P.I. Philip Marlowe's hired by a wealthy general to find out and stop his daughter, Carmen from being blackmailed over gambling debts, Marlowe finds himself deep within a web of love triangles, blackmail, murder, gambling, and organised crime. With help from Vivian (another of the general's daughters), Marlowe hatches a plot to free the family from this web and trap the real culprit.Written by
"Paid In Full", released in 1987 by Eric B. and Rakim, used the soundbite from the scene when Marlowe and Mrs. Rutledge were in Marlowe's office playing a gag on the phone with the police. The soundbite that the rap duo used was "Now wait a minute, you better talk to my mother." See more »
When Vivian unties Marlowe, she has no shoes. When she gets up, she has shoes. See more »
[making a crank call]
I can do what? Where? Oh no, I wouldn't like that. Neither would my daughter.
I hope the sergeant never traces that call.
See more »
Each credit is swept away with a cloud of cigarette smoke, and new credits appear. See more »
Because of the differences in the scene where Bogart brings the drugged sister back to the mansion, a subsequent scene where Bacall appears at Bogart's office had some dialogue overdubbed to account for the fact that, in the new version, Bacall met Bogie at the door as he was returning her sister. See more »
The Bogie persona at it's fullest with a twist here and there
Humphrey Bogart, one of the biggest movie stars of the 20th century was the one and only choice to play Philip Marlowe. The great thing about him was that he didn't seem like your typical heroic figure and that puts him right at home in the seedy environment of film noir where everybody seems kind of crooked, even the police.
Though he played kind of heroic figures there was always a sinister quality to him and this is played out beautifully in this movie where he seems to be most comfortable with the villains rather than the more straight-laced characters.
The plot of The Big Sleep is so complicated that you are often thinking that you are being put on. Names and events are hurled at you every 2 seconds so if you only watch this movie once you will be totally lost. The most complicated character belongs to Lauren Bacall's Vivian. Marlowe is in the dark about her role up until the last 20 minutes or so and therefore it was really unbelievable that the role is played so well by Bacall (this was only her second movie).
The whole movie is quite good but a little bit slow for my taste. If you have seen The Maltese Falcon it was definitely the better of the two. Still, there are those priceless moments when Marlowe goes into the Geiger bookstore and is met with the absolute hilarious line by the clerk: "What do they look like - grapefruits?" The director, Howard Hawks, was certainly an actor's director and he gave some of the best roles to among others, John Wayne, Cary Grant, Gary Cooper and of course Bogie himself. This was as far as I can remember the last time that Bogie and Hawks worked together and I think that anything that they would have done afterwards could not live up to this, so maybe it was a good choice. Hawks would die a very old man and by the the 60's his inspiration had virtually dried out (he made Rio Bravo 3 times).
Had Bogart lived longer he would probably be in spoof after spoof of his undying persona and it's a bit of a disappointment that he was not very successful at playing a different character. The part of Captain Queeg in "The Caine Mutiny" is absolutely terrific and so different from Marlowe. Although, in my opinion he is the essence of 40's movies cynicism, he should have been much more than that.
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