Monday, July 11, 2011
THE BIG SLEEP (1946)
I really enjoyed posting two straight weeks of blogs on Hollywood films from the 1930's, and so for the 1940's I'm going to up the ante and try for three weeks worth. Looking at titles I have left from the 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die book, this shouldn't be a problem. As before, I’ll list my expectations for each film going in and state whether these expectations are reached or not. And I’ll once again give each film my Elisha Cook Jr. supporting player award because there was such a bounty of great supporting performers from this period and I just like doing it.
The Big Sleep (1946)
Expectations: I’ve read the Raymond Chandler book. I’ve seen the film, but it has been many years.
After Viewing: Following shamus Humphrey Bogart as Phillip Marlowe around is not for the faint of heart if keeping up with every aspect of the plot is important to you. I say just try to keep up and don’t worry about unresolved plot points. Did she know that guy? Who killed the chauffer? What was their relationship? I don't really know, so just light up a smoke and pour yourself a brandy (even if you have to indulge your vices by proxy) and enjoy the ride.
And the Elisha Cook Jr. supporting player award goes to… (ta da!) Elisha Cook Jr.! I feel guilty about not giving Elisha Cook Jr. his own award for The Maltese Falcon, so I’ll give it to him here. Elisha doesn’t show up to the second half of the film, and I don’t think I’m giving any plot point away to say he doesn’t make it to the end. In fact, I’m not sure if Elisha Cook Jr. made it to the end of any film he was in. I think it would be interesting to find out the percentage of his screen appearances he survives until the end credits, but I’ll leave that research for someone else.