A pretty good film tackling social problems such as addiction (in this case, drinking) without being too exploitative and over-sentimental on the subject. Ray Milland pretty effectively carried the film. And there are a number of effective visuals and symbolism scattered within the film.
Part of the trend that overtook cinema after WWII to hold a mirror up to society, and thus today seems torn between "reality" and the artifice of melodrama and classical cinema. 2015 audiences may snicker at the haunted-house soundtrack or the optimistic ending, but the film still packs an unironic punch in the way the filmmakers feel frighteningly intimate with the details of addiction. Particularly its little lies.
Admittedly dated, the film nevertheless boasts a great performance by Milland and, until the final act, at least, a nonjudgmental view of alcohol and alcoholism. Sloppy resolution (so unlike Wilder) mars the film, but its sly directorial touches to that point (from the theremin score to its nightmarish depictions of being loaded) are some of Wilder's finest visual moments.
"Then there was despair, and a drink to counterbalance despair, and one to counterbalance the counterbalance. [...] Nat, are you ever scared when you wake up? So scared the sweat starts out of you? Do you ever lie in your bed looking at the window? A little daylight's coming through, and you
start wondering: is it getting lighter, is it getting darker?".. "And do you know what Nat said about
the ending? Like this."