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Free «“The big sleep” and “Chinatown”» Essay Sample

The big sleep is a film about the rich General Sternwood from who hires a private detective Philip Marlowe in order to follow a blackmailer who was trying to extract money out of him with the nude picture of his daughter Carmen. Marlowe finds himself entangled in another world of deceit, sexual immorality, murder and drug addiction.

Though disappointed and beaten up Marlowe prevails in the end but is left with thoughts about death “The Big Sleep”. Chinatown is also another detective film with plenty of deceptions, corruption and murder. Jake Gittes is a detective hired by Evelyn Mulwray after suspecting that her husband was cheating. Some scenes take place in a small city known as Chinatown Jakes past home which provokes bad memories.

Just like Philip Marlowe Jake Gittes is a man with a masculine character. They are both tough detectives who play heroes in the bid to solve the given cases.

Both men and women in the two films are responsible for the deceits, murder and immorality that are evident in the films.

In both films the feminism of women is well highlighted with tenderness and sensuality. In the big sleep Carmen is seen to portray her feminism side when she first meet detective Marlowe (Erie and David, 2006). In Chinatown Mrs. Evelyn Mulwray is also portrayed in the most feminine way ever.


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The difference in the two films is in the big sleep it’s a man- General Stanwood who authorizes for the investigation while in Chinatown its it a woman- Mrs. Evelyn Mulwray who authorizes for the investigation also the big sleep ends with victory and optimisms unlike china town which ends with sadness and death of one of the main characters (Barsanti, 2010).

Both lenses seem to be significant in analyzing the two films since they are well brought out in each film but the most effective one I would recommend is the Marxism lens. This is because though the women play such big and significant roles in the success of the film the men seem to dominate in both films and play a much higher and important roles beginning from the two main detectives.


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