Part 1 - The Big Sleep - The films that have inspired me and influenced my writing

A while ago I was asked to write an article for a website blog on the films that have inspired me. I was to choose five films that have influenced me and my style of writing. There are so many great films to choose from that it is almost impossible to do so so I decided to focus in on one particular era, the 1940s.

Here is my first choice. The other four will follow in subsequent blogs this month. I wondered if they are some of your favourites.

I’m a huge fan of Humphrey Bogart to the extent that I have a poster of him above my desk, and I’m also a great fan of Raymond Chandler. I never tire of reading his Philip Marlowe series so it is rather inevitable that I have chosen two of Marlowe’s classics as my favourite 1940s films.

The Big Sleep (1946)

The Big Sleep is noted for its complexity with characters double-crossing one another and many secrets being exposed throughout the narrative, which is exactly the type of film I love to watch and the novel I enjoy reading. I also like to weave in lots of twists and turns and double crosses in my own crime novels.

Private detective Philip Marlowe is hired by a rich family to find a missing chauffeur or is he? Before the complex case is over, he’s seen murder, blackmail, and what might be love. Directed by Howard Hawks and starring Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall, The Big Sleep is atmospheric, full of innuendos, steamy rain and conservatory scenes and ripping dialogue. It can take a few viewings before understanding all the twists but who’s counting and even if you don’t get the ending it is still a delight to watch.

Let me know your views.


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