Re: RARA-AVIS: The Marlowe Paradigm

From: jumblejim (
Date: 04 Dec 2002

> I got The Big Sleep with Bogart and Bacall from Net-
> flix and watched it til it froze up. I'm having a
> lot of problems with DVDs getting slow spots, with
> some of them flat-out refusing to go on. It didn't
> matter much on this one. I just couldn't jack up
> any enthusiasm over The Big Sleep. The most excited
> I got was the intro when they listed Faulkner and
> Brackett for the screenplay. I think maybe I'll
> check out the later version with Robert Mitchum.

Mike, I'm surprised you didn't care for the Bogart BIG SLEEP, but that's the way the cookie crumbles, I guess. However, if you're hoping to have more luck with the Mitchum version, I warn you: Abandon hope, all ye who enter here. I bow to no man in my admiration for Mitchum, and his Marlowe in FAREWELL MY LOVELY is far and away my favorite Marlowe on screen. But the '77 version of THE BIG SLEEP is an unmitigated disaster. It transports Marlowe from Forties L.A. to Seventies London, and is directed in his own inimitable style by the most misnamed director in history, Michael Winner. I suppose every Mitchum fan and every Chandler fan should see it once, but I found it painful.

Jim Beaver

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