Imagine my surprise as I sat watching the credits rolling on this film noir piece and in the “Directed by” field, Douglas Sirk’s name popped up! Is this the same Doug Sirk who would go on to make the bold sweeping melodramas such as “Written on the Wind,” “All That Heaven Allows,” and “Imitation of Life” (my mom’s personal favorite)? Indeed it is.
Released in 1948, “Sleep My Love” obviously predates those films. This inspired me to go back and check out Sirk’s biography and filmography to see how this film fits into his body of work. What I concluded was this: ‘Sleep My Love’ was made during a time when Sirk was establishing himself in the Hollywood studio system.
Another thing that naturally happens when you look at the earlier works of an auteur is to look for those signs or trademarks that make their films THEIR film. In the case of this movie, I did not see many hints of what was to come to define Douglas Sirk; that is okay. Overall my reaction to the film is a positive one. Yes it is a bit derivative (“Gaslight Lite”) but it hits all the notes one would expect in a “I want to kill my spouse so I can get her dosh and live with my lover” story. Which leads to a pleasant surprise this film offered – the rather dark turn by normally affable Don Ameche. That is worth the price of admission.