5.9/10
3,523
49 user 23 critic

The Big Sleep (1978)

Grizzled American private detective in England investigates a complicated case of blackmail turned murder involving a rich but honest elderly general, his two loose socialite daughters, a pornographer and a gangster.

Director:

Michael Winner

Writers:

Michael Winner (screenplay), Raymond Chandler (novel)
Reviews
Popularity
4,570 ( 7,557)

Watch Now

With Prime Video

ON DISC
ALL

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Crime | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Los Angeles private eye Philip Marlowe is hired by paroled convict Moose Malloy to find his girlfriend Velma, former seedy nightclub dancer.

Director: Dick Richards
Stars: Robert Mitchum, Charlotte Rampling, John Ireland
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

After being hired to find an ex-con's former girlfriend, Philip Marlowe is drawn into a deeply complex web of mystery and deceit.

Director: Edward Dmytryk
Stars: Dick Powell, Claire Trevor, Anne Shirley
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

After his last crime has him looking at a long prison sentence for repeat offenses, a low level Boston gangster decides to snitch on his friends to avoid jail time.

Director: Peter Yates
Stars: Robert Mitchum, Peter Boyle, Richard Jordan
Fools' Parade (1971)
Certificate: GP Comedy | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

In 1935, after forty years in a West Virginia prison, three released convicts wish to open a legitimate business using the twenty-five thousand dollars earned in jail, but a crooked prison guard in cahoots with the town banker plans to defraud them.

Director: Andrew V. McLaglen
Stars: James Stewart, George Kennedy, Anne Baxter
The Big Sleep (1946)
Crime | Film-Noir | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

Private detective Philip Marlowe is hired by a rich family. Before the complex case is over, he's seen murder, blackmail, and what might be love.

Director: Howard Hawks
Stars: Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall, John Ridgely
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

An old man (Jimmy Stewart) has settled in Kenya, in a remote cabin, with his adult granddaughter and several of her "animal friends". They live an idyllic life amongst the wildlife, unseen ... See full synopsis »

Directors: Susumu Hani, Simon Trevor
Stars: Kathy, Philip Sayer, Heekura Simba
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Robert Mitchum ... Philip Marlowe
Sarah Miles ... Charlotte Sternwood
Richard Boone ... Lash Canino
Candy Clark ... Camilla Sternwood
Joan Collins ... Agnes Lozelle
Edward Fox ... Joe Brody
John Mills ... Inspector Jim Carson
James Stewart ... General Sternwood
Oliver Reed ... Eddie Mars
Harry Andrews ... Norris
Colin Blakely ... Harry Jones
Richard Todd ... Commander Barker
Diana Quick ... Mona Grant
James Donald ... Inspector Gregory
John Justin ... Arthur Geiger
Edit

Storyline

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 halfhearted 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 <jlvogel@comcast.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Some days business is good - and some days it's murder! See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

UK | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

7 April 1978 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Tote schlafen besser See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

£3,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

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. See more »

Goofs

Marlowe retrieved a 6-shot revolved from his car. When he attracted the attention of Lash Canino, he fired 2 shots into the window. But when he emerged from the burning car's smoke, he fired 6 more. Too many. See more »

Quotes

Philip Marlowe: [of Mrs. Regan] She'd make a jazzy weekend, but she'd be a bit wearing for a steady diet.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Bad Penny (1978) See more »

Soundtracks

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

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
As a literary adaptation, it is superior to the Bogart version
7 March 2005 | by Robert-LanderSee all my reviews

You may regard the 1946 version as a classic because of the Bogart-Bacall pairing. As a literary adaptation, this version, however, is much better.

First of all, the plot stays true to the novel, whereas the older version had a plot ruined by the restrictions of the Hayes code, so that it contains numerous loose ends and unexplained developments.

Secondly, Robert Mitchum impersonates Marlowe much better that Humphrey Bogart. Bogart essentially recycles his role of Sam Spade in "The Maltese Falcon". Yet, Spade and Marlowe are very different characters. While Spade is a cynic who just barely remembers the remnants of morality (and Bogart is brilliant in that role), Marlowe is way beyond that point. He walks around people in a distanced, almost detached way. Only when he spots a glimpse of humanity in his fellow men, he is willing to engage himself (as with General Sternwood in "The Big Sleep"). Mitchum plays this character with great understatement, as it should be done, while Bogart makes Marlowe just another hard-boiled detective, which could be replaced by any other one.

Finally, both Sarah Miles and Candy Clark (while not being necessarily great actresses) bring over the lunacy of the Sternwood daughters beautifully. While the scenes between Bacall and Bogart a great, they are out of place in this plot, in which there is no place left for romance. It might have been appropriate for the characters of Marlowe and Linda Loring in "The Long Goodbye", but hardly in a movie adaption of a novel, in which Marlowe remarks "both Sternwood women were giving him hell".

So, while this movie transfers the plot to another time and another place, it is a much better adaption of the novel than the version often regarded as a classic.


40 of 50 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 49 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Comedy Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular comedy titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed