Friday, August 2, 2013
THE BIG SLEEP
And this movie also showcases the Bacall I fell in loved with as a kid (not the older one I met decades later) and the Bogie, and it also includes a terrific scene between Bogie and Dorothy Malone. And a couple of inimitable scenes with the great Elijah Cook. Co-written with William Faulkner from a Raymond Chandler story, I think it may be Faulkner's only actual screen credit, though he contributed to other films I believe.
Just watching the first fifteen minutes of the flick the dialogue was so quick and witty and perceptive and intelligent I was thinking it may be the best first fifteen minutes of any film, but then I thought of several others. It's still up there near the top. The old complaint is that the screenplay, with three writers getting credit and even more supposedly contributing, was so confusing Bogie and director Howard Hawks argued over what the plot actually was.
But besides seeming like a few movies in one (two extra scenes were added post production between Bogie and Bacall because they were hot and the studio wanted more steam between them (one office scene and one restaurant/bar scene that do seem a bit gratuitous but well worth it)) I always found it not that difficult to follow. But maybe that's because I've seen it now so many times it's more like an old favorite song you listen to repeatedly than movie event. If you get the chance check or re-check it out.