Tuesday, March 19, 2013

The Big Sleep (1978)

Director: Michael Winner

Starring: Robert Mitchum, Sarah Miles, Richard Boone, Candy Clark, Joan Collins, Edward Fox, John Mills, James Stewart, Oliver Reed, Harry Andrews, Colin Blakely, Richard Todd, Diana Quick, James Donald

More info: IMDb

Tagline: Some days business is good - and some days it's murder!

Plot: Set in England, rather than California, the story follows Raymond Chandler's book fairly closely otherwise. Philip Marlowe is asked by the elderly (and near death) General Sternwood to investigate an attempt at blackmail on one of his daughters. He soon finds that the attempt is half hearted at best and seems to be more connected with the disappearance of the other daughter's husband, Rusty Regan. Rusty's wife, seems unconcerned with his disappearance, further complicating the mystery. Only General Sternwood seems concerned as mobsters and hired killers continue to appear in the path of the investigation.

My rating: 5/10

Will I watch it again? Of course not.

Woof.  I don't know if it was Mitchum who looked too old for the role and too tired or if it was the convoluted plot with a lot of flashback, "let me tell you what happened" moments, or the "are you mentally ill" performance of Candy Clark, or the lackluster score by Jerry Fielding (and I usually dig the shit out of this guy), or setting the film in and around London instead of L.A., or having a very large cast of who's who in British (and American) actors or what but this version doesn't work.  I did get a little bored but it was mostly that I didn't care about anyone or anything.  It's appropriately titled.

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