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The Alcoholic / Live-Action Films

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  • In .45, Big Al carries a hip flask and is constantly swigging from it, and seems half in the bag most of the time. Vic tells Kat that alcoholics don't have loved ones, they have hostages.
  • Parodied in Airplane!. Ted Striker has a "drinking problem", by which he means he always misses his mouth.
  • In Anamorph, Detective Aubrey doctors all of his drinks with alcohol when he thinks no one is looking.
  • Miss Hannigan is one in Annie, and it's largely Played for Laughs. She spends the majority of the movie in her cups. Pepper, the cynical oldest foster kid, makes fun of her for it.
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  • Arthur (1981): Arthur Bach is one of the last functioning "funny drunk" examples of this trope before changing attitudes towards alcohol use in The '80s made such portrayals come off as in bad taste. His near-constant drinking is a symptom of his Lonely Rich Kid / Manchild nature; while it is mostly for pleasure (he's Fun Personified), some of it does have more serious motivations — he tells his valet that he's not going to go to a meeting with his humorless father sober. He is capable of completely abstaining from alcohol while he tends to said valet, who is dying, but he does sink into a bout of Drowning My Sorrows afterward. At one point, his valet points out that he can afford to be an eccentric drunk because he's so wealthy; otherwise he'd be a typical gutter drunk. With that in mind, in the sequel Arthur 2: On the Rocks as he goes from Riches to Rags his alcoholism becomes much more of a problem, and part of earning his happy ending is finally getting on the wagon on a long-term basis. The 2011 remake of the original film also treats his situation more seriously, with Arthur being pushed to attend Alcoholics Anonymous meetings.
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  • Arthur Housman played this role almost exclusively throughout his career, appearing alongside a number of popular comedy actors, including Laurel and Hardy. According to Stan Laurel, Housman was an alcoholic, but his on-camera performances were always true performances. He was never drunk on the set.
  • Back to the Future: Marty's mom, Lorraine, is depicted in pre-time travel 1985 as a prematurely aged (and Hollywood Pudgy) alcoholic, the booze implied to be a coping tactic for her unhappiness in being married to her wimpy, cowardly husband George. When Marty goes back in time to 1955, he is shocked to find that his mom's alcoholic tendencies were taking root even in her high school days, when she pulls out and takes a swig from a bottle of booze she swiped from her mom's liquor cabinet. He gives his mom a stern warning about drinking, telling her she'll regret it later in life, and thankfully, his warning sticks, as upon his return to 1985, his mom is still strikingly thin and beautiful, the effects of her years of alcohol abuse nowhere apparent.
  • In Black Angel Vol. 1, Mayo really hits the skids during the 14 year Time Skip. When he turns up to hire her, Nogi comments that she got herself off the drugs but had become an alcoholic in the process. At her lowest, she angrily flings a glass of booze away from her, but then, realising what she had done, starts licking the liquor off the barroom floor.
  • Blade Runner: Deckard, as a futuristic Defective Detective, has a sty of a home filled with booze.
  • In Blazing Saddles, Jim, the Waco Kid. He gets better. Gig Young was originally cast in the role, but his real-life alcoholism led to him being fired after one day on set, where, according to Mel Brooks on the commentary track, he had the shakes constantly. Some of the reverse angle shots of the Sheriff coming to wake the Kid were shot with Young there.
  • Uncle Tadpole in Bran Nue Dae, evidenced when he spends Willy's last few dollars on booze, forcing them to hitchhike a very long distance. Don't really see him drinking again after that incident though.
  • The Burning: According to Todd, Cropsy drank two bottles of whiskey in a day when he was still the caretaker at Camp Blackfoot.
  • Smoky Callaway from Callaway Went Thataway is a Western actor whose popularity skyrocketed when his shorts were put on television. The real Smoky lives as an alcoholic womanizer so, when no one is able to contact him, it's opted to use a younger lookalike instead.
