The Big Sleep (1946 – DVD)

My, my, my… such a lot of guns around town and so few brains”

Howard Hawks’ ‘The Big Sleep’ is a legendary classic but somehow I’ve totally failed to ever see it… finally time to remedy that situation. The convoluted plot is frankly incomprehensible and the razor-sharp dialogue spills out of the characters mouths so fast your ears can barely keep up.  The dialogue is particularly good in the sizzling scene where Bogart and Bacall are trading sexually suggestive lines about horseracing like “A lot depends on who’s in the saddle”, it’s amazing it got past the censors.

The plot follows Private-Eye Philip Marlowe (Humphrey Bogart) as he is hired to investigate a disappearance involving a rich family including femme fatale Lauren Bacall and somehow he becomes mixed up in a seedy world of pornographers, cops, gangsters and double/triple crosses.  The makers would’ve probably squeezed in a subplot about Nazi-War-Gold if they’d had jus one more foot of film! At the end I had enjoyed the experience but couldn’t really piece it all together in my head.  To fully enjoy ‘The Big Sleep’ I imagine you need to watch and re-watch it until the plot becomes immaterial and you can just wallow in the brooding Noir atmosphere.  This is definitely something I’m planning on doing!

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