The Art of Reinvention: Paul Thomas Anderson & His Influences – THE BIG SLEEP on 35mm

The Big Sleep 2

One of the key noirs of the 1940s, THE BIG SLEEP features several legends of the American page and screen—Lauren Bacall, Humphrey Bogart, Howard Hawks, Raymond Chandler, William Faulkner, and Leigh Brackett—collaborating on a messy masterpiece that, fittingly, lacks traditional narrative logic but more than makes up for it with dripping atmosphere and fine performances. Bogart stars as private detective Philip Marlowe, hired by an elderly tycoon to ostensibly track down a man blackmailing his daughter, who has gotten into some gambling trouble. The enigmatic, sharp-talking Vivian Rutledge (Bacall)—the tycoon’s elder daughter—warns Marlowe to more nefarious things at play, and as he chances upon increasingly shady dealings, the two get closer while the treachery multiplies at a gallop. (114 mins.)

Screening on Thursday is the 1945 pre-release version, Hawks’ preferred cut. Screening on Sunday is the 1946 wide-release version, which Roger Ebert has called “a case where ‘studio interference’ was exactly the right thing.”


THE BIG SLEEP screens Thursday, September 3 at 7pm and Sunday, September 6 at 7pm in our Whitsell Auditorium (located in the Portland Art Museum). The film is showing as part of our The Art of Reinvention: Paul Thomas Anderson & His Influences series.

Tickets are available online or at the door.

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