The Big Sleep Reviews

  • Apr 14, 2016

    tall arent ya "i dont mean to be" she tried to sit on my lap, i was standing up at the time

    tall arent ya "i dont mean to be" she tried to sit on my lap, i was standing up at the time

  • Oct 11, 2015

    It's interesting to compare this version with what will eventually be called Bogart/Bacall. Not only is there a change in acting styles but also in the view points the movies express on practically everything. I prefer the remake to the original, that is for certain. The original was produced during a period in American history where there was optimism in modernity and that the government could solve all of the nation's problems whereas the remake was produced during a period of when the nation was searching for a recovery from the nation's ills, but still greatly pessimistic. Both attitudes were undoubtably cultivated by their respective medias and often to cross purposes. The reason for bringing up what seems like something completely extraneous is that those overwhelming societal attitudes and the need for commercial films to be a part of them, is what colors both films. Unfortunately for the original, the societal attitudes prevailing at the time of its making are not apropos to the film's storyline. Bogart and Bacall, always optimistic, and delivering their lines with the great relish that can be the product only of a fawning, patronizing industry that so over indulged it's stars, like geese being prepared for fois gras production, that all of their actions seem either ridiculous or villainous in light of the events of the story surrounding them. And the story does surround them, or they the story. I don't think that Michael Winner, the brilliant director that he is, could have gone back in time to rectify the faults in the mess Bogart/Bacall created. What Winner had to work with is an actor who successfully made the transition from the histrionic acting style prevalent in the '30's and '40's to the more realism based style adhered to today. I couldn't sanctify Mitchum though, at times he seems too laconic, and maybe someone like Jack Nicholson would have been a better choice what with his very good job in Polanski's Chinatown. Winner is the perfect choice for director of this depressing story from pot boiler writer Raymond Chandler. Chandler suffered the same faults as Bogart/Bacall; being unable to see what he was doing and thinking only of where what he was doing would put him. So what Winner has done is to take his own '70's recessional attitude and bring out the great negativity in a story that was written by Chandler as the kind of novel you'd buy at a bus stop, read on the bus, chuck in the garbage when you got to your destination and walk away feeling good about the whole experience and not remembering anything else about it. Besides Mitchum, the rest of the cast is pretty good too. I'm sad to write that Jimmy Stewart didn't make it, neither the transition to Hollywood's new style of acting nor does his character, sort of. In his scenes with Stewart, Mitchum's reverence for the aging Stewart shows through a bit, and maybe Mitchum should have let his guard down more during some of the more shocking scenes. I guess it depends on your priorities, time, money, or what you hold dear, in deciding which version to watch.

    It's interesting to compare this version with what will eventually be called Bogart/Bacall. Not only is there a change in acting styles but also in the view points the movies express on practically everything. I prefer the remake to the original, that is for certain. The original was produced during a period in American history where there was optimism in modernity and that the government could solve all of the nation's problems whereas the remake was produced during a period of when the nation was searching for a recovery from the nation's ills, but still greatly pessimistic. Both attitudes were undoubtably cultivated by their respective medias and often to cross purposes. The reason for bringing up what seems like something completely extraneous is that those overwhelming societal attitudes and the need for commercial films to be a part of them, is what colors both films. Unfortunately for the original, the societal attitudes prevailing at the time of its making are not apropos to the film's storyline. Bogart and Bacall, always optimistic, and delivering their lines with the great relish that can be the product only of a fawning, patronizing industry that so over indulged it's stars, like geese being prepared for fois gras production, that all of their actions seem either ridiculous or villainous in light of the events of the story surrounding them. And the story does surround them, or they the story. I don't think that Michael Winner, the brilliant director that he is, could have gone back in time to rectify the faults in the mess Bogart/Bacall created. What Winner had to work with is an actor who successfully made the transition from the histrionic acting style prevalent in the '30's and '40's to the more realism based style adhered to today. I couldn't sanctify Mitchum though, at times he seems too laconic, and maybe someone like Jack Nicholson would have been a better choice what with his very good job in Polanski's Chinatown. Winner is the perfect choice for director of this depressing story from pot boiler writer Raymond Chandler. Chandler suffered the same faults as Bogart/Bacall; being unable to see what he was doing and thinking only of where what he was doing would put him. So what Winner has done is to take his own '70's recessional attitude and bring out the great negativity in a story that was written by Chandler as the kind of novel you'd buy at a bus stop, read on the bus, chuck in the garbage when you got to your destination and walk away feeling good about the whole experience and not remembering anything else about it. Besides Mitchum, the rest of the cast is pretty good too. I'm sad to write that Jimmy Stewart didn't make it, neither the transition to Hollywood's new style of acting nor does his character, sort of. In his scenes with Stewart, Mitchum's reverence for the aging Stewart shows through a bit, and maybe Mitchum should have let his guard down more during some of the more shocking scenes. I guess it depends on your priorities, time, money, or what you hold dear, in deciding which version to watch.

  • Sep 01, 2015

    Most people cannot figure it out the first time they see it. so why see it a 2nd time. It is far, far better to see the bogart and Bacall version.

    Most people cannot figure it out the first time they see it. so why see it a 2nd time. It is far, far better to see the bogart and Bacall version.

  • May 28, 2015

    Although more faithful to Chandler's story points, updating this to modern day London loses all the charm of Chandler's 1940's LA. Reed is outstanding as Mars and Mitchum is great. Miles seems out of place in this movie. It's nice to see some scenes between two legends though, and Stewart and Mitchum share the screen well together.

    Although more faithful to Chandler's story points, updating this to modern day London loses all the charm of Chandler's 1940's LA. Reed is outstanding as Mars and Mitchum is great. Miles seems out of place in this movie. It's nice to see some scenes between two legends though, and Stewart and Mitchum share the screen well together.

  • Feb 06, 2015

    After a few years in Hollywood, Michael Winner returned home to the UK to adapt Raymond Chandler's 1939 novel The Big Sleep, previously adapted in 1946, for producer and impresario Lew Grade. Winner decided to move the location from 30's LA to 70's London, which might seem odd. Plus, Winner was able to blag many of his friends into appearing in the film, maybe for next to nothing. Private detective Philip Marlowe (Robert Mitchum) is approached by General Sternwood (James Stewart), to find out who has been blackmailing Sternwood, Marlowe also meets the General's daughters Charlotte (Sarah Miles) and Camilla (Candy Clark). The latter is later found at the house of pornographer Arthur Geiger (John Justin), where Geiger is found murdered. Marlowe's investigations take him to Geiger's employee Agnes Lozelle (Joan Collins), her corrupt boyfriend Joe Brody (Edward Fox) as well as gambler Eddie Mars (Oliver Reed), who owned the house Geiger lived in. It's a complex case, but Marlowe suspects the daughters... It's quite faithful to the original book, but moving it to the UK for financial reasons does seem a bit redundant, however it is a dark, moody film with a huge all star cast, but seeing as Mitchum had just played Marlowe in Farewell, My Lovely (1975), set in LA in the 1940's. It does seem odd to play the same character here,

    After a few years in Hollywood, Michael Winner returned home to the UK to adapt Raymond Chandler's 1939 novel The Big Sleep, previously adapted in 1946, for producer and impresario Lew Grade. Winner decided to move the location from 30's LA to 70's London, which might seem odd. Plus, Winner was able to blag many of his friends into appearing in the film, maybe for next to nothing. Private detective Philip Marlowe (Robert Mitchum) is approached by General Sternwood (James Stewart), to find out who has been blackmailing Sternwood, Marlowe also meets the General's daughters Charlotte (Sarah Miles) and Camilla (Candy Clark). The latter is later found at the house of pornographer Arthur Geiger (John Justin), where Geiger is found murdered. Marlowe's investigations take him to Geiger's employee Agnes Lozelle (Joan Collins), her corrupt boyfriend Joe Brody (Edward Fox) as well as gambler Eddie Mars (Oliver Reed), who owned the house Geiger lived in. It's a complex case, but Marlowe suspects the daughters... It's quite faithful to the original book, but moving it to the UK for financial reasons does seem a bit redundant, however it is a dark, moody film with a huge all star cast, but seeing as Mitchum had just played Marlowe in Farewell, My Lovely (1975), set in LA in the 1940's. It does seem odd to play the same character here,

