Friday, June 07, 2013

The Big Sleep

The Big Sleep is a 1946 Howard Hawks film noir starring Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall, Martha Vickers, Elisha Cook, Jr. and Dorothy Malone. This is based on a Raymond Chandler novel. It's one of the classics, a must-see, and always worth watching.

trailer: closes with this:
The movie exerts a seductive pull because of the way Bogart and Hawks filtered what Agee called their “fellow feeling” for the Chandler milieu through their own barbed, droll personalities. As Agee summed it up, “Even on the chaste screen Hawks manages to get down a good deal of the glamorous tawdriness of big-city low life, discreetly laced with hints of dope addiction, voyeurism, and fornication.”
DVD Talk says,
There are so many things going for it; Bogart's performance, his chemistry with Lauren Bacall, and especially the script & dialogue (by William Faulkner no less). Bogie's scene with Dorothy Malone in the bookstore alone makes the film worthwhile".
Images Journal has an article that includes this: "Romance and an easy, comfortable sexuality are at the heart of The Big Sleep's accomplishment." Senses of Cinema says, "Whether a love story with a murder-mystery backdrop, or vice-versa, The Big Sleep is rich rather than ‘convoluted,’ memorable rather than ‘needing dissection.’" The book 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die includes it. Roger Ebert considered it one of the "great movies" and says, "it is one of the great film noirs, a black-and-white symphony that exactly reproduces Chandler's ability, on the page, to find a tone of voice that keeps its distance, and yet is wry and humorous and cares." TCM has an overview. Rotten Tomatoes has a 96% critics score.

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