The Big Sleep (1978)

R  |   |  Crime, Mystery, Romance  |  7 April 1978 (UK)
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Ratings: 5.7/10 from 2,854 users  
Reviews: 44 user | 19 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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Cast overview, first billed only:
Colin Blakely ...
Commander Barker
Inspector Gregory
John Justin ...


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 <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


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


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Parents Guide:





Release Date:

7 April 1978 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Tote schlafen besser  »

Box Office


£3,000,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


Robert Mitchum impressed Oliver Reed on set by drinking a bottle of gin in 55 minutes. See more »


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 »


Philip Marlowe: So many guns lately; so few brains.
See more »


Version of The Big Sleep (1946) See more »


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

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Not so golden slumbers
6 December 2003 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

A dream project with a dream cast and the result is a nightmare. Well, definitely not a pleasant dream. While Michael Winner was busy updating "The Big Sleep" why didn't he add a disco score to reflect the cultural environment of 1978? It would have made just as much sense as plopping a too well-tailored and inappropriately affluent Philip Marlowe down in modern day London. Chandler's novels were very much about the city of angels as much as they were about Marlowe and his code of honor. Winner either didn't know that or didn't care. What he gives us is a standard yet below par mystery film that has little connection with the character Robert Mitchum so memorably played three years earlier in "Farewell, My Lovely." Unlike Robert Altman's "The Long Goodbye," wherein Marlowe was portrayed as an anachronism in contemporary society, Winner's updates reflect nothing but his ignorance of and/or boredom with the material.

But Richard Amsel's poster is great!

21 of 28 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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