  • Jimmy Blake (played by Dean Martin) in The Cannonball Run movies. He is seldom seen without a drink in his hand — even while driving — and the race organizer describes him and his partner Fenderbaum (Sammy Davis, Jr.) as more juiced-up than their Ferrari.
  • The Charge at Feather River: Pvt. Smiley was in the guardhouse for drunkenness. When the brigade departs, he takes 5 canteens with him; each one filled with hooch instead of water.
    Pvt. Smiley: When a man is forced by bitter circumstances to drink water, you might have the common decency to turn the other way.
  • In Circus of Horrors, Vanet is steadily drinking himself to death as his circus slowly dies around him.
  • Trumbull in The Comedy of Terrors is an abusive drunkard that frequently winds up in a drunken stupor throughout the film.
  • Mike in Coherence. His wife mentioned that his drinking problem destroyed his career in showbiz.
  • Peter in The Con is On. Over the course of the film he consumes an amount of alcohol that would be toxic to most people
  • Cruel and Unusual: Doris was this while alive, so much that at times she couldn't get herself out of bed. It eventually led to her suicide.
  • The lead couple in Days of Wine and Roses. When they meet, she won't touch the stuff, but then he finds an alcoholic drink she likes (he already has a bit of a problem). By the end of the movie, they've both hit bottom. He dries out, but she doesn't.
  • Doing Time on Maple Drive: Tim is this, to cope with his father's perfectionism and disappointment in him for flunking out of the military academy.
  • Nick Halsey in Everything Must Go is a very realistic and self-destructive portrayal.
  • Nathan from Ex Machina regularly binges on alcohol and is frequently seen passed out or hungover in the morning. It may actually have been part of his Obfuscating Stupidity to make Caleb underestimate him. This comes back to bite him when Caleb uses it to steal his key card and reprogram the power loss protocols to set Ava free.
  • The Lost Weekend (1944) is possibly the first Hollywood film to treat the main character's alcoholism in anything resembling a realistic way. It was initially supposed to be about a man who took to drink after realizing he is gay, but had to be Bowdlerized.
  • Midwinter Night's Dream: After Lazar defected from the army, he was so traumatized by what he'd seen and done that he spent most of his time drunk. He ended up drunkly murdering his best friend and being sentenced to ten years in prison.
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe:
    • Iron Man 2: Tony Stark. Apparently kills the pain of palladium poisoning. Anton Vanko is also implied to have been one, with his "20-year-vodka-filled-rage" destroying himself and his son Ivan.
    • Thor: Ragnarok: Valkyrie, who drinks to forget the fact that Hela killed her fellow Valkyries, leaving her as the Last of Her Kind.
    Valkyrie: Look, I’ve spent years in a haze, trying to forget my past. Sakaar seemed like the best place to drink and forget, and to die one day.
    Thor: I was thinking that you drink too much, and that probably was going to kill you.
    Valkyrie: I don’t plan to stop drinking.
    • Avengers: Endgame: Thor becomes one after he fails to prevent Thanos from wiping out half of all life in the universe.
  • Woody from Nebraska. His son David tries to point this out to him but he refuses to listen to him. It's later revealed to be a result of his time in the Korean War, having been shot down while being transferred.
  • Holland March in The Nice Guys is a "functioning" alcoholic. And, by the end of the film, it appears that Healy has fallen off the wagon as well.
  • Non-Stop: Air Marshal Marks, by his own admission. This is also one of the reasons the terrorists chose a flight he was on, figuring an alcoholic wouldn't be able to stop them.
  • Donna Stern in Obvious Child almost, dare I say it, made alcoholism adorable in Obvious Child, despite it undeniably contributing to how the film's principal dilemma happened in the first place. Also a subversion of Wine Is Classy, as Donna is all about getting the most affordable Pinot she can get her hands on.
  • At the start One Foot in Hell, Dan Keats is an alcoholic confederate veteran who is attempting to drink himself to death. Mitch tries to keep him sober for The Heist, but Dan keeps sneaking booze. He only sobers up when he is hiding out with Julie and they start to develop feelings for each other.
