Add a Review

  • Richard Egan and Julie London are so realistic together, and Arthur O'Connell merely devastating in this excellent depiction of the struggles of an American alcoholic. The pressures are realistically depicted, and the struggles vividly felt. The excellent performances never hit a false note. I give it 9 out of 10.
  • My father used to take me to a third-run theater on Saturday afternoons. We'd see what then was considered action fare for boys. Well, on the lower half of the bill with some Technicolor undersea drama, on came this dark, black and white movie. I wanted to stay but my father said it was too frown-up for me. I hadn't seen it since then! And, it was worth the wait. This is an excellent movie. It's very dark indeed: Though "The Lost Weekend" is a superb movie -- technically far superior to this -- "A Voice In The Mirror is harder-hitting.

    We really believe that Richard Egan is an alcoholic. I have friends who are alcoholics and they still act just as this character did almost 50 years ago: They lie, throw pity parties, steal.

    I love the exchange between Egan and acerbic family doctor Walter Matthau. Egan says he has needed to drink since his wife (the gorgeous Julie London) and he lost their young daughter. Matthau tells him he's been using that excuse for too long. "One of these days," he says, "you would have broken a shoelace and that would have set you off if Laura's death hadn't." It's an illness. It's a terrible illness, frightening to everyone concerned. Matthau sees through the poor-me story, though, which is what people need.

    My point is not to preach. I am no expert. But this movie (now preserved in letterbox) is undeservedly obscure. It's a fine work on its own. And, I will be forever grateful to it for introducing me at a very tender age to the world of film noir.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Saw this movie in 1995 for the first time. I was actually only a few weeks sober. I never drank again. Not because of the movie but because it encouraged me to learn about the history of AA. Sure the movie was a bit cheesy is parts, but that is okay. I love movies. What a cast. Richard Egan, Julie London, Troy Donahue, Walter Matthau, Ann Doran, Arthur O'Conell.

    I don't rate movies on how well they are made. Did the movie do it's job. If it did, I think it is a good movie. That's it. I obtained a copy via Ebay years ago. Everyone that has seen it has been very moved. It gets to the heart of AA. Dr Bob and Bill W figured it out. One alcoholic working with another. This is the heart of this movie.
  • It's rather curious that this film is not as famous as it deserves to be. It is a very well made film with outstanding performances by Richard Egan, Julie London, Arthur O'Connell and Walter Matthau. The Henry Mancini score is also noteworthy. I also appreciated that the main focus of the film was finding a solution to the problem of alcoholism. Richard Egan gives one of the best perfomances of his career. I just read in the AFI page that Universal International reissued the film in 1958 with the hopes that Mr. Egan would get an Oscar nonimation for his role. He certainly deserved one for this.
  • This is realism at its best. Billy Wilder's "The Lost Weekend" with Ray Milland starring in practically the same story was also quite excellent and rewarded with an Oscar for its staggering sincerity, but this is more convincing. There are no stars here,. unless Julie London can be reckoned as such, who makes a performance that lights up the whole film in all its hopeless gloom of darkness - most scenes are nocturnal - but all the other characters are like picked up directly from the gutter and drunk tank and perform the better for not being stars. The story takes quite a few very upsetting turns, but also takes some surprising turns for the better, hope is always there, although it looks thoroughly hopeless from the beginning and for some while, until Jim meets a fellow drunk who is worse off than himself, and they find something together that somehow seems to work some miracle. Additional weight and impressing quality is added to the film by Henry Mancini's music, which always works miracles to any film. To cut short all the praises and qualities, this is a film that should be seen by everyone, for learning something about real life in the gutter.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Waking up in the drunk tank, a first time for everything Richard Egan tells someone after they are taken out to be processed for release. Egan was a successful commercial artist brought about to drunkenness allegedly through his daughter Laura's illness and subsequent death. You'd think that the mother (Julie London) would go through that depression, but it's obvious that she's been distracted by her own grief through being forced to take care of her husband she deeply loves.

    Walter Matthau, not yet a big star, is really good as the family doctor who gives Egan the drinking equals death speech then harshly warns him that he's on his way to an insane asylum it he doesn't stop. Egan resents being sent to rehab, insisting that he can quit, but London knows it isn't true. It's obvious that Egan is protesting too much, talking realistically from the brain, but the from the heart is where it becomes really doubtful.

    Having discovered Richard Egan in my teens with viewings of such classic movies as "A Summer Place" and "Pollyanna" as well as the TV soap "Capitol", I found him to be quite an underrated actor who really could reach deep into his character's deep emotions, and here, he's pitiful, vulnerable, loving and deeply sad. Some of his toots are so realistically portrayed that his hallucinations seem far too realistic.

    The look on his face when he spies a bottle of whiskey at his first day on a new assignment shows the self hatred, desperation and weakness of a man who really wants to quit but outside being put on an island where no alcoholic ingredients grow, there's no seeming cure, that is until he finds more than just a lost weekend and hits a bottom from where the rise back up seems impossible.

    This film is filled with memorable supporting performances, some nothing more than cameos. Egan gets a glimpse of what he could become when he meets the desperate Arthur O'Connell, looking so desperately at the shot being poured in front of him like it's going to be the last drink he ever has. In just a short scene, the legendary character actor of stage and screen describes that false power that has fooled many yet cured none.

    Roy Glenn (whom I confused for Brock Peters) is that sign of God so quickly as the janitor who offers to pray with Egan when he looks up in reverence at a portrait of Jesus when he walks into the hospital chapel. These moments really speak volumes about how the saddest of drunks feel that they are alone when they are never alone. A young Troy Donahue shares a scene with his future "A Summer Place" costar as a very young alcoholic Egan and O'Connell attempt to mentor.

    What makes this work is the fact that in spite of covering a subject that has been covered a lot of ways, it really shows how filled with hope Egan is at one moment where he realizes that he could fall back at any minute, and that's the first sign to being cured. The spiritual methods he finds to try to cure his addiction are only just one step, and the love and toughness he finds with his wife and doctor are just the tip of the iceberg evidenced by a scene between London and Matthau where he indicates that he despises the roughness of his methods but has no choice. This is a film with many twists and philosophies, and while some viewers may find it a bit preachy, I found it tender and respectful, showing forgiveness as well as atonement.
  • ulicknormanowen3 December 2020
    Coming after "lost weekend" and "I'll Cry tomorrow" in which Ray Milland and Susan Hayward faced the demonss of alcoholism , "voice in the mirror suffered accordingly ;it screenplay is loose ,lacks focus .

    But it's saved by Richard Egan whose performance is in the same league as the above- mentioned actors ;his voice in the mirror tells him he won't get away alone.So he draws closer to people who shares the same problem ,(including an unexpected Troy Donahue) ;alone ,you're helpless, in a group like you can talk to people who will comprehend you.There's also the turn to God ,in real life ,the principal was a religious man .
  • i saw this film before i got sober, remembered it & got another chance to see it after i got sober; i recall distinctly Richard Egan, after slipping into alcoholic despair again miraculously sobering up, seemingly instantly cured of drink & sober -- even after having drank! The director, Harry Keller, is the hack Universal's producers gave "Touch of Evil" to after they threw Orson Welles off the project; anyway, "Voice in the Mirror" just doesn't smack of real, coming across as if Nancy Davis Reagan had directed -- "Just say 'No'"; it is NOT how AA began, only a gussied-up version, the way Hollywood does things; i don't think it was made to help people, for drunks to get sober; it was made to make money in 1958, and must have given people odd ideas about AA & alcoholism; today, it is rarely screened & rightly so being a very mediocre oddity, solely for the curious -- i'd like to waste another coupla hours seeing it again.
  • This is a look back at a big problem for the past generation and future generations. This particular story takes place in 1958, with Richard Egan,(Jim Burton) who gradually started drinking and over the years his metabolism went nuts and he hit rock bottom. However, his wife Julie London,(Ellen Burton), loved Jim very much and was patient with him up until a point in their marriage. Unfortunately, everyone suffers when there is a boozer in the family and the only solution is that the victim seeks help on his own and then goes to a Higher Power and gets into a 12 step program. This is basically what this film is about, except the fact that anyone can play the role that Richard Egan played in this picture by just trying to drink himself to death and hurting everyone else around him or her and especially the children growing up, Please stop.