The Big Sleep

Boagart and Bacall sit on a desk

The older it gets, the better 1946’s The Big Sleep looks. When it was new, Howard Hawks’s adaptation of Raymond Chandler’s famously unfathomable story was rooted in reality – the clothes, the cars, the language, the streets of LA. Since then, as it’s become detached from the everyday, it has risen unimpeded into the mythic. The opening scene sets the tone. A detective, Philip Marlowe, arriving at the mansion of General Sternwood (Charles Waldron), where the sick old man lives in an orchid house, staying alive on the heat, while his daughters run wild with his money. One of them, the general informs Marlowe, has got into some trouble. Can Marlowe fix it? That’s … Read more