Does “The Big Sleep” Prove That Hawks Was Our Greatest Director?

film noir poster 3

I actually don’t think there’s an answer to the above question, though I do love The Big Sleep. In my mind, Sleep is a remarkable movie thanks to the fact that Hawks and screenwriters William Faulkner and Leigh Brackett made it their own. None of this “we have to put the words up there on the big screen”, no, this is a fun, sexy, slightly violent comedy (probably a disappointment to the bloodthirsty patrons lured in by the poster at the top) that is vastly different from Raymond Chandler’s sad, dark, fatalistic hardboiled detective story.

One thing: this movie sure is bookish. Faulkner wrote the script, it takes place in a library and two bookstores (yeah, one sells porn, but at least they’re reading.) And dig this trailer! See what reading’ll get you? A life of intrigue and a sexy book dealer who happens to have a hidden bottle…

THE BIG SLEEP plays tonight at 7:30 at the Heights Theatre. Tickets available at the box office, and Take-Up Productions punch cards are good there as well.

Don’t forget to check out all the movies in our Howard Hawks Series, each Thursday night at 7:30!

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