The Big Sleep ()

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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.


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Cast verified as complete

Philip Marlowe
Charlotte Sternwood
Lash Canino
Camilla Sternwood
Agnes Lozelle
Joe Brody
Inspector Carson
General Sternwood
Eddie Mars
Harry Jones
Commander Barker
Mona Grant
Inspector Gregory
Arthur Geiger
Karl Lundgren (as Simon Turner)
Owen Taylor
David Savile ...
Rusty Regan
Nik Forster ...
Joe Ritchie ...
Taxi Driver
Customer in Bookshop
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Judy Buxton ...
Cheval Club Receptionist (uncredited)
Clifford Earl ...
Police Doctor (uncredited)
Roy Evans ...
Deliveryman (uncredited)
Pool Player in Pub (uncredited)
Walter Henry ...
Detective Taking Marlowe's Statement (uncredited)
David Jackson ...
Inspector Willis (uncredited)
Anthony Lang ...
Police Constable Passing Geiger's (uncredited)
Mike Lewin ...
Detective Waring (uncredited)
Brian Miller ...
Casino Waiter (uncredited)
Police Detective (uncredited)
Doorman at Eddie's Club (uncredited)
Barry Purchese ...
Eddie's Bodyguard (uncredited)
George (uncredited)
Casino Patron (uncredited)
Casino Patron (uncredited)

Directed by

Michael Winner

Written by

Michael Winner ... (screenplay)
Raymond Chandler ... (book)

Produced by

Jerry Bick ... producer
Lew Grade ... executive producer (uncredited)
Elliott Kastner ... producer
Bernard Williams ... associate producer
Michael Winner ... producer

Music by

Jerry Fielding

Cinematography by

Robert Paynter ... director of photography

Editorial Department

Frederick Wilson ... supervising editor (as Freddie Wilson)
Anthony Sloman ... assistant editor (uncredited)

Casting By

Maude Spector

Production Design by

Harry Pottle

Art Direction by

John Graysmark

Makeup Department

Stephanie Kaye ... hairdresser
Richard Mills ... makeup artist

Production Management

Clifton Brandon ... production manager
Denis Holt ... production executive
David Middlemas ... production manager (as David Middlemass)

Second Unit Director or Assistant Director

Michael Dryhurst ... assistant director
Joe Marks ... assistant director (uncredited)

Art Department

Richard Amsel ... poster artist (uncredited)
Roy Pembrooke ... props (uncredited)
Terry Wells ... stand-by property master (uncredited)
Barry Wilkinson ... property master (uncredited)

Sound Department

Russ Hill ... sound editor
Mike Le Mare ... sound editor
Brian Marshall ... sound recordist
John Poyner ... sound editor
Hugh Strain ... re-recordist
Steve Hancock ... dubbing projectionist (uncredited)


Marc Boyle ... stunt double: Mr. Potter (uncredited)

Camera and Electrical Department

Eddie Collins ... camera focus
Keith Hamshere ... still photographer
Ronnie Taylor ... camera operator
George Binnersley ... clapper loader (uncredited)
Danny Eccleston ... rigging gaffer (uncredited)

Costume and Wardrobe Department

Ron Beck ... wardrobe
Babs Gray ... wardrobe (uncredited)

Music Department

Jerry Fielding ... conductor (uncredited)
Greig McRitchie ... orchestrator (uncredited)
Lennie Niehaus ... orchestrator (uncredited)
Dan Wallin ... scoring mixer (uncredited)

Script and Continuity Department

Pamela Carlton ... continuity

Additional Crew

Lew Grade ... presenter (as Sir Lew Grade)
Roy Beck ... lead stand-in (uncredited)
Matthew Binns ... production runner (uncredited)
Freddy Clark ... stand-in (uncredited)
Crispian Sallis ... director's assistant (uncredited)
Crew verified as complete

Production Companies




Special Effects


Other Companies



Plot Summary

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

Plot Keywords
Taglines Some days business is good - and some days it's murder! See more »
Parents Guide View content advisory »

Additional Details

Also Known As
  • Raymond Chandler's The Big Sleep (United Kingdom)
  • Le grand sommeil (France)
  • Tote schlafen besser (Germany)
  • Detective privado (Spain)
  • A Arte de Matar (Brazil)
  • See more »
  • 99 min
Aspect Ratio
Sound Mix
Filming Locations

Box Office

Budget GBP3,000,000 (estimated)

Did You Know?

Trivia James Stewart had difficulty saying his lines on time due to hearing and possibly memory problems. Some of the cast were shocked by his aged appearance. Robert Mitchum recalled, "The picture was all about corpses, but Jimmy looked deader than any of them." Stewart actually outlived Mitchum by one day, nearly 20 years later. See more »
Goofs When Marlowe takes the gun from Camilla after she unloads it on him with multiple blank rounds, he grabs the barrel with his bare hands. That should have proved to be very painful as the barrel would be extremely hot. EDIT: This is incorrect. Blank cartridges in a small calibre gun will not heat the barrel to any great extent. A gun barrel gets hot mainly due to the friction of the bullet going through the barrel, not from the powder in the cartridge. See more »
Movie Connections Featured in James Stewart, Robert Mitchum: The Two Faces of America (2017). See more »
Soundtracks Won't Somebody Dance With Me See more »
Quotes Charlotte Sternwood: [when Marlowe declines to blackmail her] Wha-? You don't want money?
Philip Marlowe: Oh sure. All I itch for is money. I'm so greedy that for fifty pounds a day plus expenses on the day I work, I risk my future, the hatred of the cops, of Eddie Mars and his pals, I dodge bullets and put up with slaps and say "Thank you very much. If you have any further trouble please call me: I'll just put my card here on the table." I do all that for a few pounds. And maybe just a little bit to protect what little pride a sick and broken old man has in his family, so that he can believe his blood is not poisoned. That his little girls - though they may be a trifle wild - are not perverts and killers.
See more »

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