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The Big Sleep (1978) Poster

(1978)

Trivia

James Stewart had difficulty saying his lines on time due to hearing and memory problems. Some of the cast were shocked by his aged appearance. Robert Mitchum recalled, "The picture was all about corpses, but Jimmy looked deader than any of them." Stewart outlived Mitchum by one day in real life.
Robert Mitchum impressed Oliver Reed on set by drinking a bottle of gin in 55 minutes.
Oliver Reed told an interviewer he only accepted the minor supporting role of Eddie Mars in order to work with Robert Mitchum.
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According to director Michael Winner, Robert Mitchum and Richard Boone were both very drunk when they filmed the final shootout. Winner quipped that it should have been called "Gunfight at Alcoholics Anonymous".
To avoid any copyright violations Michael Winner organized a photo session for the cover of the pornographic book that Marlowe found in the bushes. Among the models taking part was Lindy Benson, who became Robert Mitchum's companion for the duration of filming.
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Richard Boone broke his foot before filming began. His injury was incorporated into the story.
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After both having worked in the movie business for many years, this film was the only time that veteran actors James Stewart and Robert Mitchum ever worked together.
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James Stewart originally turned down the role of General Sternwood, as he felt that since the movie was being relocated to England a British actor should play the character.
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Robert Mitchum was 60 when the movie was filmed in the autumn of 1977, much older than the 33-year-old Marlowe of the novel.
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Takes place in the then contemporary UK of 1977, even though Farewell, My Lovely (1975) took place in Los Angeles in 1941.
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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.
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Robert Mitchum said he felt his character rejecting advances made by Candy Clark might cause audiences to think his Philip Marlowe was a homosexual.
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Robert Mitchum told Arabs he met in London that Michael Winner was a Mossad agent.
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Richard Boone's last major film, as it was made after Winter Kills (1979).
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Robert Mitchum, Sarah Miles, and John Mills are reunited for this film, eight years after they appeared together in Ryan's Daughter (1970).
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Part of a 1970s revival cycle of film noir and hard-boiled detective movies which included such non-Chandler fare as Gumshoe (1971), Chinatown (1974), and The Black Bird (1975). Five Chandler filmed adaptations were made around this period including this cinema movie.
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This movie is set in the 1970s but the previous Marlowe movie to this film, Farewell, My Lovely (1975), was actually set in the 1940s, making Robert Mitchum's two Chandler pictures playing Phillip Marlowe discontinuous in their universes in time and thus separate entities.
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Robert Mitchum's interpretation and characterization of Raymond Chandler's Phillip Marlowe detective character was much older and world-weary than the earlier cinematic incarnations of the Marlowe private eye.
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This was James Donald's final acting role before his death on August 3, 1993 at the age of 76.
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Robert Mitchum is the only ever actor to play Raymond Chandler's private eye Phillip Marlowe twice for the cinema.
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The movie was part of a predominantly 1970s revival cycle of pictures adapted from novels by Raymond Chandler. The films included Marlowe (1969), The Big Sleep (1978), The Long Goodbye (1973) and Farewell, My Lovely (1975) as well as Double Indemnity (1973) made for television (Chandler was screenwriter on the original Double Indemnity (1944)) with Body Heat (1981) suggested by it following early in the next decade.
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Robert Mitchum was widely felt to be too old to play Phillip Marlowe.
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Phillip Marlowe (Robert Mitchum)'s fee was £50 (pounds) a day plus expenses.
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According to Michael Winner two Mercedes cars were reserved. Unfortunately after an accident by Robert Mitchum they had to use the second.
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Some movie posters for this film featured a long text preamble that read: "Meet Philip Marlowe. The toughest private eye whoever wore a trench coat, slapped a dame, and split his knuckles on a jawbone".
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Playing private eye Phillip Marlowe was actor Robert Mitchum who was well known for his roles in many film noir, detective and crime fiction movies including Out of the Past (1947).
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Appearing in this movie in a minor role was veteran actor James Stewart who had been impersonated by a character in the then recent film version of the Raymond Chandler novel, Robert Altman's The Long Goodbye (1973).
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Joan Collins wore a wig in this film.
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This was the first time that Oliver Reed and Michael Winner had worked together since Hannibal Brooks (1969). They wouldn't do so again until Parting Shots (1998), which was Winner's last film.
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This remake of The Big Sleep (1946) was directed by Michael Winner. Winner would later direct another, The Wicked Lady (1983), a remake of The Wicked Lady (1945). Both remakes had the same title as their originals.
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The meaning and relevance of "The Big Sleep" title from Raymond Chandler's source novel and its film versions, "is a euphemism for death; it refers to a rumination in the book about "sleeping the big sleep". As such, in simple terms, the title is a metaphor for death.
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Richard Todd only has 12 lines.
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Geiger is said to be 50 years of age but is played by John Justin who was nearly 60 at the time.
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The year before, Oliver Reed had appeared with Robert Mitchum's son James Mitchum in Assault in Paradise (1977).
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The film was released 39 years after its source novel of the same name by Raymond Chandler had been first published in 1939.
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Second film version of Raymond Chandler's novel "The Big Sleep". The first was The Big Sleep (1946) with Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall and directed by Howard Hawks.
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The name of the night-spot was "The Cheval Club".
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The name of Phillip Marlowe (Robert Mitchum)'s detective agency was updated for the 1970s for this movie, it being called "Phillip Marlowe - Commercial and Civil Investigations". In previous Marlowe films, it had been usually known as "Phillip Marlowe - Private Investigations".
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The make and model of the car that Phillip Marlowe (Robert Mitchum) drove was a 220 S Mercedes Benz ponton convertible, model 1954/59.
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The movie changed both the setting and the era of the story from Raymond Chandler's source novel. The book was set in 1940s Los Angeles whereas this movie is set in 1970s London.
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Second of two Raymond Chandler Phillip Marlowe films made and produced by Lew Grade's ITC Productions. The first was Farewell, My Lovely (1975).
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First of two films where actor Robert Mitchum portrayed Raymond Chandler's Phillip Marlowe. The first was Farewell, My Lovely (1975).
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The movie co-starred Sarah Miles. The Marlowe movie predecessor to this film, Raymond Chandler's Farewell, My Lovely (1975), co-starred Sylvia Miles.
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Richard Boone only has 15 lines.
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Important characters played by Martin Potter, David Savile and John Justin are never heard to speak at all.
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