The Big Sleep (BFI Film Classics) (Paperback)

The Big Sleep (BFI Film Classics) By David Thomson Cover Image
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The Big Sleep: Marlowe and Vivian practising kissing; General Sternwood shivering in a hothouse full of orchids; a screenplay, co-written by Faulkner, famously mysterious and difficult to solve. Released in 1946, Howard Hawks' adaptation of Raymond Chandler reunited Bogart and Bacall and gave them two of their most famous roles. The mercurial but ever-manipulative Hawks dredged humour and happiness out of film noir. 'Give him a story about more murders than anyone can keep up with, or explain, ' David Thomson writes in his compelling study of the film, 'and somehow he made a paradise.'

When it was first shown to a military audience The Big Sleep was coldly received. So, as Thomson reveals, Hawks shot extra scenes, 'fun' scenes, to replace one in which the film's murders had been explained, and in so doing left the plot unresolved. Thomson argues that, if this was accidental, it also signalled a change in the nature of Hollywood cinema: 'The Big Sleep inaugurates a post-modern, camp, satirical view of movies being about other movies that extends to the New Wave and Pulp Fiction.'

About the Author

David Thomson is a film critic and historian based in the United States. He is the author of books including The New Biographical Dictionary of Film (6th edition, 2014), and a regular contributor to The New York Times, The New Republic, Movieline, Film Comment and Salon.

Product Details
ISBN: 9781839021596
ISBN-10: 1839021594
Publisher: British Film Institute
Publication Date: November 12th, 2020
Pages: 80
Language: English
Series: BFI Film Classics