The Big Sleep (1946 version)

Directed by Howard Hawks, written by William Faulkner, Leigh Brackett & Jules Furthman (screenplay), Raymond Chandler (novel)

OK, this one’s different. It’s got great beats, gorgeous women (all over the place), procedural crime, Humphrey Bogart, and it’s one of the most damned-complicated plots seen in movies and has a large list of characters. Seriously, you better be right up on top of you’re game if you want to catch this one the first time through. I had a rough time following but think I got (most of) it.

The dialogue is fantastic, with sharp wit and banter all film long. There seems to be two ways to watch this. Let go, and let it wash over you, or bite down and hang on like a terrier to figure out the convoluted plot. The experience makes me want to rate a 4+, but instinct says a second watch will clear up some of the fuzz and allow a smoother ride through a crazy, dark film.

5- (4+) stars


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