannequins tends to overindulge in alcohol. One evening after work, he sees his "coworkers" come to life in the store's display window. Included on Credits and other information from the Internet Movie Database

Under the Volcano (1984)

Directed by John Huston. Cast: Albert Finney, Jacqueline Bisset, Anthony Andrews. Withering from alcoholism, British consul Geoffrey Firmin stumbles through a small Mexican village amidst the Day of the Dead fiesta, attempting to reconnect with his estranged wife, but only further alienating himself. Based on the novel by Malcolm Lowry. Special features (Disc 1): Audio commentaries by Michael Fitzgerald, Wieland Schulz-Keil, and Moritz Borman on the film, by Guy Gallo on selected scenes, and by Danny Huston on the main title sequence ; Theatrical trailer.

What Drink Did (1909)

Director, D.W. Griffith; Cast: David Miles, Florence Lawrence. A man leaves his wife and two daughters for work in a carpentry shop. At work, he initially refuses a beer with lunch, then gives in. After work, two friends take a little while to convince him to go for a refreshing malt beverage, then to have another and another. Meanwhile, the family waits. He arrives home late and abusive. The next day, hung over, he takes much less convincing to have the drinks; he's gone so long that his wife sends a daughter looking for him.

What! No Beer? (1933)

Directed by Edward Sedgwick. Cast: Buster Keaton, Jimmy Durante, Rosco Ates, Phyllis Barry, John Miljan, Henry Armetta, Edward Brophy, Charles Dunbar, Charles Giblyn. Two of comedy's greatest masters, Buster Keaton and Jimmy Durante, appear together in this effervescent and irreverent slapstick about a couple of regular guys trying to cash in on the end of Prohibition. 66 min. Credit and other information from Internet Movie Database

When a Man Loves a Woman (1994)

Directed by Luis Mandoki. Cast: Andy Garcia, Meg Ryan, Lauren Tom, Ellen Burstyn. Alice and Michael are a passionate couple whose once-stable marriage is rocked by her increasing dependence on alcohol. As they strive to overcome this challenge, they discover a renewed sense of love and commitment. 126 min. Credits and other information from the Internet Movie Database

Whisky Galore (Tight Little Island) (Ealing Studios, UK, 1949)

Director, Alexander Mackendrick; Cast: Basil Radford, Joan Greenwood, James Robertson Justice, Gordon Jackson.When a ship loaded with whisky is wrecked on a Scottish island, a battle of wits ensues between the canny Scots islanders and the local customs inspector. ; also (non-US standard); Credits and other information from the Internet Movie Database

You're Telling Me! (1934)

Directed by Erle C. Kenton. Cast: W.C. Fields, Larry "Buster" Crabbe, Joan Marsh, Adrienne Ames, Louise Carter, Kathleen Howard, Tammany Young, Del Henderson, James B. "Pop" Kenton, Robert McKenzie, Nora Cecil, George Irving. Sam Bisbee is an inventor who is the laughingstock in his small town. After demonstrating another failed invention, he meets a princess who promises to use her celebrity to turn his luck around. "Although W.C. Fields drank immoderately on and off camera, he rarely played a scene in which he appeared pie-eyed drunk.

[Absinthe] The Four Earliest Known Absinthe-related Films

Presents four movies from the silent film era concerning the distilled, highly alcoholic spirit absinthe. Almost from the very outset motion picture producers found a lucerative niche producing films with an anti-alcohol message. The 1902 film "Les victimes de l'alcoolisme" was the first attempt by the newly formed Pathe company to exploit the burgeoning demand for anti-absinthe and anti-alcohol propaganda. "Les Victimes de l'alcool" (1911), a far more sophisticated film, was enthusiastically promoted by the temperance movement and was a huge success for Pathe.