The feminine ideal in “The Big Sleep” is, of course, dated now.
So begins the last graph in his op-ed on Lauren Bacall (or something.)
What “feminine ideal” is that?
Even after re-reading his piece, I’m not sure.
This is a film with a sharp, liberated bookstore clerk who has a quickie with Bogart in the storeroom in the middle of the afternoon.
Then there’s the female cab driver, and other game, chummy Hawksian women in other bit parts.
Since Brooks can’t be referring to the childlike nympho/manic-depressive little sister, he must mean Bacall’s character.
But that makes no sense either; Brooks describes her as Bogart’s equal, with “near perfect self-possession.”
Maybe what is “dated” about her character is so obvious to Brooks and his NYT readers that he didn’t feel the need to spell it out. If so, that speaks volumes to the leftist worldview and the mentality of those who possess it.
The comments below the op-ed, meanwhile, approach parody.
One calls The Big Sleep “anti-gay.”
One mentions “the war criminal Cheney.” (I’m honestly not making that up.)
Another commenter thinks she knows what Brooks is on about but I remain unenlightened in spite of her efforts:
Feminine ideal? Is it just you Mr. Brooks or all Republicans who have NO idea what a woman is? We are not a character in a Humphrey Bogart movie slinging sexual innuendoes! Making a man feel like a man!
No we are engineers, doctors, PhDs in economics, microbiology. We are Professor Maryam Mirzakhani who was the first woman to win the Fields Medal in math for her work on complex geometry.
We are women who clean toilets, work in fast food, work ANY minimum wage job to give our children a better life. We give without complaint…we invented civilization and strive to keep our families safe despite men’s stupid wars, jihads, missiles and bombs.
We do NOT need men, even Humphrey Bogart, to make us a complete person. In a time when Republicans want to take away ALL of our rights including fair pair for equal work and bizarrely want to control our bodies in reproductive rights, it would behoove you NOT to refer to us a role in a film.
Do NOT reduce us to a caricature.
Again, I did NOT invent that comment.
Since misery loves company, I invite brave readers to wade through this whatsit, comments and all.
Anyone who knows why someone might believe The Big Sleep to be “anti-gay” is especially welcome to contact me.
UPDATE: Oh, wait, they must mean this scene.
But why is that “gay,” really? Or “anti-gay”? Why not “anti-annoying-pedantic-impatient-snob”?
Two characters in the contemporaneous Laura (1944) — Waldo and Shelby — seem “gay” to modern viewers, but surely weren’t supposed to be, since they’re both in love with the title character.