when absinthe was scary!
One of the first films in which Absinthe is the master is a 1914 film "Absinthe" with actor King Baggot and directed by Herbert Brenon. The lead actor is a frequent Absinthe drinker, his alcohol problems lead him to commit criminal acts during the development of the film. It is the story of an alcoholic's downward spiral that precedes films such as LOST WEEKEND of 1945 (also here there is a reference to absinthe) and LEAVING LAS VEGAS.
In the film he plays Jean Dumas, a Parisian artist who is introduced to absinthe by his materialistic mistress, who also convinces him to burglarize his wealthy parents' house. Jean is discovered and disowned by his parents, then marries one of their maids (played by Leah Baird), who is disgusted by his poverty and leaves him for a richer man. Jean, suffering from drug-induced hallucinations, ends up turning to robbery for a livelihood and joins a band of Apaches. One night, disguised as a taxi driver, he attempts to rob a passenger who turns out to be his wife. He leads her through Paris to the forest, where he strangles her and leaves her for dead. The next morning he returns to his parents' house, where his father hands him a gun and drives him away. Out on the streets, Jean is last seen as a broken man, chased away and ridiculed by the town urchins. He is last seen following a company of soldiers, trailing his gun behind them.
To prepare for the role, Baggot spent a week in Paris observing the habits of absinthe drinkers. He paid special attention to how the drink was prepared
ABSINTHE opened its doors to large audiences and was one of Universal's biggest hits of 1914. ABSINTHE was said to be so shocking to audiences at the time that on January 24, 1914, the Chicago Board of Censors revoked the film's license. That didn't stop Salt Lake City's Rex Theater from showing the film continuously (on a loop) 109 years ago. The theater even ran a special ad for the film in the local newspaper!
LOST WEEKEND of 1945 is one of the first Oscar-winning films that made reference to absinthe, where the protagonist is an alcoholic writer who during a scene asks to be able to drink absinthe to try to overcome his addiction to alcohol. This film won four Academy Awards, including Best Picture. Watch the full movie at this link:
Absinthe is an alcoholic beverage with a strong aroma and bitter taste, made from herbs and spices. It has been used as a medicinal remedy since the Middle Ages, but has also become popular as an alcoholic beverage. Over the centuries, absinthe has been frequently depicted in art and literature, and has also played an important role in the history of cinema
It has also been mentioned in several other films, such as 1972's "Cabaret," where it is shown as a popular drink among the film's characters, and in "Moulin Rouge!" from 2001, where it is drunk by the main characters during parties and disco nights.
Many other films have talked about it, on the other hand absinthe has been a recurring element in many successful films over the years, often associated with the image of the bohemian, decadence and wild nightlife. While not as popular as it once was, absinthe remains a symbolic drink in the history of cinema.
We hope that some of the modern directors will soon fall in love with absinthe and dedicate a new film to this fantastic distillate!!