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The Big Sleep
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The Big Sleep (1946) More at IMDbPro »

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The Big Sleep -- L.A. private eye Phillip Marlowe takes on a blackmail case...and a trail peopled with murderers, pornographers, nightclub rogues, the spoiled rich and more.
The Big Sleep -- 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.
The Big Sleep -- 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.

Overview

User Rating:
8.1/10   58,863 votes »
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Down 21% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Director:
Writers:
William Faulkner (screen play) &
Leigh Brackett (screen play) ...
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for The Big Sleep on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
31 August 1946 (USA) See more »
Tagline:
The type of man she hated . . . was the type she wanted ! See more »
Plot:
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. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Awards:
1 win See more »
User Reviews:
Interesting DVD Release of the Proto-Noir Classic See more (233 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Humphrey Bogart ... Philip Marlowe

Lauren Bacall ... Vivian Rutledge
John Ridgely ... Eddie Mars

Martha Vickers ... Carmen Sternwood

Dorothy Malone ... Acme Book Shop Proprietress
Peggy Knudsen ... Mona Mars

Regis Toomey ... Chief Inspector Bernie Ohls
Charles Waldron ... Gen. Sternwood
Charles D. Brown ... Norris - the Butler

Bob Steele ... Lash Canino

Elisha Cook Jr. ... Harry Jones
Louis Jean Heydt ... Joe Brody
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Trevor Bardette ... Art Huck (uncredited)

Joy Barlow ... Taxi Driver (uncredited)
Max Barwyn ... Max - Head Waiter (uncredited)
Deannie Best ... Waitress (uncredited)
Tanis Chandler ... Waitress (uncredited)
Jack Chefe ... Croupier (uncredited)
Joseph Crehan ... Medical Examiner (uncredited)
Oliver Cross ... Nightclub Patron (uncredited)
Sonia Darrin ... Agnes Lowzier (uncredited)
Carole Douglas ... Librarian (uncredited)
Jay Eaton ... Man in Casino (uncredited)
Tom Fadden ... Sidney (uncredited)
Bess Flowers ... Woman with Bumped Man (uncredited)
Shep Houghton ... Nightclub Patron (uncredited)
Kenner G. Kemp ... Nightclub Patron (uncredited)
Pete Kooy ... Motorcycle Cop (uncredited)
Lorraine Miller ... Hatcheck Girl (uncredited)
Forbes Murray ... Furtive Man (uncredited)
Shelby Payne ... Cigarette Girl (uncredited)
Jack Perry ... Silent Thug Beating Marlowe (uncredited)
Tommy Rafferty ... Carol Lundgren (uncredited)
Waclaw Rekwart ... Nightclub Patron (uncredited)
Emmett Vogan ... Ed - Deputy Sheriff (uncredited)
Theodore von Eltz ... Arthur Gwynn Geiger (uncredited)
Wally Walker ... Mars' Thug (uncredited)
Dan Wallace ... Owen Taylor (uncredited)
Paul Weber ... Mars' Thug (uncredited)
Ben Welden ... Pete (uncredited)

Directed by
Howard Hawks 
 
Writing credits
William Faulkner (screen play) &
Leigh Brackett (screen play) &
Jules Furthman (screen play)

Raymond Chandler (from the novel by)

Produced by
Jack L. Warner .... executive producer
Howard Hawks .... producer (uncredited)
 
Original Music by
Max Steiner 
 
Cinematography by
Sidney Hickox (director of photography) (as Sid Hickox)
 
Film Editing by
Christian Nyby (film editor)
 
Art Direction by
Carl Jules Weyl 
Max Parker (supervising art director) (uncredited)
 
Set Decoration by
Fred M. MacLean (set decorations)
 
Makeup Department
Perc Westmore .... makeup artist
 
Production Management
Eric Stacey .... production manager (uncredited)
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Chuck Hansen .... assistant director (uncredited)
Robert Vreeland .... assistant director (uncredited)
 
Sound Department
Robert B. Lee .... sound
Gerald W. Alexander .... sound effects mixer (uncredited)
Gerald W. Alexander .... sound re-recording mixer (uncredited)
Robert G. Wayne .... sound effects mixer (uncredited)
Robert G. Wayne .... sound re-recording mixer (uncredited)
 
Special Effects by
Roy Davidson .... special effects director (as E. Roy Davidson)
Warren Lynch .... special effects (as Warren E. Lynch)
Robert Burks .... special effects (uncredited)
William C. McGann .... special effects (uncredited)
Willard Van Enger .... special effects (uncredited)
 
Visual Effects by
Paul Detlefsen .... matte paintings (uncredited)
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Mike Joyce .... second camera operator (uncredited)
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Leah Rhodes .... wardrobe
Eugene Joseff .... costume jeweller (uncredited)
 
Music Department
Leo F. Forbstein .... musical director
Simon Bucharoff .... orchestrator (uncredited)
Charles David Forrest .... music mixer (uncredited)
 
Crew verified as complete


Production Companies
  • Warner Bros. (presents) (as Warner Bros.-First National Pictures)
DistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
114 min | 116 min (pre-release version)
Country:
Language:
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (RCA Sound System)
Certification:
Argentina:16 | Australia:PG | Canada:14A (video rating) | Chile:18 | Finland:K-16 (1949) | Finland:(Banned) (1947) | Germany:16 (DVD rating) | Iceland:12 | Malaysia:(Banned) (original rating) | New Zealand:PG | Norway:16 | Portugal:M/12 | Sweden:(Banned) (original rating) | Sweden:15 (re-rating) (1961) | UK:PG | UK:A (original rating) | USA:Approved (PCA #10625) | USA:TV-PG (TV rating) | West Germany:16 (f)

Did You Know?

