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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.


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8.1/10   60,754 votes »
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Down 9% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
William Faulkner (screen play) &
Leigh Brackett (screen play) ...
View company contact information for The Big Sleep on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
31 August 1946 (USA) See more »
The type of man she hated . . . was the type she wanted ! See more »
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 »
1 win See more »
User Reviews:
Classic Film-Noir. Murder and mayhem; and a private dick that doesn't quit. See more (237 total) »


  (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:
114 min | 116 min (pre-release version)
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (RCA Sound System)
Argentina:16 | Australia:PG | Canada:14A (video rating) | Finland:K-16 (1949) | Finland:(Banned) (1947) | France:U | 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

Did You Know?

The film was completed on January 12, 1945 and was shown to American servicemen overseas, but was not released in the United States at that time. With the end of World War II, Warners pushed back the release of The Big Sleep (1946) in favor of its completed war-themed films, among these films was Confidential Agent (1945), which also starred Lauren Bacall. After her performance in that film was panned by the critics, agent Charles K. Feldman convinced Jack L. Warner that another failure would ruin Bacall's career. In a letter dated November 16, 1945, Feldman wrote Warner that "...if [Bacall] receives the same type of general reviews and criticisms on The Big Sleep, which she definitely will receive unless changes are made, you might lose one of your most important assets. Though the additional scenes will only cost in the neighborhood of probably $25,000 or $50,000, in my opinion this should be done even if the cost should run to $250,000." Feldman advised Warner to "give the girl at least three or four additional scenes with Bogart of the insolent and provocative nature that she had in To Have and Have Not (1944)."See more »
Continuity: When Marlowe goes to Geiger's house, in the foreground is the house's mailbox with "AG Geiger 460" visible on it. When Marlowe later calls his pal Bernie at the D.A.'s office, he gives the address as "7244 Laverne Terrace".See more »
Philip Marlowe:Oh, Eddie, you don't have anybody watching me, do you? Tailing me in a gray Plymouth coupe, maybe?
Eddie Mars:No, why should I?
Philip Marlowe:Well, I can't imagine, unless you're worried about where I am all the time.
Eddie Mars:I don't like you that well.
See more »
Movie Connections:
And Her Tears Flowed Like WineSee more »


I'm hopelessly confused. Who killed whom and why?
What actually happened to Sean Regan?
What are the differences between the Pre-Release Version and the Theatrical Version?
See more »
25 out of 37 people found the following review useful.
Classic Film-Noir. Murder and mayhem; and a private dick that doesn't quit., 15 January 2002
Author: Michael O'Keefe from Muskogee OK

Howard Hawks directs Raymond Chandler's novel on the silver screen. None other than William Faulkner is primary screenplay writer. Bogart and Bacall star in this grand black and white thriller. Private eye Philip Marlowe(Bogart)is hired by a very wealthy family to protect a young woman from her own indiscretions and along the way there is murder, blackmail, car chases and gun play to deal with. Right smack in the middle of this complex case Marlowe finds time to fall in love with his client's eldest daughter(Bacall). Murder galore does not phase our cool detective with the cigarette hanging from his thin lips.

Flawless acting from Bogart and Bacall. There is a very talented supporting cast that includes Regis Toomey, Martha Vickers, Elisha Cook Jr., Bob Steele and John Ridgely. Then there is the charming Dorothy Malone that sizzles in her short time on screen. Very witty dialogue and colorful characters make this a classic among classics.

Was the above review useful to you?
See more (237 total) »

Message Boards

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