  • When the Rangers arrive in Waco in The Over-the-Hill Gang Rides Again, they discover that their old comrade the Baltimore Kid is now the town drunk.
  • Prairie Fever: After accidentally killing his wife while attempting to stop a Bank Robbery, Preston Biggs goes from being The Sheriff to being the town drunk. During the trip to Carson City, his supply of whisky is destroyed when the wagon loses a wheel, and he is forced to use his replacement whiskey as Molotov Cocktail. This lack of booze, combined with his newfound sense of responsibility toward the women in his care (and some strategic nagging from Olivia) forces him to sober up, to the point that he is able to sit in a saloon for several hours without having a drink. He briefly fall Off the Wagon when he learns the truth about Olivia and Monte, but the end of the film indicates he is back on the wagon for good
  • In The Return of Captain Invincible, this is Captain Invincible's super-weakness, to the point that it gets exploited in song by Christopher Lee! It is, however, completely played straight. In a parody of different ages of superheroes, Captain Invincible made the transition by getting betrayed by the people he helped and running away. Years pass in an alcoholic stupor and he returns Darker and Edgier with a tendency to drink himself catatonic.
  • In Ring of Fear, O'Malley's main accomplice is Twitchy, an alcoholic clown. Beatty has stated that he will fire any member of the crew who buys Twitchy alcohol.
  • If Dean Martin is in a film without Jerry Lewis, Martin is probably playing one of these. "Dude" in Rio Bravo is just one of many examples.
  • Schindler's List: Schindler is an insatiable womanizer and drinker. He uses this to his advantage by taking Nazi officers out to bars and getting them drunk while he remains level-headed and able to exploit them. This was Truth in Television, as the real Schindler was noted to have a nearly superhuman tolerance for alcohol.
  • Jack Torrance from The Shining. Tried to stay on the wagon but the haunted hotel kept throwing him parties with ghost booze that worked like the real stuff.
  • Al Funn of Silent Movie is a director whose career crashed and burned after he developed a drinking problem. The movie starts with him cleaned up and trying to restart his career by making the titular movie, though he does fall off the wagon at one point.
  • Norman from A Star Is Born already had alcoholic tendencies, however, as his acting career begins to fail and his wife becomes increasingly popular he takes more to alcohol. He even first meets Esther while drunk and acting out at a benefit. One memorable moment has him ruining her receiving an award by walking up on stage in a drunkard stupor and giving an awkward speech. His alcoholism is a major factor in his famous Suicide by Sea.
  • When the crew of the Enterprise-E meets Zefram Cochrane, inventor of warp drive, in Star Trek: First Contact, they're forced to deal with the fact that he's a womanizing, money-grubbing cynic who is seemingly perpetually drunk. They manage to sober him up long enough to make the test flight, though he's clearly suffering from a major hangover, and he gets plastered again the moment he's back on the ground.
  • The Strange Love of Martha Ivers: Walter can't bear the burden of sending an innocent man to the gallows and the fact that Martha doesn't love him, so he drinks.
  • In Sunset, Michael Alperin is a lush who beats up women when he is drunk.
  • Skid in Swing High, Swing Low. He's okay when he's with Maggie, but once she's gone, he's completely lost in drink.
  • In T2 Trainspotting, a brief appearance by an alchoholic who turns out to be Begbie's dad.
  • Tales of Terror: In "The Black Cat", Montressor is a drunken sot who hasn't worked for 17 years and whose only concern is where the price of his next drink is coming from.
  • Harris in Ten Dead Men is a gambling addict and alcoholic who drinks to forget his gambling losses. This combination of vices means none of the gang think it strange when he drops off the radar for a couple of days.
  • In To Have and Have Not, Walter Brennan plays Eddie, the alcoholic unofficial mate played to Humphrey Bogart's fishing boat captain. He may be a rummy but he's a loyal, (fairly) brave rummy.
