A private eye escapes his past to run a gas station in a small town, but his past catches up with him. Now he must return to the big city world of danger, corruption, double crosses and duplicitous dames.
The Big Sleep is the story of private investigator Philip Marlowe, who is hired by a wealthy general to find out and stop his youngest daughter Carmen from being blackmailed about her gambling debts. Almost immediately, Marlowe finds himself deep within a web of love triangles, blackmail, murder, gambling, and organized crime. With the help of the General's eldest daughter Vivian, Marlowe skillfully plots to free the family from this web and trap Eddie, the main man behind much of this mischief, to meet his end at the hands of his own henchmen.Written by
When Marlowe enters the window of the house by kicking it open, from the outside the window is completely covered with wooden slats, but from the inside it is a regular glass paneled window (that would have likely smashed if kicked open). See more »
You knew him too?
Yes, in the old days, when he used to run rum out of Mexico and I was on the other side. We used to swap shots between drinks, or drinks between shots, whichever you like.
My respects to you, sir. Few men ever swapped more than one shot with Shawn Regan.
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During the opening credits, Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall are seen in silhouette, placing cigarettes in an ashtray. At the end, two cigarettes are in an ashtray. See more »
Both the preview version and the theatrical release are available on DVD. The running times of each are similar but there are actually over 20m of differences between the two versions - the impact of the changes is to beef up the Bogart/Bacall romance angle and make it much sexier. The preview version comes across as much duller than the better-known theatrical release print which has been made a genuine classic by the re-shooting and re-editing. The major differences are:
preview version has extra footage of Bogart searching Geiger's house where he has found Bacall's sister in a drugged state. This doesn't reveal any new information and was deleted for pacing reasons in the theatrical print.
preview version has different footage when Bogart takes the drugged sister back to her mansion. Theatrical print removes some of this and replaces it with a new scene set in Bacall's bedroom in which she and Bogie exchange some great, racy dialogue. This new scene considerably alters the tone of the film.
preview version has a scene in which Bacall visits Bogie's office wearing a veil and they talk a lot. Bacall's agent particularly objected to this veil. The theatrical print removes the scene entirely and replaces it with a new one with the couple set in a restaurant which has much sexier dialogue and innuendo (to do with racehorses among other things).
the preview version has a long-ish dialogue scene in the DA's office which explains a lot of the plot details although it goes on too long and slows the film's pace. Scene has been removed entirely from the theatrical print.
the theatrical print has an additional scene in which Bacall's psycho sister tries to seduce Bogie in his apartment. He rebuffs her. This scene was in the original novel and is important in explaining who really killed the chauffeur. In the preview print, the absence of this scene makes it unclear why Bogie knows that the sister is a psychopath at the finale.
the scene in which Bogie is tied up with Bacall and Eddie Mars' wife was completely re-shot for the theatrical release with a different actress playing Mars' wife. The theatrical release edit emphasizes the Bacall/Bogie pairing more and has additional close-ups of Bacall.
"The Big Sleep" is one of those movies I never tire of watching. Bogie, playing Philip Marlowe - one of his finer roles, commands the screen, wise-cracking with felons and coppers alike, giving a few beatings and taking a lot himself. The night scenes are wonderfully shot, with shadow and fog effects being used perfectly. The main reason to watch this movie, though, are the scenes between Bogart and Bacall. Their on-screen chemistry (fueled by their off-screen romance) lends the most weight to the film. My favorite of their exchanges is when Bogart, tied up yet still smoking, tells Bacall to "take this cigarette out of my mouth". And, of course, they kiss. A short while later, she helps Bogie take out a hired killer. Bogie remarks "I didn't think they made them like that anymore." They certainly don't.
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