I know it is hard to believe but, I have never seen a Humphrey Bogart movie all the way through. Yeah, me – the guy who has rated and/or reviewed over 3,000 movies – the same guy that LOVES old black and whites… never has seen a Bogey film all the way through. Sure, I have caught bits and pieces of all the greats, just never finished one. That drought ended recently. Working on the laptop after the kids are put to bed, I can put on a movie and over the course of a few nights finish it.
The Big Sleep (1946) is one of only two Bogey/Bacall pairings and it was a lot of fun. Bogey is smooth as silk as private detective, Philip Marlowe and Bacall is cool as a cucumber as Vivian Rutledge. As film noir goes, The Big Sleep is one of those films that defines the genre. It is easy to see why Bogart became such a hit – he was a man’s man and a ladie’s man at the same time. It is also easy to see why so many private detective characters since seem nothing more than homage or outright thievery.
The script is smart, the direction is intentional and together it makes for good storytelling. Good stuff.
RATING 7 out of 10