Sleep, My Love

Sleep, My Love is a 1948 American film noir directed by Douglas Sirk and starring Claudette Colbert, Robert Cummings and Don Ameche.[2]

Sleep, My Love
Theatrical release poster
Directed byDouglas Sirk
Produced by
Screenplay by
Based onthe novel
by Leo Rosten
Music byRudy Schrager
CinematographyJoseph A. Valentine
Edited byLynn Harrison
Triangle Productions
Distributed byUnited Artists[1]
Release date
  • March 16, 1948 (1948-03-16) (United States)
Running time
97 minutes
CountryUnited States


Alison Courtland, a wealthy New Yorker, hasn't a clue how she ended up on a train bound for Boston. When she phones her husband, Richard, the police listen in and learn from Richard that his wife has threatened him with a gun. On a flight home, fellow passenger Bruce Elcott falls in love with the married but unhappy Alison. Her husband makes Alison begin seeing Dr. Rhinehart, a psychiatrist. But it turns out that Rhinehart is a fake. He is actually Charles Vernay, a photographer hired by Richard Courtland, who is having an affair with another woman, Daphne, and hopes to get rid of Alison for good.

The scheme is to drive Alison to suicide and inherit her money. Elcott arrives just in time to find Alison, apparently under hypnosis, about to leap from a balcony to her death. Elcott discovers that Vernay is the man who pretended to be the doctor. Richard, meanwhile, attempts to drug Alison and make her kill the doctor herself. Vernay finds out he has been betrayed. Verney then shoots Richard and is later killed by falling through a skylight after being chased by Elcott. It appears Elcott and Alison live happily ever after.



The film was on a story by Leo Rosten which had been serialised in magazines. In November 1946 the screen rights were bought by Triangle Productions, a company consisting of Mary Pickford, husband Buddy Rogers and Ralph Cohn.[3][4] It was Pickford's first film in eleven years - the last was The Gay Desperado - although Cohn and Rogers had produced films for Comet Productions. Pickford was involved in approving the cast and script.[5]

Rosten wrote the first script and in December Triangle were seeking Richard Ney to star.[6]

In April 1947 Don Ameche signed to star and Douglas Sirk to direct.[7] Shortly afterwards Claudette Colbert and Bob Cummings were cast.[8]

Filming started 27 May 1947 at the Hal Roach Studios. [9]


Sleep My Love premiered on January 27, 1948.[1] Olive Films released it on Blu-ray on April 15, 2014.[10]


The world premier of the film was held in Ottawa to help children in Europe.[11]

Variety wrote, "Sleep, My Love manages a fair share of suspense and adds up to okay melodrama. Plot gets off to a strong start and windup is high melodrama that brings off the finale on a fast note."[12] The New York Times described it as "a sleek entry which manages to run its course without coming a cropper".[13] Glenn Kenny wrote on that despite miscasting issues, "Sirk applies so much visual brio to the proceedings, and supporting players George Coulouris and Hazel Brook are so compelling it's very easy to watch anyway."[14] Jonathan Rosenbaum of the Chicago Reader called it "a minor Douglas Sirk thriller, better in atmospherics than story logic".[15] Chuck Bowen of Slant Magazine rated it 2.5/5 stars and wrote, "Sleep, My Love is a self-conscious homage to a variety of its contemporary thriller brethren, most obviously Suspicion and Gaslight, and it's often characterized by competent, derivative efficiency at the expense of true dread or spontaneity."[16] Michael Barrett of PopMatters rated it 6/10 stars and criticized the plot device, gaslighting, as turning female protagonists into "the most frustratingly obtuse idiots in the world".[17]

See also


  1. "Sleep, My Love". American Film Institute. Retrieved 2016-02-02.
  2. Sleep My Love Monthly Film Bulletin; London Vol. 15, Iss. 169, (Jan 1, 1948): 142.
  3. Jacqueline White Wins 'Baldpate' Femme Lead Schallert, Edwin. Los Angeles Times 13 Nov 1946: A2.
  4. Pickford's New Work Thrills Her: Producing Pictures Revives Glamour of Reign as Star Scheuer, Philip K. Los Angeles Times 20 July 1947: C1.
  5. Your Life' -- Mary Pickford, Producer -- Addenda By THOMAS F. BRADY. New York Times 15 June 1947: X5.
  6. De Havilland Buys Story as Subject for Herself Scheuer, Philip K. Los Angeles Times 17 Dec 1946: A2.
  7. M'CAREY WILL DO NEW RKO COMEDY New York Times 15 Apr 1947: 29
  8. GROSS BUYS RIGHTS TO FILM 'MRS. MIKE' By THOMAS F. BRADY New York Times 29 Apr 1947: 32.
  9. DRAMA AND FILM: Wyler Invades Foreign Mart for Film Stories Schallert, Edwin. Los Angeles Times 15 May 1947: A3.
  10. Rich, Jamie S. (2014-04-02). "Sleep, My Love (Blu-ray)". DVD Talk. Retrieved 2015-02-15.
  11. PICKFORD FILM AIDS DRIVE: New York Times 13 Jan 1948: 28.
  12. "Review: 'Sleep, My Love'". Variety. 1948. Retrieved 2015-02-15.
  13. W., A. (1948-02-19). "Sleep My Love (1948)". The New York Times. Retrieved 2015-02-15.
  14. Kenny, Glenn (2014-05-28). "Blu-ray Consumer Guide: May 2014". Retrieved 2015-02-15.
  15. Rosenbaum, Jonathan. "Sleep My Love". Chicago Reader. Retrieved 2015-02-15.
  16. Bowen, Chuck (2014-04-21). "Sleep, My Love". Slant Magazine. Retrieved 2015-02-15.
  17. Barrett, Michael (2014-04-25). "'Sleep My Love' (1948)". PopMatters. Retrieved 2015-02-15.
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