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500 Five-Star: The Big Sleep (1946)

March 1, 2012


I watched The Big Sleep at the wrong time.  I was tired, I was stressed, and I should have realised that a two hour film based on a Raymond Chandler crime novel was never really going to suit the evening.  I should have just watched 13 Going On 30, and saved it for another day…but alas, I didn’t.  And now I have to write about a classic film, knowing that I didn’t give it the attention it deserved, and knowing the fact that I was therefore underwhelmed by it is not going to go down well with anybody.

Did I mention that I also don’t like Lauren Bacall?  Don’t know why; I just never have.  I do love Humphrey Bogart though, so at least The Big Sleep had that going for it.  It had some pretty nifty dialogue too, and I can tell that, had I paid proper attention, I would probably have quite enjoyed trying to figure out the very complex plotting (thankfully, a little research tells me that even those in a totally wide awake and alert state aren’t always certain what the hell is going on in this film, so at least I don’t have to feel quite as guilty about my totally clueless state throughout).  The problem with confusing plots like that of the The Big Sleep’s, of course, is that it becomes a film you can’t really pull yourself into.  You have to be ready for it from the very beginning, and if you aren’t, then you’re screwed.  And I wasn’t ready.  Darn it.



I’m sure it’s very, very brilliant (and this certainty accounts for one of my stars here), but sometimes mood and energy levels have a part to play in a person’s enjoyment of something, and sadly that was the case here.  I’m therefore very sorry to have to disagree with Empire on this one.


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