Trivia:
Although Lauren Bacall shot another film, Confidential Agent (1945), after this one, Warners' decided to release it first, arguing that the later film was more topical and needed to come out during the final days of World War II. They also felt it showcased Bacall more effectively. The film turned out to be a disaster, however. At the urging of her agent, Charles Feldman, Hawks and the studio built up her part in The Big Sleep and re-shot a scene in which she wore an unflattering veil. The original version was only shown to U.S. soldiers stationed overseas.See more »
Goofs:
Continuity: As Carol Lundgren flees Joe Brody's apartment house, he holds his gun in his left hand. When he turns to fire at Marlowe, he shoots with his right hand.See more »
Quotes:
Philip Marlowe:I collect blondes and bottles too.See more »
Movie Connections:
Soundtrack:
And Her Tears Flowed Like WineSee more »

FAQ

How does the movie end?
Why were Brody, Lundgren, and Alice clearing out Geiger's bookstore the day after he was killed?
How much sex, violence, and profanity are in this movie?
See more »
62 out of 71 people found the following review useful.
Interesting DVD Release of the Proto-Noir Classic, 24 April 2005
Author: gftbiloxi (gftbiloxi@yahoo.com) from Biloxi, Mississippi

THE BIG SLEEP has a reputation for being a film that gets lost in its own complexity and which fails to clearly identify all the perpetrators of all the murders that litter its scenes. There is a certain truth to this: like the Raymond Chandler novel on which it is based, the plot is extremely complicated, and it requires the viewer to mentally track an unexpected number of characters--including two characters that never appear on screen, a pivotal character who doesn't actually have any lines, and a character who is frequently mentioned but doesn't appear until near the film's conclusion. There is not, however, as much truth to the accusation that the film never exposes all the killers: only one killer is not specifically identified, but even so his identity is very clearly implied.

All this having been said, THE BIG SLEEP is one helluva movie. In general, the story concerns the wealthy Sternwood family, which consists of an aging father and two "pretty and pretty wild" daughters--one of whom, Carmen, is being victimized by a blackmailer. P.I. Philip Marlowe is hired to get rid of the blackmailer, but an unexpected murder complicates matters... and touches off a series of killings by a number of parties who have covert interests in the Sternwood family.

Perhaps the most amazing thing about the film is that you don't actually have to pick apart the complicated story in order to enjoy it. The script is famous for its witty lines and sleek sexual innuendo--much of it lifted directly from Chandler's novel--and the cast is a dream come true. Philip Marlowe would be played by a great many actors, but none of them ever bested Humphrey Bogart, who splendidly captures the feel of Chandler's original creation; with the role of Vivien Sternwood Lauren Bacall gives what might be the finest performance of her screen career; and the chemistry between the two is everything you've ever heard. The supporting cast is superlative, all the way from Martha Vickers' neurotic turn as Carmen Sternwood to Bob Steele's purring hit-man Canino. There's simply not a false note to be found any where. Although the film really pre-dates the film noir movement the entire look of THE BIG SLEEP anticipates noir to a remarkable degree--it would be tremendously influential--and director Hawks gives everything a sharp edge from start to finish.

Two versions of THE BIG SLEEP are included on the DVD: the film as it was originally shot and the film as it was released to theatres in 1946. The actual differences between the two are fairly slight, but they prove significant. Although the original version is somewhat easier to follow in terms of story, it lacks the flash that makes the theatrical version such a memorable experience; it is easy to see why Hawks elected to rescript and reshoot several key scenes as well as add new ones, and both newcomers and old fans will have fun comparing the two. The DVD also includes an enjoyable documentary on the differences between the films and the motivations behind them.

I don't usually comment on picture quality unless there is a glaring issue, but several reviewers have noted portions of this print have a flicker or seem a bit washed out. I noticed these problems, but I can't say that they in any way distracted from my enjoyment of the film, and they certainly don't prevent me from recommending it--be it on the big screen, television, video or this DVD. And I recommend it very, very strongly indeed.

Gary F. Taylor, aka GFT, Amazon Reviewer

Was the above review useful to you?
See more (233 total) »

Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for The Big Sleep (1946)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
Name 6 actors who played Philip Marlowe in theatrical movies??? bklynbernie
Another Bogey-Bacall Classic!! shula1010430
I Haven't The Slightest Idea What Happened Or Why In This Film Raxivace
What is the Big Sleep? richsass
Big sleep v Maltese Falcon frank316
How would you rate Bogart's top five movies? marhefka
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