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Thursday, March 29, 2012

Sleep My Love (1948)

A wealthy Manhattan socialite (Claudette Colbert) wakes up in a train compartment, with a gun in her purse, in a train headed for Boston. But the last thing she remembers is being in bed in her New York townhouse and she has no idea how she got on the train. Her concerned husband (Don Ameche), sporting a gunshot wound, insists she see a psychiatrist. Yes, another entry in the "husband trying to drive the wife crazy so he can get all her money" movie sweepstakes. Hysteria doesn't sit well on Colbert's shoulders but Ameche makes for a nice unctuous villain. He's a pleasant contrast to the bland Robert Cummings who's in love with Colbert and becomes suspicious of Ameche. A rare thriller from director Douglas Sirk (from Mary Pickford's production company), the film benefits from the excellent art direction and atmospheric shadows and light cinematography by Oscar winner Joseph A. Valentine (Hitchcock's ROPE). It's a middling effort but eminently watchable. Still, some of it is sloppy. For instance, one character can't see a thing without his glasses yet he's shooting a gun and hitting his target without them! With Raymond Burr, Rita Johnson, George Coulouris, Keye Luke, Queenie Smith, Ralph Morgan and Hazel Brooks (BODY AND SOUL).

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