  • Trench 11: Berton. He's first pulled from a bar by military police, his Love Interest wishes he didn't drink as much, and he carries a flask with him into the tunnels.
  • The Verdict: Frank Galvin. He frequents the same bar night after night getting drunk, sometimes sleeping in his office. At the start of the film, he's even day-drinking, and his hands shake so badly he has to sip from the shot glass like a dog. A short time later, Galvin trashes his office while hammered, accidentally cutting his eyelid when he smashes his framed law degree. His drinking habits are mentioned in the opposing attorney's research file on him. When discussing a settlement at the archdiocese, they even offer him a glass of wine. Galvin also stashes a bottle of hard liquor in his office desk and a six-pack of beer in the filing cabinet. At the end of the film when he wins the case, he is shown drinking coffee instead, possibly a case of Addiction Displacement.
  • Billy in The War Wagon. Lomax finds drunk under a verandah, and Taw goes to some length to ensure that he can't get anything stronger than cowboy coffee in the lead-up to The Heist. Most of the gang, and especially Lomax, aren't keen on the idea of someone with shaky hands handling nitroglycerine.
  • Major Guy Broughton in What a Carve Up!, who spends most of the movie with a drink in his hand. It's implied that his alcoholism is the reason why he is no longer in the army. When Syd tells him that he is going drink himself to death, Guy's response is a dreamy "What a way to go!"
  • Jane from What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? drinks heavily and is drunk in quite a few scenes. This was brought on due to wanting to relive her life as a child star and due to having to take care of the sister she left wheelchair bound.
  • When A Man Loves A Woman: Alice is an alcoholic. The first half of the movie shows how her husband Michael discovers this, and how she hits rock bottom, while the second half shows her recovery, as well as how it affects their marriage.
  • Detective Ringwald in When Evil Calls. He spends the entire film drunk, climbs out his car clutching a bottle of booze, and is shown eating Chocolate-Frosted Sugar Bombs and whiskey for breakfast.
  • Eddie Valiant from Who Framed Roger Rabbit is a fairly realistic example, played for all the drama it's worth: He turned to drinking some time after his brother was murdered by a toon, who'd dropped a piano on the poor guy. If some of the comments made by minor characters are to be believed, he prefers whiskey.
  • Lawrence comes off as this in The Wolfman (2010). Played pretty straight in the book adaptation of the movie.
  • The World of Kanako: Main protagonist Akikazu drinks a lot, to the point where he completely loses control and beats up whoever he gets his hands on (most notably his family). He's implied to have been a heavy drinker for many years.
  • In Wolves, Gail Timmons is swaying drunk in every scene she's in. She has a pretty strong Freudian Excuse, though; her father killed her mother, then himself, when she and her sister Angel were teenagers.
  • Gary King from The World's End. Everyone else sees how harmful his binge drinking is, although he sees it all as a bit of fun and seems to be in denial. Gary is still in the teenage mindset of alcohol making you an adult. He's stopped drinking by the end of the film.
  • Would You Rather: Conway (John Heard) is a recovered alcoholic — but Affably Evil host Shep Lambrick challenges him to drink a glass of wine for $10,000 — or an entire decanter of top-shelf Scotch in exchange for $50,000. Conway eventually opts for the Scotch.
  • In Written on the Wind, Kyle drinks so much that Mitch points out when he's more or less sober, for once.
  • Wonder Woman (2017): It's not specified if Charlie was a heavy drinker before, if the war made him so, or if he is self-medicating, but he surely is a booze sponge.
  • X-Men Film Series:
    • X-Men: Days of Future Past: The younger Charles Xavier has been a drunk for the past decade by the time Logan meets him.
    • X-Men: Apocalypse: Ms. Maximoff is a heavy drinker because she's holding a glass of what appears to be whiskey in the middle of the day. She also took a sip of alcohol during daytime in The Rogue Cut.


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