If we are to believe the credits, this picture has everything: it was produced by Mary Pickford
and Buddy Rogers
(who I keep wanting to call Buddy Guy
, which is so wrong), written by Leo Rosten
(of all people) directed by Douglas Sirk
, and starred Claudette Colbert
, Don Ameche
, Robert Cummings
, and Hazel Brooks
, with a little help from Raymond Burr
, George Coulouris
, and Keye Luke
.Sleep, My Love
is really just Gaslight
with a couple of Jews and a Chinese wedding. You see everything coming for miles and miles, and for 97 minutes no one calls anyone anything cleverer than "four eyes." There's some gunplay, some sensational if improbable sleepwear, and one good long fall from a skylight, but for what? Robert Cummings comforting Colbert with the world's least satisfying, counter-climactic line: "In a little while, you'll be out of this house forever." The End. "Well, I've got a big day tomorrow, so...." Silly movie.
Now about Claudette Colbert. I just don't see what the big fuss is about her. I couldn't care less that she's being gaslighted by Don Ameche in this picture and it would have been just fine with me if she and Joel McCrea
had never got back together in Palm Beach Story
. (Honestly, don't you think he'd have waaaay more fun with the Princess Centimilla?) Her comedy is mannered and self-conscious; her dramatic work is all practiced intensity and zero investment. Yappy lap dog? Probably. Rude to the key grips? Wouldn't be a bit surprised.
I *said* come HITHER.
What I did
get from Sleep, My Love
is a good long gander at Hazel Brooks
. And, wow, I can't remember having ever been so bored by someone so hot.
While I was waiting for Hazel's turn to stop speaking, I trolled the Internet for a little background about her and learned that she was married for quite some time to Cedric Gibbons
-- Art Director of Every Awesome Movie Ever
-- and designer of the Oscar statuette. They married when she was 19 and he was 51 and stayed together until his death. Gibbons had previously been married to Dolores Del Rio
(also dishy and leggy), which surprised me somewhat, because I had just assumed he was gay. Just goes to show that when one assumes...
But the most important takeaway from Sleep, My Love
is that thanks to Raymond Burr playing a bit part as a cop, I can now link Kevin Bacon
to both Mary Pickford and Brak from Space Ghost
in only three degrees. (For those of you playing at home, John Candy is the second link.)