The Big Sleep - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Big Sleep Reviews

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½ August 13, 2014
If To Have and Have Not was Howard Hawks attempting to emulate Casablanca, The Big Sleep is his take on the Maltese Falcon. And, like his previous effort with Bogart and Bacall, it doesn't quite reach the heights of its inspiration, it's still an enthralling picture in its own right, due largely to the intense chemistry between its two leads. The plot, if scrutinized, is hard to follow and terribly complex - many of the murders in the film remain unsolved (or at least unexplained to the audience) by the time it's over. But Hawks paces the movie so quickly, with new twists, red herrings, and murder at every turn, that it hardly matters; the movie is pure pulpy fun.
August 12, 2014
Classic detective thriller thanks to Howard Hawks expert direction of the superb casting of Humphrey Bogart & Lauren Bacall in the lead roles. While the byzantine plot is a bit confusing (reportedly, even Raymond Chandler didn't know how one of the characters died), but Hawks direction keeps things interesting on every frame, especially when Boggy & Bacall heat up the screen, making for not only one of the best detective films ever made but the best of the Boggy/Bacall pictures. A true classic.
August 3, 2014
A complicated plot shredded into tens of pieces in which you have to bring up together to reform the original puzzle, The Big Sleep features a magnificent cast with powerful performances and a solid script and a long memorable atmosphere.
July 24, 2014
Bogart and Bacall in a Chandler classic! What more needs to be said?
½ July 12, 2014
Marlowe is certainly the original and the best. The movie is no less a complex tale than the book, but Bogart gives our protagonist grit and undeniable charm.
July 10, 2014
Overlong and complicated, The Big Sleep's status as a noir classic can be attributed largely to Bogart's lead performance.
½ July 4, 2014
The Big Sleep is an entertaining film. It is about private detective Philip Marlowe who is hired by a rich family. Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall give amazing performances. The screenplay is well written. Howard Hawks did a great job directing this movie. I enjoyed watching this movie because of the drama and mystery. The Big Sleep is a must see.
½ June 24, 2014
A really great adaptation of the Raymond Chandler novel that uses Bogart's and Bacall's chemistry and Howard Hawks' talent for directing dialogue to great effect. The Production Code makes it difficult to deal with the novel's pornography and drug use, but it is handled well ... I don't think anybody watching the film could be the least bit confused about what isn't explicity mentioned. My one strong reservation is that one of the movie's greatest strengths ... Bogart and Bacall's chemistry ... leads to a anticlimactic ending that replaces the novel's magnificent defeatism with an unearned upbeat ending.
June 22, 2014
It has way too many characters and the plot can get confusing and overly detailed, but The Big Sleep rests solely on Humphrey Bogart's shoulders who gives his typically smartass, strong performance, also helping a lot in the humor which is observant and quite vigorous. Having in mind all that and that there are well executed action sequences, fast pacing and sophisticated, very smart dialogue in abundance, this noir film succeeds on many levels.
Super Reviewer
June 17, 2014
I read The Maltese Falcon, Laura, and The Big Sleep, three books that led to film-noir classics, before watching the films. Of course this 40s film has to tiptoe around the pornography in Raymond Chandler's book. In each of these mystery books that led to film-noir movies, I was surprised by how little detective work is actually done. Things fall into the detectives' laps and events kind of work themselves out: fate is a powerful force. In this one Chandler novel that I've read and the movie based upon it, Philip Marlowe works just a bit harder than Dashiell Hammett's Samuel Spade. Things are left up to chance a little less. It is a convoluted plot of seductive dames, dangerous hoods, and deals gone wrong. The high contrast photography and slightly more action packed story feels like it properly belongs in the film-noir genre.
May 20, 2014
Came here for Bogy, Stayed in for the dialogue, still not sure who killed who & who blackmailed who & the motives but still was nice :D
Super Reviewer
½ May 14, 2014
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).
½ May 11, 2014
It's very confusing and trails off by the end, but it keeps you at the edge of your seat the whole time. Humphrey Bogart is really good in this, and despite the confusing storyline, it's an enjoyable film nonetheless.
April 20, 2014
Great dialogue. Bogart and Bacall are mesmerizing.
March 24, 2014
One of the best Film Noirs. When one of the greatest P.I.'s is hired to get a blackmailer off of a rich man's back, it isn't long before he becomes entangled in an intricate web of lies, deceit and murder. Bogart is just as suave and cool as ever, and Bacall manages to be cold and warm at the same time. One of the classic noires. It's a film where you may not understand all of what happened and who killed who and why by the end, but you'll still have a ton of fun getting there. It's not the end destination that counts here, it's the ride.
March 20, 2014
A lot of people have pointed out the contrivances in the plot, but that can't change the fact that Bogart is always the ultimate private eye.
½ February 20, 2014
Bogart kan bære alle film og sammen med Lauren Bacall er denne film en virkelig spændende omgang underholdning. Historien er dog en smule forvirrende med mange subplots, men alt i alt er man godt underholdt så længe man har Bogart, der er cool som is.
January 19, 2014
The movie version of "The Big Sleep" is pretty good and has its own unique charms; the chemistry and dialogue between Bogart and Bacall is especially, deliciously snappy. All of the heartbreak and "waste land" of the book has been replaced with a pat romance, however. By the last act, so much has changed that it feels like a very different story. A good story, but without the gut punch of the last paragraph of the book.

I should judge the movie on its own merits (and maybe four stars is too low) but the book still has me under its spell and won't let me go. Too bad about the Hays Code. :(
½ January 16, 2014
Like most detective stories, it loses some of its spark in the third act (these things always work better in the books). They have so much fun with the setup and then they go, oh, uh, here's the end I guess. Not really a complaint, just an observation. The plot seems over-complicated and confusing for such a simple story, but that probably just improves its re-watchability. Every single female character is smoking hot and whip-smart. These are some disorganised random thoughts on The Big Sleep.
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