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The Big Sleep (1946)

Approved  |   |  Crime, Film-Noir, Mystery  |  31 August 1946 (USA)
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Ratings: 8.1/10 from 60,742 users  
Reviews: 237 user | 126 critic

Private detective Philip Marlowe is hired by a rich family. Before the complex case is over, he's seen murder, blackmail, and what might be love.



(screen play), (screen play), 2 more credits »
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Title: The Big Sleep (1946)

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Complete credited cast:
John Ridgely ...
Peggy Knudsen ...
Charles Waldron ...
Charles D. Brown ...
Louis Jean Heydt ...


Private detective Philip Marlowe is hired by old General Sternwood to stop a blackmail attempt concerning his youngest daughter Carmen. Marlowe tails the blackmailer Geiger to his house at Laverne Terrace. Suddenly he hears a shot and sees some men rushing out to their cars. He breaks into the house, and finds Carmel drugged in a chair, with Geiger's dead body at her feet. An empty camera proves that a photo has been taken of her and the corpse, probably intended for further blackmailing. A series of clues lead Marlowe to various persons involved in gambling. Wherever he finds them, he also finds Sternwood's oldest daughter, Vivian Rutledge, a divorced beauty. She and Marlowe fall in love with each other, although she continues double-crossing him. When Marlowe's investigations lead him to the casino owner Eddie Mars, the situation starts becoming very dangerous. Everyone, including the district attorney, advises Marlowe to stop the investigation, but he is stubborn. Eddie Mars has a ... Written by Maths Jesperson {}

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


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Parents Guide:





Release Date:

31 August 1946 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Tote schlafen fest  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (pre-release)

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


According to Lauren Bacall, production was such fun, that they got a memo from Jack L. Warner saying "Word has reached me that you are having fun on the set. This must stop."" See more »


When Mr. White asked Marlowe, "your willing to lose your license for the case" Marlowe responds by looking directly at him, but when Mr. White asked him another question, the camera immediately cuts to Marlowe looking the other way (as if he never looked at Mr. White in the first time). See more »


Carmen Sternwood: You're not very tall are you?
Philip Marlowe: Well, I, uh, I try to be.
See more »


Featured in Great Performances: Bacall on Bogart (1988) See more »


You Go to My Head
Written by Haven Gillespie and J. Fred Coots
[Played when Marlowe and Vivian Regan are having drinks.]
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

I collect blondes and bottles...
14 February 2001 | by (Chicago) – See all my reviews

"The Big Sleep" is one of those movies I never tire of watching. Bogie, playing Philip Marlowe - one of his finer roles, commands the screen, wise-cracking with felons and coppers alike, giving a few beatings and taking a lot himself. The night scenes are wonderfully shot, with shadow and fog effects being used perfectly. The main reason to watch this movie, though, are the scenes between Bogart and Bacall. Their on-screen chemistry (fueled by their off-screen romance) lends the most weight to the film. My favorite of their exchanges is when Bogart, tied up yet still smoking, tells Bacall to "take this cigarette out of my mouth". And, of course, they kiss. A short while later, she helps Bogie take out a hired killer. Bogie remarks "I didn't think they made them like that anymore." They certainly don't.

43 of 51 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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