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Sleep, My Love (1948)
Topic Started: May 28 2017, 09:43 AM (199 Views)
Laughing Gravy
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Sleep, My Love (1948) Dir. Douglas Sirk

A Triangle Production (Ralph Cohn/Mary Pickford/Charles Rogers)
Released by United Artists
97 min. / B&W / 1.37:1
On DVD and Blu-ray from Olive Films

Claudette Colbert wakes up on a train from her native NYC to Boston, with no idea how she got there - or why she shot husband Don Ameche in the arm before she left. She has several more mysterious spells and keeps thinking a man with thick glasses is following her. Everybody believes she's nuts, including cop Raymond Burr, except for her friend Robert Cummings, who doesn't trust Ameche, and no wonder: Donny's secretly taking up with hellaciously slutty Hazel Brooks, and badly wants to be single.

Yeah, Gaslight meets Dial M for Murder meets Suspicion, from the director of Magnificent Obsession.

Not a bad movie, but of course so derivative that what you're going to want to do is turn off your "plot brain" and enjoy the performances, set design, and cinematography (by Josepth Valentine, who did several Hitchcocks). Hazel Brooks was in Body and Soul but I didn't much recognize her, mostly because as she lounges around in her underwear through most of the film it's tough to remember to look up at her face. She's actually a quite horrible character in the film, nobody could imagine that Ameche would prefer HER to Claudette, so I guess you'd have to say the film's miscast. Cummings, an actor I don't think much of, is pretty good here and since for the last stretch of the film he's assisted in solving the mystery by his "brother" Keye Luke(!), we enjoyed calling him "Pop" throughout the last couple reels of the film, and wondered when Mantan Moreland was going to show up. But you know us, we're funny people.

Miss Colbert is wonderful, by the way.

Million-dollar Dialog:
Cop to Claudette: "Some of the nicest people you ever took a gander at suddenly go daffy and make chop suey out of their best friend with a meat axe."

Here's a shout-out to George Coulouris, channeling Boris Karloff as the sinister man in the glasses stalking Claudette; he's wonderfully creepy and scary and the most memorable thing in the picture other than the incredible panoramic shot of the Brooklyn Bridge you see through Claudette and Don's conservatory window.

In the grand scheme of things, no suspense classic but a fun film to watch as one of the minor examples of a lost genre. Nice Blu-ray from Olive, too.
"I'm glad that this question came up, because there are so many ways to answer it that one of them is bound to be right." - Robert Benchley
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panzer the great & terrible
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Mouth Breather
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Yet another movie to raise the question: "Why the HELL is there so much noise about Douglas Sirk?" As far as I can see, he was just another European snob who thought himself too good for Hollywood.
Life is just a bowl of cherries, it's too mysterious, don't take it serious...
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The Batman
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Good to see you back, Mr P! And in full curmudgeon mode! I missed that.

Always be yourself! Unless you can be Batman...then always be Batman!
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Laughing Gravy
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In this particular case, I'd say it's more like Mr. Sirk did an admirable job with rather thin material and a not-too-impressive cast.
"I'm glad that this question came up, because there are so many ways to answer it that one of them is bound to be right." - Robert Benchley
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