Monday, August 27, 2007

The Big Sleep

(Movie Review)

Having just finished my first Raymond Chandler novel, I thought I would check out one of the classic movie adaptations of his detective stories.

"The Big Sleep", based on the detective novel of the same name by Raymond Chandler, is one of those old classic movies that everyone knows about but very few people seem to have actually sat down and watched. But take it from me, this movie is definitely worth the rental.

In addition to being based on Chandler's classic hard boiled novel, the movie stars film giants Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall. And the screen play was written by none other than William Faulkner himself (during his Hollywood writing phase).

Not having read the original novel, I'm not sure how much of the screenplay is Faulkner and how much is original Chandler, but the dialogue is crackling with wit. Brilliant one liners are flying around so fast it's difficult to keep track of them all. And Bogart does a great job delivering them as the wise cracking detective.

My only complaint about this movie is it seemed to go one a bit too long for my attention span. But maybe that's my failing instead of the movie's. Like a lot of detective stories, just when you think you have everything all wrapped up, a twist gets thrown in and it turns out the story is only half over.

Still, 60 years later this film can hold its own with any of today's Hollywood blockbusters. If you haven't seen this film yet, check it out. It's one of those classic films that doesn't feel at all like a stuffy classic film when you're watching it.

Link of the Day
According to his site, Tom Tomorrow just put up a couple of his old web cartoons on youtube. I remember watching some of these the summer before I left for Japan. Unlike Tom Tomorrow's biting satire in his weekly cartoons, these are kind of self-indulgent humor in the sense that they will only be funny or convincing to people already on board. I don't think these cartoons will win any converts, but for the Tom Tomorrow fan it's worth checking out.

Also while fooling around on Youtube I came across this video of Tom Tomorrow's presentation at the Yearly Kos 2006 convention, where he explains some of his cartoons. Not a lot of new information here, but interesting to watch.


Whisky Prajer said...

You forgot to add that the movie remains thrilling and worth multiple viewings ... even though the conclusion doesn't make a lick of sense.

Another writerly tidbit: Leigh Brackett worked on the script as well (presumably to rescue it from Faulkner's grand ambitions).

SN said...

nice review, i'll check it out. --b