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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 -- 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   53,232 votes »
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Director:
Writers:
William Faulkner (screenplay) &
Leigh Brackett (screenplay) ...
(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 » | Add synopsis »
Awards:
1 win See more »
User Reviews:
Complex plot, but well written and well scripted with tough dialogue and great characters See more (222 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 (screenplay) &
Leigh Brackett (screenplay) &
Jules Furthman (screenplay)

Raymond Chandler (novel "The Big Sleep")

Produced by
Jack L. Warner .... executive producer
Howard Hawks .... producer (uncredited)
 
Original Music by
Max Steiner 
 
Cinematography by
Sidney Hickox  (as Sid Hickox)
 
Film Editing by
Christian Nyby 
 
Art Direction by
Carl Jules Weyl 
Max Parker (supervising art director) (uncredited)
 
Set Decoration by
Fred M. MacLean 
 
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 CompaniesDistributorsOther 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 | USA:Not Rated | USA:Approved (PCA #10625) | USA:TV-PG (TV rating) | West Germany:16 (f)

Did You Know?

Trivia:
The second of four films made by real life couple and later husband and wife Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall. This film follows Bacall's debut in To Have and Have Not (1944), during which their romance was first kindled on set. Following this film, the couple teamed up twice more, for Dark Passage (1947) and Key Largo (1948).See more »
Goofs:
Continuity: Marlowe keeps 2 guns in his car - under the dash. One's a snub-nose revolver and the other has about a six inch barrel. He uses and loses the snub-nose. Later, at Art's garage, he reaches in and grabs the larger gun. But in the exterior scenes following, he's got the snub-nose in his hand.See more »
Quotes:
Philip Marlowe:Somebody's always giving me guns.See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in Fourth Story (1991) (TV)See more »
Soundtrack:
You Go to My HeadSee more »

FAQ

What is 'The Big Sleep' about?
How does the movie end?
I'm hopelessly confused. Who killed whom and why?
See more »
79 out of 104 people found the following review useful.
Complex plot, but well written and well scripted with tough dialogue and great characters, 2 May 2004
Author: bob the moo from United Kingdom

Philip Marlowe is a private detective who is hired by General Sternwood to investigate a case of blackmail involving his youngest daughters' gambling debts. The General has lost his right hand man, Shaun Regan, and needs a man able to do the job. Marlowe investigates the blackmailer, Geiger and tails him to a house. When he hears shots he rushes in to find Geiger dead and Carmen strung out of her head. With Geiger dead, Marlowe follows the trail to Joe Brody, who also gets rubbed out, and then to Eddie Mars, who's wife is rumoured to have run off with Regan. As he digs deeper Marlowe finds only corruption and deceit but also starts to fall for the General's eldest daughter, Vivian Rutledge.

Despite the fact that this film is overly complicated at times, it still stands out as a classic bit of noir, even if aspects other than the plot are what really makes it as good as it is. The plot starts simply but quickly becomes a much more complex beast that moves beyond the issue of blackmail and into murder and lies. For many viewers, this will be a challenge - so many characters come and go in a short period that it is hard to keep track of how they all relate to each other, and the fact that we're not always supposed to know the connections just makes it more difficult at times. However, if you manage to make it past the midpoint of the film without having totally lost track of people then it becomes clearer towards the end. It may sound silly, but this time I watched the film with a pen and paper to help me keep track of who's who - it really helped; but it is worth noting that, even with help, bits of the plot will make little sense at times.

The focus of the film is not the plot - the focus of the film I think is the relationship dynamic between Marlowe and Vivian. In this regard the film really works well. The relationship between is tough but trusting no matter what; at times it is a little hard to see the affection between the two being real or realistic but it is the dialogue between the two that makes it work despite this. The writing is fantastic, the scenes between them do fizzle but the dialogue across the whole film is perfect: it is tough, memorable and basically it is the way I'm sure we all wish we could talk at some point in our lives! The material is also quite daring for the period - murder and tough talk was not unusual but the issues of drugs and nymphomania are hardly common subjects for such a mainstream film at the time.

The performances are fantastic and perfectly fit the material. Although this is not my favourite Bogart performance (I love him in Maltese Falcon) he is still brilliant here, he is cool, tough and intelligent - at times his power over women threatens to be unrealistic but his presence makes it work. His character is not as complex as in Maltese Falcon but Bogart does harried and world-weary better than anyone else. Bacall is great even if I don't personally find her that attractive; she has a great chemistry with Bogart and delivers the goods. Vickers is also good but in a less subtle role. The support cast includes tough turns from Cook, Heydt and Ridgely all of whom convince as tough guys but not to the point where they threaten to eclipse the shining star of Bogart.

Overall this is a classic film despite the fact that the plot is too difficult at times and doesn't always hang together. The flaws here are covered by a tough script that delivers the goods in terms of both dialogue and characters. The plot is a complex web but the basic energy and relationship dynamics keep the film moving really well through scenes that continue to show their influence in films today. Not a perfect film but a great bit of noir that is likely to be loved by the vast majority of viewers - just keep that pen and paper to hand though!

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I Haven't The Slightest Idea What Happened Or Why In This Film Raxivace
Whose body is that? tgemberl
I just don't get it walterandelaine
Big sleep v Maltese Falcon frank316
Acme bookstore scene... fouetteforever
What is the Big Sleep? richsass
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