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SLEEP, MY LOVE

       

For Hicksflicks.com, Oct. 10, 2014

The neglected Douglas Sirk thriller "Sleep, My Love" (1948, b/w) begins on an unsettling note as Claudette Colbert awakens on a train and can't remember how she got there or where she's going.

From there we learn that her husband (Don Ameche) is setting her up, hoping to drive her to suicide so he can run off with his mistress and Colbert's money.

But wait a minute. Don Ameche? Douglas Sirk?

Ameche was known for his dapper nice-guy roles, ultimately winning an Oscar in 1985 for his scene-stealing (and breakdancing) role in "Cocoon." And Sirk is better remembered for his glossy soap operas bathed in pastel colors, such as "Magnificent Obsession" (1954) and "All That Heaven Allows" (1955).

         

        Don Ameche and Claudette Colbert, 'Sleep, My Love'

But things come together quite well for "Sleep, My Love," a moody black-and-white thriller with off-kilter expressionistic cinematography and a stylish use of shadow and light in the established film noir manner.

Let's be honest here, though. Mostly, this is just warmed-over "Gaslight."

But the players are up for it, Sirk puts things out there in a matter-of-fact way and there are enough chilly vignettes to keep you on the edge of your seat.

          

Robert Cummings is the man who figures things out in time to save Colbert, and others in the cast include Raymond Burr. George Coulouris, Queenie Smith, Ralph Morgan, Keye Luke and Hazel Brooks.

This new DVD and Blu-ray release by Olive Films marks the homevideo debut for "Sleep, My Love."