Monday, June 15, 2009

The Big Sleep Is Seminal

TCM is currently in the midst of their Month of Great Directors. This has allowed me to watch many great films that I had always wanted to see but hadn't - including Bergman's Wild Strawberries and Persona.

Yesterday was Howard Hawks day, and I was able to see a few of his films I had never seen, including The Big Sleep. Taken from the Raymond Chandler novel, The Big Sleep is THE detective film which most gumshoe/detective/film noir cliches are based on (including The Big Lebowski which played with these archetypes). It stars Humphrey Bogart as private eye Philip Marlowe and Lauren Bacall as the femme fatale.

I won't go into detail, as you must see it to truly understand the genre. It is superb, and Bogart in particular is excellent, wise cracking and outsmarting everyone involved, a character which is repeated throughout film history, from Hud (Hud) to John McClane (Die Hard).

Take a look when you can. For the entire TCM Great Directors listings, go here.