Friday, October 02, 2009

"I'd rather get wet in here"

I recently spent a summer evening sitting on my in-laws' porch browsing through a huge tome on one of my favorite loves: whiskey. While sipping on a glass of George Dickel and perusing the wonders of the water of life I came across a wonderful passage in the bourbon section where the author (whose name I am unfortunately unable to recall) talks about his favorite film scene. It just so happens I share the author's enthusiasm for this scene, one of the all-time great moments in America cinema, from what is perhaps my favorite film of all times: Howard Hawk's The Big Sleep. Since I can think of few things more enjoyable on a Friday morning than sipping my dark roast coffee and reminisce about a favorite Bogart film, I thought I'd write a few words on said scene.

Phillip Marlow, played by Bogey, is tailing a suspect who runs a used bookstore as a front for his crime operation. Bogey goes across the street to another bookstore and decides to wait for the guy to show up. While there he strikes up a conversation with the gorgeous proprietor of the store (played by the luminous Dorothy Malone). It starts pouring rain, the two of them are alone in the store. Bogey stands by the window, looking at the rain falling outside, and says: "You know, I have a bottle of pretty good rye in my pocket. I'd rather get wet in here." She closes the store, busts out a couple of paper cups and they share some of Americas finest. A pretty girl, a dark, rainy evening in California, a bottle of good bourbon. What more could a man ask from life?

(To check out the scene in the video above, go to about 4:50.)

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