The Big Sleep (1946) Poster


Charles Waldron: General Sternwood



  • General Sternwood : How do you like your brandy, sir?

    Philip Marlowe : In a glass.

  • General Sternwood : Do you like orchids?

    Philip Marlowe : Not particularly.

    General Sternwood : Nasty things. Their flesh is too much like the flesh of men. Their perfume has the rotten sweetness of corruption.

  • Philip Marlowe : Thanks for the drink, General.

    General Sternwood : I enjoyed your drink as much as you did, sir.

  • General Sternwood : You may smoke, too. I can still enjoy the smell of it. Nice state of affairs when a man has to indulge his vices by proxy. You're looking, sir, at a very dull survival of a very gaudy life. Crippled, paralyzed in both legs. Very little I can eat, and my sleep is so near waking that it's hardly worth the name. I seem to exist largely on heat, like a newborn spider.

  • Philip Marlowe : Hm.

    General Sternwood : What does that mean?

    Philip Marlowe : [laughing]  It means, "Hm!"

  • General Sternwood : I assume they have all the usual vices, besides those they've invented for themselves.

  • General Sternwood : If I seem a bit sinister as a parent, Mr. Marlowe, it's because my hold on life is too slight to include any Victorian hypocrisy. I need hardly add that any man who has lived as I have and who indulges, for the first time, in parenthood, at my age, deserves all he gets.

  • General Sternwood : You knew him too?

    Philip Marlowe : 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.

    General Sternwood : My respects to you, sir. Few men ever swapped more than one shot with Shawn Regan.

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