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My Name Is Bill W.

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Cast
James Woods, JoBeth Williams, James Garner, Gary Sinise
Released
1989
Bill Wilson | Bob Smith | William Duncan Silkworth | ethyl alcohol
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Blog entry

Housekeeper Lizzie tells former stock broker Bill Wilson's wife Lo, referring to physician Robert Holbrook Smith, “Since Anne died he just doesn’t care.” (0:00)

Bill tells Dr. Bob, “We just don’t drink.”
Bob: “Keep it simple. None of that Freudian stuff, right?”
Bill: “One day at a time.” (0:02)

Lo: “Bill Wilson, one day you can stand up at an AA convention and mesmerize thousands...” (0:04)

Lo cries as she tells Bill, “I lost the baby three months into the pregnancy.” (0:06)

His friend Ebby tells Bill, “You’re crazy to turn down a job at Thomas Edison.” (0:07)

Bill tells Lo, “I got drunk a little.” Minimizing? (0:14)

Lo’s father Dr. Burnham tells the others, “I have patients to see in the morning.”
He tells Lo about a doctor who “specializes in drinking problems.” (0:22)

Dr. William Silkworth asks Bill, “Made any efforts to quit?”
”Ever have any memory loss, lapses?” (0:23)

Bill into telephone: “I know everybody’s going crazy.” (0:24)

Lo asks Bill, “Did he prescribe any medication?”
Bill: “He says I should cut down, stop drinking for awhile.” (0:25)

By telephone Ebby tells Lo, referring to Bill, “He looked as crazy as everyone else around here, but he’s gone now.” (0:32)

Bill drunk. (0:33)

Dr. Burnham gives Bill an injection: “This will quiet him down.” (0:37)

Lo’s boss Guy tells her, “And you go home every night to a drunk.”
”Does he ever sober up?”
Lo: ”He’s sober now.” (0:38)

Bill struggles against restraints in a hospital bed. (0:40)

Dr. Silkworth tells Lo, referring to Bill, “He’s in the early stages of delirium tremens, the shakes.”
”Excessive drinking is a disease, an allergic addiction. It’s got nothing to do with a lack of willpower or moral fiber.”
”You’re going to have to... lock him up someplace if he’s to remain sane or even alive.” (0:41)

Bill tells Lo, “I keep promising myself... going on the wagon... but the guilt and depression... I know it sounds insane, Lois, but in spite of all this, what I want right now more than anything else, is another drink.” (0:45)

Sign: “ELMWOOD SANITARIUM” (0:47)

Lo asks Ebby, “How long have you been sober?” (0:47)

Administrator Jeremy shows Lo and Ebby through the facility, past a man struggling in a straight jacket. Jeremy: “Alcoholics, they imagine, see things. Dr. Silkworth tells me that your husband has been drunk this time for more than three months.”
”Now the admitting office will answer your questions about the legal procedures for committing your husband.” (0:48)

Ebby turns down a drink offered by drunk Bill: “It’s the only way to stay sober Bill.”
”I hit bottom.”
”It’s called the Oxford group. We have meetings. We try to be absolutely honest with ourselves... It keeps me sober.”
”It all begins by admitting that there’s a power... greater than ourselves.” (0:51)

Bill holds a brochure: “ELMWOOD SANITARIUM” (0:55)

Bill tells Lo, “It’s the crazy man you think you’re going to put away in some sanitarium.”
Lo: “I’m... the wife of a helpless, hopeless, drunken sot, a selfish sick alcoholic who has kept me imprisoned in this dismal sanitarium...”
Bill: “I’m not crazy.” (0:56)

Drunk, Bill run’s into a tree, suffering a head injury. (0:57)

Bill struggles against restraints in a hospital bed. (0:58)

Dr. Silkworth visits Bill in the sanitarium. Bill: “I had this terrible fear... that I was going out of my mind... Dr. Silkworth, tell me this is not another hallucination...” (1:00)

Sign: “TOWNS HOSPITAL” (1:02)

Bill tells Lo, “I think this one’s serious about not drinking.”
Ebby pounds on the door.
“That new guy’s going berserk in the kitchen.”
Lo: “Go to your fool drunks.” (1:03)

Lo tells Frank, “He goes down to Bellevue or the Bowery and finds drunks and tries to help them out.”
”Unfortunately, not one of them has remained sober, except Bill... he’s getting pretty depressed about the whole thing.”
Frank: “How long’s he sober now?”
Lo: “For years I prayed that he would get sober...” (1:04)

Bill tells Lo, referring to the men he has tried to help, “They’re all still drunk...”
Lo: “That you can stay sober.”
Bill: “Get sober. What’s sober? All I proved is I’m still a drunk that doesn’t drink.”
”You’re just afraid that I’m going to get drunk again, aren’t you?” (1:06)

By telephone Bill tells Reverend Holland, “I’m a stranger in town, a drunk, an alcoholic. I need to talk to another drunk... I’m not drunk. I said I have to talk to another drunk.” (1:11)

By telephone Bill asks Rev. Tunks, “And the name of the man I’m going to meet again is Robert Smith? Dr. Robert Smith.” (1:12)

Bill introduces himself to Dr. Bob: “Wilson, Bill Wilson...”
Bob: “The best have tried their wares on me, medical men, psychiatrists...”
Bill: “I didn’t come here to help you. I came here to help me.” (1:12)

Bob tells Bill, “And on that particular occasion I was so hung over I turned in three empty exam books.”
”Once I was on the wagon for two years but I always came back to it.”
”You mean two drunks helping each other?”
Bill: “Staying off the booze?” (1:14)

Lo reads to Ebby a letter from Bill about “when I was trying to shove religion down the throats of those poor confused and unwilling drunks.” (1:16)

Bob tells Bill, “It... never occurred to me to help others as a way staying off the stuff myself.”
”Shared your booze experience, no preaching.”
Bill: ”That makes you realize that drunks care for each other. Drunk or sober.”
Bob: “Buddies on the stormy sea of booze.”
Bill: “We’ve got to promise them they can be anonymous.”
Bob: “Every drunk we help should feel like you and I do...“ (1:17)

Bob tells nurse Meg he has been “Sober.”
Meg, referring to patient Dodson: ”He’s vicious when he’s drunk.” (1:18)

Bob tells Dodson, “I’m a doctor who’s also a drunk.”
Bill: “We’re both drunks.”
Bob: “Alcoholics.”
Bill: “Would you like to get off it...? Walk out of here, stay dry the rest of your life...”
Dodson: “How long have you been dry?”
Bill: “We’re just drunks, like you.” (1:19)

Bill: “Ebby, you’re drunk.”
”Hell, you’re the one who got me sober.” (1:22)

Bill tells Lo, “I’m nuts to louse it up.”
Lo: “Now that you’re sober, why do we seem to be drawing so much further apart?”
Bill: “I used to think, being a drunk, that one day I’d just quit... What I know now is that I’ll never be rid of it... not drinking is the most important thing in my life.”
”In my case I have to be with other drunks.” (1:23)

AA meeting: member Artie, “You’ve gotta be right, Bill, I mean about this one day at a time stuff.”
Member Mike: “She might want me back, being sober and all. Trouble is one look at my mother-in-law and I’ll be drunk again.”
Member Charlie: “I have to believe that if Bill here can stay sober, then any of us can.”
Bill: “If what Dr. Bob and I found can work for this drunk, it can probably work for anybody. By the way, Dr. Bob tells me that the group meetings in Akron and Cleveland are just getting bigger and bigger every day...”
Member Hank: “Some drunks get awfully cheap when they sober up.”
Bill holds a book entitled “Alcoholics Anonymous.” He says, “You’ll be happy to know that the book I wrote with a lot of help from all of you about our AA experience, how it works...”
”Thanks for keeping me sober one more day.”
Hank: “Bring a drunk with you.” (1:26)

Lo asks Bill, “Are you saying that I wanted you drunk all those years?”
Bill: “But I was a drunk.”
Lo: “You are saying that I wanted you drunk?... Maybe I should start drinking, then at least I get the same consideration you give your alcoholic friends.”
”You being sober is what I always prayed for...” (1:29)

Dr. Bob holds a copy of the Saturday Evening Post with “Alcoholics Anonymous” on the cover. Bob tells Bill, “This story is... carrying the AA message to so many people.”
”You and I know from hard experience that the alcoholic has no tolerance for the limelight. That’s why we keep harping on anonymity. Not just to protect the drunk... but maybe to keep our darn fool egos under control...” (1:30)

Bob tells Bill, “Always keep it simple.”
Bill: “One day at a time.” (1:31)

Sign in front of church: “AA MEETING HERE TONIGHT”
Zack tells Lo and Bill, “Welcome to our AA group.”
”In that case after a moment of silence we’ll close with the Serenity Prayer.” The members recite the prayer, then in unison, “Keep coming back. It works.”
Bill tells new member Fred, “... after I got sober I got so much more back...” (1:32)