5.8/10
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52 user 28 critic

The Big Sleep (1978)

Trailer
2:15 | Trailer
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)
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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 Carson
James Stewart ... Gen. Sternwood
Oliver Reed ... Eddie Mars
Harry Andrews ... Norris
Colin Blakely ... Harry Jones
Richard Todd ... Cmdr. Barker
Diana Quick ... Mona Grant
James Donald ... Inspector Gregory
John Justin ... Arthur Geiger
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Storyline

Philip Marlowe (Robert Mitchum) is asked by the elderly General Sternwood (James Stewart) to investigate an attempt at blackmail on one of his daughters. He soon finds that the attempt is half-hearted at best, and seems to be more connected with the disappearance of the other daughter's husband, Rusty Regan (David Savile). 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:

Meet Philip Marlowe, the toughest private eye whoever wore a trench coat, slapped a dame, and split his knuckles on a jawbone. See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The original novel by Raymond Chandler was set in 1940s Los Angeles, CA; this film changed the locale to 1970s London, England. See more »

Goofs

When Marlowe set up Camilla at the end of the movie, and she turns to fire the automatic at Marlowe, the pistol cycles for all the shots. Blank cartridges do not have enough energy to cycle an auto pistol designed for regular ammunition. See more »

Quotes

Philip Marlowe: So many guns lately; so few brains.
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Soundtracks

Won't Somebody Dance With Me
Music and Lyrics by Lynsey de Paul
Sung by Diana Quick (uncredited)
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User Reviews

Mitchum is excellent in this!
1 March 2002 | by Minority_ReportSee all my reviews

I haven't seen the Humphrey Bogart version of this Chandler remake but I enjoyed this one very much. Robert Mitchum brought great class to the role of Marlowe as few else could have done. His shady look, cool persona, and hilarious one-liners help to explain why Chandler is one of the greatest crime writers of all time. I haven't read any of the books but after seeing this film I am certainly much more interested in them.

It came as a surprise to me that Michael Winner was the director for the film. A man I associate with expensive dinners at expensive restaurants. But after watching this, and Death Wish, I have a new-found respect for eating in style. This film is not a Peckinpah, but it still manages to be incredibly effective in it's delivery. I like the car Mitchum drives too, a Mercedes soft-top.

The video is in widescreen by the way, requiring a screen re-adjustment or it'll look silly. Great performances from all of the actors and a superbly enjoyable plot in a film that has aged very well.

Some people criticised this film for being in the English countryside and that it doesn't bear up with the film noir style. I disagree, film noir is not limited to shady city streets, as this film goes to show.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

UK | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

7 April 1978 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

The Big Sleep See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

GBP3,000,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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