December 25, 2008
Watching The Big Sleep in a hotel in Midtown Manhattan, and it is glorious. Lauren Bacall is as cool as blue flame, but it’s hard to beat watching Bogart with Dorothy Malone. Even bookstore clerks are wise! In a way this is a key to film noir — what passes as toughness is really a monumentous and universally held contempt for the slightest stupidity.
“I’ve got a Balinese dancing girl tattooed across my chest, and I’d better take her home.” It’s enough to make you want to write pastiches of pastiche, like the Coen Brothers squared.