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The Big Sleep (1978)

5.7
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Ratings: 5.7/10 from 2,630 users  
Reviews: 44 user | 17 critic

Set in England, rather than California, the story follows Raymond Chandler's book fairly closely otherwise. Philip Marlowe is asked by the elderly (and near death) General Sternwood to ... See full summary »

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Title: The Big Sleep (1978)

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Cast

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Colin Blakely ...
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Commander Barker
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Inspector Gregory
John Justin ...
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Storyline

Set in England, rather than California, the story follows Raymond Chandler's book fairly closely otherwise. Philip Marlowe is asked by the elderly (and near death) General Sternwood to investigate an attempt at blackmail on one of his daughters. He soon finds that the attempt is half hearted at best and seems to be more connected with the disappearance of the other daughter's husband, Rusty Regan. Rusty's wife, seems unconcerned with his disappearance, further complicating the mystery. Only General Sternwood seems concerned as mobsters and hired killers continue to appear in the path of the investigation. Written by John Vogel <jlvogel@comcast.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Meet Philip Marlowe, the toughest private eye whoever wore a trench coat, slapped a dame, and split his knuckles on a jawbone. See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

10 May 1978 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Tote schlafen besser  »

Box Office

Budget:

£3,000,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Robert Mitchum (Philip Marlowe) and James Stewart (General Sternwood) died only one day apart: Mitchum died on July 1, 1997 at the age of 79 while Stewart died on July 2, 1997 at the age of 89. See more »

Goofs

When Marlowe brings Camilla home from Geiger's house, the shot from the car to the Sternwood's door shows Marlowe's car door open. The reverse shot from the house out to the car shows his car door shut. See more »

Quotes

Charlotte Sternwood: [when Marlowe declines to blackmail her] Wha-? You don't want money?
Philip Marlowe: Oh sure. All I itch for is money. I'm so greedy that for fifty pounds a day plus expenses on the day I work, I risk my future, the hatred of the cops, of Eddie Mars and his pals, I dodge bullets and put up with slaps and say "Thank you very much. If you have any further trouble please call me: I'll just put my card here on the table." I do all that for a few pounds. And maybe just a little bit to protect what little pride a ...
See more »

Connections

Follows Farewell, My Lovely (1975) See more »

Soundtracks

Won't Somebody Dance With Me
Music & Lyrics Lynsey de Paul
Sung by Diana Quick
See more »

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User Reviews

Mitchum is excellent in this!
1 March 2002 | by (uk) – See all my reviews

I haven't seen the Humphrey Bogart version of this Chandler remake but I enjoyed this one very much. Robert Mitchum brought great class to the role of Marlowe as few else could have done. His shady look, cool persona, and hilarious one-liners help to explain why Chandler is one of the greatest crime writers of all time. I haven't read any of the books but after seeing this film I am certainly much more interested in them.

It came as a surprise to me that Michael Winner was the director for the film. A man I associate with expensive dinners at expensive restaurants. But after watching this, and Death Wish, I have a new-found respect for eating in style. This film is not a Peckinpah, but it still manages to be incredibly effective in it's delivery. I like the car Mitchum drives too, a Mercedes soft-top.

The video is in widescreen by the way, requiring a screen re-adjustment or it'll look silly. Great performances from all of the actors and a superbly enjoyable plot in a film that has aged very well.

Some people criticised this film for being in the English countryside and that it doesn't bear up with the film noir style. I disagree, film noir is not limited to shady city streets, as this film goes to show.


14 of 20 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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