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Sunday, November 26, 2006

Today in Stranger Suggests

posted by on November 26 at 16:55 PM

The Big Sleep

(MOVIE) During the making of this 1946 movie, legend has it that neither Humphrey Bogart (who plays Raymond Chandler’s hardboiled gumshoe Philip Marlowe), nor director Howard Hawks, nor screenwriter William Faulkner(!), nor Chandler himself, could figure out the complicated plot twists. But in the end, after all the dope, pornography, blackmail, and gunfire, you, the audience, will understand it and more. Here’s all you really need to know anyway: This is the best noir movie ever made. (Grand Illusion, 1403 NE 50th, 523-3935. See Movie Times, p. 84, for details.) JOSH FEIT

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Correction: Forget noir, this is the best movie ever made.

Posted by Ryan | November 26, 2006 6:08 PM

Not to take away from the movie at all (it's one of my absolute favorites) but the book is excellent also. There was a lot in it that was too scandalous - particularly the gay subplot - for a standard movie. Dear Mr. Chandler might be a bit too homophobic for the more sensitive among us, but I love the book anyway.

Just like the the original novel of "The Manchurian Candidate". The mother's character is fleshed out, and despite her evilness - and she's even more evil in the novel - she's kind of funny. Makes some great observations about Americans and American politics, that seem incredibly prescient regarding the situation we find ourselves in today.

Posted by Catalina Vel-DuRay | November 26, 2006 7:02 PM

I've noticed another RYAN on the Slog over the past couple of weeks. I'll be RYAN SR. from now on. But anyway, yeah, the movie sounds neato. (bogie voice) "Frankly my dear, I don't give a damn."

Posted by RYAN SR. | November 26, 2006 7:40 PM

Catalina Vel-Duray,
I went and re-read the novel this week in anticipation of seeing the movie at the Grand Illusion on Saturday night. What a blast.

You're right that the gay sub-plot is more explicit in the book, but I think it's in tact in the movie.

We're accustomed to more straight-forward gay plots these days. But they spoke in code about taboo topics back then (both in real life and in the movies.) So, my guess is: Because 1940s audiences were accustomed to speaking in code (both in real life and in the movies), the original audiences for The Big Sleep were probably wise to Geiger and Lundgren.

Posted by Josh Feit | November 26, 2006 7:41 PM

The "Frankly my dear, I don't give a damn." line is Clark Gable from "Gone with the wind".
Ohhh Picky! Picky!

Posted by Brian | November 26, 2006 7:58 PM

Yes sir, dear Clark Gable - sexiest male star in decades. just wanted to chew on those ears, and so many rumors of giant dick.

The line quoted above is not only famous for its content, we all have used it in some form to sombody - but Gable delivered it perfectly. Perfectly.

Now, back to the giant ears and big dick - pedrfect for a snowy eve. And oh so manly bearing.

Does any other Gable fan like Raging River, a sleeper he made with Monroe. Sexy beyond belief.

Posted by Jack | November 26, 2006 8:12 PM

I see where you are coming from Josh, but I still think the book's gay subplot is interesting, and pretty tame by today's standards.

Marlowe's observation about how "pansies can't fight", and other stuff like that is superficially homophobic, but in my opinion, he doesn't make any real moral judgements about Geiger and Lundgren's relationship, which is interesting in and of itself.

It's just nice to have an experience where both the novel and the film are entertaining. Usually one of the pair disappoints.

Posted by Catalina Vel-DuRay | November 26, 2006 8:18 PM

gable only made one movie with marilyn monroe, his last, 'the misfits'. the one you're thinking of is 'river of no return, with robert mitchum as her co-star. good movie. ;)

Posted by ginger | November 26, 2006 9:28 PM

I went to watch last weeks Bacall/Bogart flick and it was absolutely fantastic. Grand Illusion is a fine establishment...hugs to the owners for keeping it running

Posted by Ilovethegi | November 27, 2006 12:19 AM

It's certainly a quirky film (mostly because of the confusion created by replacing the pansy plot line with nothing at all), and it's very well acted, but does that really make it a great film noir? Dassin's Night and the City, Fuller's Pickup on South Street, or Tourneur's Out of the Past are all darker with more precipitous downward plot trajectories.

Posted by kinaidos | November 27, 2006 9:07 AM

What's to understand, it's "the stuff that dreams are made of."

Posted by BostonBear | November 27, 2006 12:10 PM

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