She was right, he was huge. Sugar Joe was an Everest of a man, all sinew and scar tissue. His wild hair and broad jaw made him look like a heavyweight boxer who dabbled as a mad scientist. His eyes were dull and made him look stupid, he opened his mouth and confirmed the fact.
"Gen'rel sent you?"
I shook my head and smiled,
"No dice Joe. Shirley sent me."
He took a while to process that,
"That's right. She doesn't want to dance with you anymore."
The way he flexed his knuckles made me shiver,
"It ain't for you t'interfere, gorgeous!" He moved towards me.
My gun was out of my jacket pocked faster than he could spit. Even a man this dim knew to stop dead when faced with a piece this size. Joe was no different.
"Take a seat Joe." I gestured with the gun, "She wants me to put the big sleep on you Joe, she wants me to kill you. You understand? But I don't do that anymore, I've got enough sins on me that one more is something I don't need."
Joe was about to ask what I was going to do, he never finished the question but I could see the question form in his head as clear as if he spoke it himself. There was a knock at the door.
I let the police in and they took him away in handcuffs. I put the gun back in my pocket.
Entry number 4!
Hope you're still having fun.
The Big Sleep (1946)
Now this is the classic film noir.
It shows, the film is a sumptuous piece of cinematic gold of such quality that it stands up today as being a gritty, dangerous and smooth piece of cinema. Much of the smooth element comes from Bogart himself, who is as cool as a cucumber in an ice bath. Unlike Dick Powell's 'rough around the edges' Marlowe, Bogart is almost unbelievably cool. He's too cool for the film and its flawed characters to handle, the character of Marlowe is flawed here but he remains so magnetic that any scene without him is worse off. He appears in the vast majority of the film is every move, every line is delivered in such a classic way that this ens up being one of the easiest films to quote from, it just sounds great.
Lauren Bacall is a furious piece of female here, capable, intelligent and witty. The charisma between her and Bogart is fantastic, the script and the scenes between the two of them are fast, slick and witty with crackling electricity.
The story itself differs in some cases from the far more confusing novel (mainly thanks to the Hayes code again) but the plot in this case is a bit easier to follow. It's still pretty confusing if you're not paying attention as Marlowe finds himself in quite a web of criminal activity. The ending of the film is much more satisfying than the previous noir films I've covered this week because the consequences of the actions during the film are explored a little more rather than the ending coming so abruptly.
This film is a stone cold classic. The quintessential noir film and it's not hard to see why.