  • May 04, 2013

    Positives: Mitchum (when actually awake), final confrontation with "Camilla" Negatives: Mitchum (most of the time), Stewart, London, "explanation" of chauffeur's death

    Positives: Mitchum (when actually awake), final confrontation with "Camilla" Negatives: Mitchum (most of the time), Stewart, London, "explanation" of chauffeur's death

  • Nov 29, 2011

    I think this is a film that gets a lot of flack because it's a remake from the 70s with Robert Mitchum playing Marlowe in old age. But I think that it is really much closer to the book than the 1946 Bogie and Bacall adaptation. It does make the mistake of transplanting the story to England, but otherwise it was much closer to the original. I read the original first and so maybe I'm a little prejudiced. :)

    I think this is a film that gets a lot of flack because it's a remake from the 70s with Robert Mitchum playing Marlowe in old age. But I think that it is really much closer to the book than the 1946 Bogie and Bacall adaptation. It does make the mistake of transplanting the story to England, but otherwise it was much closer to the original. I read the original first and so maybe I'm a little prejudiced. :)

  • Apr 23, 2011

    Very good cast Mitchum plays it as only he could laid back easy to watch.

    Very good cast Mitchum plays it as only he could laid back easy to watch.

  • Apr 17, 2011

    More faithful version of the Chandler classic, in spite of the location change from 1940's Los Angeles to modern London. Robert Mitchum does a solid job as a more hangdog and sullen Marlowe, and it's nice to see Jimmy Stewart in a small part as Col. Sternwood. However, casting takes a strange turn in the form of Sarah Miles and Candy Clark as the Sternwood daughters - Clark is like a deranged oversexed Muppet, and Miles lacks the smoldering sexiness of Lauren Bacall. However, Richard Boone makes an interesting Lash Canino, and Oliver Reed is a raspingly suave but altogether menacing Eddie Mars. Also, don't be fooled by the DVD cover - Joan Collins has a much smaller role than it lets on.

    More faithful version of the Chandler classic, in spite of the location change from 1940's Los Angeles to modern London. Robert Mitchum does a solid job as a more hangdog and sullen Marlowe, and it's nice to see Jimmy Stewart in a small part as Col. Sternwood. However, casting takes a strange turn in the form of Sarah Miles and Candy Clark as the Sternwood daughters - Clark is like a deranged oversexed Muppet, and Miles lacks the smoldering sexiness of Lauren Bacall. However, Richard Boone makes an interesting Lash Canino, and Oliver Reed is a raspingly suave but altogether menacing Eddie Mars. Also, don't be fooled by the DVD cover - Joan Collins has a much smaller role than it lets on.

  • Mar 14, 2011

    Inexplicably relocated to 70's London, but populated mostly by American accents, Michael Winner does the impossible and manages to make Robert Mitchum, James Stewart and Joan Collins look like they are starring in a bad episode of "The Sweeney". His direction and screenplay manage to drain all of the tension, comedy and satire from Raymond Chandlers overtly melodramatic source text. If I was overanalysing I would go so far as to say it was an entirely misogynostic take on the book - the women are all porno cliches stripped of any charm and playfulness. I can only assume Candy Clark is a relative of Winner - no other excuse to have her in the film - she is completely out of her depth, turning each of her scenes into car-crash cinema as she totally misinterprets her core role of femme fatale. What a mess.

    Inexplicably relocated to 70's London, but populated mostly by American accents, Michael Winner does the impossible and manages to make Robert Mitchum, James Stewart and Joan Collins look like they are starring in a bad episode of "The Sweeney". His direction and screenplay manage to drain all of the tension, comedy and satire from Raymond Chandlers overtly melodramatic source text. If I was overanalysing I would go so far as to say it was an entirely misogynostic take on the book - the women are all porno cliches stripped of any charm and playfulness. I can only assume Candy Clark is a relative of Winner - no other excuse to have her in the film - she is completely out of her depth, turning each of her scenes into car-crash cinema as she totally misinterprets her core role of femme fatale. What a mess.