As Cool As A Fruitstand

…and maybe as strange. A movie blog.

Watching movies with my dad, pt. 2

Posted by Hedwig on June 25, 2008

This installment: The Big Sleep (Howard Hawks, 1946)

The pitchable element: my dad loves The Maltese Falcon. This also has Bogie as a P.I.

The length: 110 minutes (aka: almost 40 minutes shorter than Duck, You Sucker!

The verdict: I love this film. More so, even, than the first time. It’s not that surprising: like the Coen classic loosely based on it, it’s better appreciated once you stop trying to follow the plot. I still think The Maltese Falcon is a better, more focused film, and ultimately, it has more quotable one-liners, but the banter between Bogie and Bacall is simply staggering. The speed, how they play off each other, the palpable sexual tension… One scene, where Bacall calls the cops and Bogie stops her, wouldn’t be out of place in a screwball comedy, and a good one at that (I’ve embedded the scene after the jump, unfortunately, it’s colored in and with Dutch subtitles, so you’re better off just buying the DVD for 10 euri).

My crush on Bogie is no secret by now, of course. But this one’s truly among his best, and while his pulling on his earlobe incessantly gets a bit old after a while, you never doubt for a second that all these pretty girls would, in fact, come onto him.

I’m still not quite sure about the intricate details of the plot (reportedly, Chandler wasn’t either), but I do know this: it’s fun every step of the way.

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3 Responses to “Watching movies with my dad, pt. 2”

  1. Please tell me you didn’t see that colorized version. Please!

    I love The Big Sleep. It’s a different animal from The Maltese Falcon–less focused, more atmospheric, intentionally hazy in its plot structure and, uh, plot…

    It’s sort of the opposite of The Maltese Falcon, which plays like a steak-and-potatoes dinner that is best appreciated just as you’ve finished consumed it all; The Big Sleep is like a flashy, large and immediately satisfying salad with so many individually-appreciated components that you don’t mind that it may not fully fill you up because it was all just so delicious.

    Bogart is awesome, though, and for some reason he’s one of the people (along with, say, George Washington and Thomas Jefferson) who makes me proud to be an American. That he’s so internationally-beloved is just terrific. He was many things, and among them one of the more underrated actors underneath that amazing, superbly-defined movie star patina of his.

  2. sarcastig said

    Hehe, don’t worry, I have the original, B&W version on DVD. In fact, I think the only colorized DVD I have is My Man Godfrey, and it doesn’t but me so much on that one, somehow. Although it was accidental.

    I also have the color version of The Man Who Wasn’t There, a gift from my mom…but I never watched that copy, just the B&W copy I bought myself.

    I love your succint appreciation of Bogie. He IS one of my favorite, maybe even THE favorite, from that time period, and people forget that aside from having a great presence, he could act, and how. And just yesterday, in a conversation with my brother, I referred to him as “probably the coolest guy ever to walk the planet” (the rest of that conversation “well….”, “come on, who do you offer up for competition?”, “I’m cool, aren’t I?”)

  3. Yep. I dig The Big Sleep. Forget about plot, this baby has character to burn.

    I was a little late in coming to the Bogie bandwagon. I liked Jimmy Stewart and Cary Grant first, but Bogie grew on me as I matured a little bit and I could better appreciate his subtle charms.

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