The Big Sleep (1946)
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as Philip Marlowe
as Girl in Bookshop
as Eddie Mars
as Joe Brody
as Bernie Ohls
as Carol Lundgren
as Gen. Sternwood
as Harry Jones
as Carol Lundgren
as Art Huck
as Cab Driver
as Mona Mars
as Owen Taylor
as District Attorney Wi...
as Hat Check Girl
as Cigarette Girl
as Furtive Man
as Medical Examiner
as Ed (Deputy Sheriff)
as Mars' Thug
as Mars' Thug
News & Interviews for The Big Sleep
Critic Reviews for The Big Sleep
The Big Sleep is wakeful fare for folks who don't care what is going on, or why, so long as the talk is hard and the action harder.
The Big Sleep, though, is witty and sinister, and in an odd way is a realistic portrayal of big-city life with Arabian Nights overtones.
Brittle Chandler characters have been transferred to the screen with punch by Howard Hawks' production and direction, providing full load of rough, tense action most of the way.
This is arguably the high-water mark of Hollywood's love affair with the infinitely slippery possibilities of the English language.
Audience Reviews for The Big Sleep
A smart detective story full of the most exquisite dialogue and with an extremely complex plot that prompts us to try to connect the pieces of the intricate puzzle in our heads, even if it actually does not answer all of the questions (the death of a certain character is left unsolved).
it's supposed to be a classic, and, while I did enjoy this film noir caper, I must say...it's pretty overrated.
Based on a novel by Raymond Chandler, this is about cynical private investigator Philip Marlowe and his involvement in a blackmail case that turns murderous. The film is noted for being really complex and confusing, and that's one of my main issues with it. I'm not a stupid person, but if the three screenwriters who adapted this had to contact Chandler and ask him to tell them what was going on, and even he didn't really know (or so he said), then you've got some problems here.
I've watched, and enjoyed, some very complex and convoluted films before, but here it just didn't stick. I think maybe too it has something to do with how hyped this film was. Yeah, it's a strong mystery, and sure, maybe I did enjoy the fact that it's really more about the procedural aspects of a criminal investigation than the results, but even then it feels unsatisfying. Maybe that has to do with my other major complaint, which is censorship.
I know that you can still have a great work of art without having to details all the graphic aspects, but when the more sordid stuff is integral to the film, then maybe yeah, they need to be shown. Obviously that wasn't gonna happen in the 40s, but maybe they could have tried to really be groundbreaking, even if it meant courting more controversy than they would have wanted to deal with. Look at stuff like A Clockwork Orange as a prime example.
Sorry for ranting, I just couldn't help it. Anyways, yeah, this is a fun, though challenging mystery thriller. I think what makes it work in the end are the performances, and the chemistry the cast have with one another, especially where Bogart and Bacall are concerned. Those tow are terrific, and its said that Bogart's turn are Marlowe is the definitive one. Works for me. Martha Vickers is also really good, and, even though she makes just a brief appearance, I loved Dorothy Malone as the book seller that Marlowe has a moment with while hiding out in her shop. It's a great scene (and one where I'm okay with the subtlety).
Despite how much of a complicated mess this is, the film does have some great lines, and a dry and sardonic sense of humor. It's really stylish, and from a formal perspective, is very impressive. The look is great, it's well shot, and the score by Max Steiner is a real treat.
It has its flaws, and I'm prepared to have my cinema buff card revoked for saying anything bad about this film, but I stand by my judgment. I did like it, and do recommend it, but think that it's not as grand as I was lead to believe.
Phillip Marlowe gets embroiled in a family's drama, which quickly turns murderous.
Everything about this film is perfect. The mystery is compelling and engaging because the characters are always ahead of the audience, which is refreshing in this age when everything but flashing arrows tell modern audiences when the detective encounters a clue. The writing is sharp and funny with lines so good and so right for Bogie that it's impossible to imagine anyone else saying them. For example:
Eddie Mars: Is that any of your business?
Philip Marlowe: I could make it my business.
Eddie Mars: I could make your business mine.
Philip Marlowe: Oh, you wouldn't like it. The pay's too small.
And there's Bogie and Bacall -- film legends with legendary chemistry -- who sizzle the screen. It's only their talent that makes a rather tepid love story work.
I don't see anything profound or socially necessary about The Big Sleep, but films like this can be intellectually engaging and fun.
Overall, The Big Sleep is a foundational film and a great time at the movies.
The Big Sleep Quotes
|Agnes Lowzier:||Wish me luck, Copper. I got a raw deal.|
|Philip Marlowe:||Your kind always does.|
|Philip Marlowe:||You do sell books don't you?|
|Agnes Lowzier:||What do those look like? Grapefruit?|
|General Sternwood:||If I seem a bit sinister as a parent Mr. Marlowe, it's because my hold on life is too slight to include any Victorian hypocrisy. I need hardly add any man who has lived as I have and indulges or the first time in parenthood at my age deserves all he gets.|
|Philip Marlowe:||She tried to sit on my lap while I was standing up.|
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