Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Sleep, My Love (1948)


**** out of 5

Though its title seems intended to cash in on the noir classic Murder, My Sweet (1944), it's not really as much a typical noir, as its story is more along the lines films like Hitchcock's thrillers like Rebecca (1940), Suspicion (1941),  or the Peter Godfrey-directed The Two Mrs. Carrolls (1947).  Actually, it's a lot like that last title, substituting the fatal glass of milk for a cup of warm cocoa, and adding a dollop of subliminal hypnosis. One might call this sub-genre of noir the Gaslight genre, after the most well-known example;  they all share in common the central plot element of a wife whose husband is attempting to make her think she's going crazy.
Douglas Sirk directs this tense, moody drama, which stars Claudette Colbert as the innocent wife, Don Ameche as the plotting husband, and Robert Cummings as the new friend who must help save the day.
Typical noir or not, this is great entertainment on a dark night, alone or with a loved one.  Raymond Burr is in a minor role as the policeman who is looking for answers to Claudette Colbert's mysterious nocturnal wanderings.  We'll see him again in another investigator role coming up that is far more unsavory... so stay tuned!

1 comment: