The Big Sleep (1946) Other movies recommended for you
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Plot: The Big Sleep is the story of private investigator Philip Marlowe, who is hired by a wealthy general to find out and stop his youngest daughter Carmen from being blackmailed about her gambling debts. Almost immediately, Marlowe finds himself deep within a web of love triangles, blackmail, murder,… Runtime: 114 min Release Date: 31 Aug 1946
I collect blondes and bottles... (by zedthedestroyer)
"The Big Sleep" is one of those movies I never tire of watching. Bogie, playing Philip Marlowe - one of his finer roles, commands the screen, wise-cracking with felons and coppers alike, giving a few beatings and taking a lot himself. The night scenes are wonderfully shot, with shadow and fog effects being used perfectly. The main reason to watch this movie, though, are the scenes between Bogart and Bacall. Their on-screen chemistry fueled by their off-screen romance lends the most weight to the film. My favorite of their exchanges is when Bogart, tied up yet still smoking, tells <more>
Bacall to "take this cigarette out of my mouth". And, of course, they kiss. A short while later, she helps Bogie take out a hired killer. Bogie remarks "I didn't think they made them like that anymore." They certainly don't.
Compelling plot, black & white, with plenty of sharp dialog and interesting characters... everything a great noir film needs (by TBJCSKCNRRQTreviews)
This is one of the first real noir films I've seen, and I must say, it was every bit as good as I had expected. I have been interested in the genre for a while, after seeing many attempts at noir, and quite a few neo-noir film that impressed and entertained me. Still, nothing beats, or even matches, the real thing. I had also been wanting to see a film with the famous Humphrey Bogart, so when I found this film at the local library and discovered that it perfectly fit the criteria, I naturally borrowed it immediately. I was surprised by how interesting and entertaining this film was, and <more>
the incredibly sharp not to mention equally well-delivered dialog impressed me greatly. You just don't get that with modern Hollywood cinema. The plot is exceptionally well-written, although quite complex, which will surely discourage some potential viewers. There are a lot of characters to keep track of, something that seems to just be a problem with some of these, as well as neo-noir films particularly L.A. Confidential . The pace is kind of slow, but not overly so... not like many other films of this period. Also, it seemed more laid-back than slow, kind of like American Pie but, of course, there's nothing else that this film has in common with that... at all . The acting is top-notch. Bogart and Bacall are wonderful, and they compliment each other perfectly. They have great on-screen chemistry. The rest of the cast all give convincing performances... I was impressed with Martha Vickers, who was only about 20 years old at the time, and this was apparently her first role that was bigger than a smaller supporting one. The characters are well-written and interesting. I thoroughly enjoyed this movie, and I believe that just about any fan of classical cinema will, too. I recommend this film to anyone who can watch a good movie, even if it is almost 60 years old. It's especially recommended to fans of noir, Humphrey Bogart and/or Lauren Bacall. 10/10
Actually this is the better of the two (by A_Different_Drummer)
This review written 2014 of a film that Bogey did 5 years after the success of the Maltese Falcon where he played Sam Spade.Spade is one of the two greatest fictional detectives of all time. The other is Marlowe. That's who Bogey plays here.In 2014 Falcon has a higher IMDb score then Sleep. I am hoping that by the time this review is read in the 22nd century, that error will have been rectified.Why is this the better film? Two words...The first word is restraint. In this film Bogey gives one of the few measured performances of his life and that is an impressive sight. In Falcon his <more>
character was nuts and so was he. There was even a "Mutiny on the Bounty" end speech in it with wild eyes. All very gratuitous and over the top.The second word is BABY.In this film Bogey plays against Baby just before they hooked up in real life. You could feel it then, you can feel it now, and you will still be able to feel in the 22nd century.This is the better film. See it.
Read all of my reviews at www.midnitcafe.blogspot.com This classic film noir has very few of techniques generally associated with noir. It contains no skewed camera angles; and though it is darkly lit, it is not overcome with murky, obscuring shadows. The hero is not down-and-out, poor, or desperate. There is no retrospective narration, or flashbacks. Yet, the Big Sleep is widely considered to be one of the very best of this genre. It is a cynical, perverse, murderous world filled with loads of confusing action and unknown motives. It is, in fact, one of the great films of one of the screens <more>
greatest actors for my personal top 10 actors list, click here , and most talented directors.It was directed by Howard Hawks fresh off of the successful pairing of Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Becall in To Have and Have Not. The two star here again and it is easy to see why they made another two films together. Based on a Raymond Chandler novel of the same name, many people complain that this film is incomprehensible. Somewhat famously it is reported that Bogart and Hawks, after arguing over who killed one of the characters, called up Chandler to get the correct answer. Chandler didn't have the slightest idea, for the novel is rather vague on this point. It's true that both the novel and film leave many plot points as to who did what to whom more than unclear, but there is so much style in both that it's hard to make a convincing argument against them.A good deal of the confusion within the film comes from the production codes in effect at the time it was produced. Chandler's novel deals with murder, homosexuality, heterosexuality, and pornography. At the time, these things were deemed unfit to show on a movie screen and so Hawks had to hint at them using various subtle methods. For instance, when Carmen Sternwood Martha Vickers is found by detective Phillip Marlow Bogart in the novel she is completely nude and sitting posed for a hidden camera. Since pornography is explicitly against code, in the movie she is dressed in a silky, Japanese gown. There is still a hidden camera, and its missing film becomes a catalyst for much of the action in the film. We must infer from the exotic nature of the gown that there was more than just pictures of a woman in a gown going on. There are many similar instances in the film like this. For an audience member who has not read the book, they must pay close attention to the subtext, or the film will seem baffling.Personally, I am very much a fan of the book, and all of Chandler's work. While I appreciate that some of the finer plot points are a bit vague in this film, I also understand that the film succeeds not in the details of the story, but in a sinister sense of style. The film oozes with a dark, disquieting atmosphere. Nearly everyone Marlowe meets is hiding something, and is of less than upstanding moral character. Hawks does a great job of keeping nearly every scene in the dark or in the rain, or both. There are so many characters coming in and out of the shadows and with their own shady character that it is difficult to keep up.Bogart, of course, does a marvelous job as Marlowe. He seems to understand a lot more information than the audience is ever given. Chandler wrote Marlowe as a detective who sticks by his own set up morals, remaining somewhat of a noble creature trying to stay afloat amongst the muck and sewers of the city. Lauren Bacall does a very good job portraying Vivian Sternwood Rutledge, in a role that is much different than the one in the book. Like many films from this era, they create a romance that wasn't really in the source material. I don't mind though, because Bogart and Bacall really sizzle.What can I say that hasn't been said before? This is really classic noir at its best. It's got Bogart and Bacall. It was directed by Howard Hawks, written by William Faulkner from a novel by Raymond Chandler. What more could a lover of classic cinema want? More reviews at www.midnitcafe.blogspot.com
The second of the Bogey and Bacall pairings has Humphrey Bogart playing his second pulp fiction detective for the screen. Previously he had done Sam Spade in The Maltese Falcon and now he's Philip Marlowe in The Big Sleep. He's at the top of his game in both.Bogey's been hired by Philip Waldron to get rid of a blackmailer that's got something on one of his daughters, the amoral and disturbed Martha Vickers. The older daughter Lauren Bacall intrigues Bogey a bit more when she tries to pry into exactly what Bogart is doing for her father. Seems as though a family chauffeur has <more>
gone missing a while back and the family is concerned on a number of levels.The plot glides into the question of the missing chauffeur and Bogart meets all kinds of interesting characters before all the mysteries are solved.The Big Sleep proved that the teaming on screen of Bogey and Bacall was no flash in the pan success that they had in Two Have and Have Not. They are surrounded with a great cast of players. Dorothy Malone got her first notice on film as a bookstore proprietor. Elisha Cook essays one of his typical roles as a luckless fall guy. John Ridgely is properly menacing as gambler Eddie Mars.But my favorite in this film has always been Bob Steele as the vicious killer Canino who Ridgely has on retainer. Why Bob Steele wasted his time with two bit grade C westerns when he was doing work like this is beyond me. My favorite scene in The Big Sleep has always been when Bogey blasts Steele after Bacall has diverted his attention. When you hear Bogart utter those words, "over here, Canino" he was never more chilling or menacing on the screen before or after.Set comfortably within it's time in the Forties, The Big Sleep still packs quite a wallop for today's audience. May you never have Humphrey Bogart looking to nail you for some misdeed.
In Los Angeles, the private investigator Philip Marlowe Humphrey Bogart is invited by the wealthy General Sternwood Charles Waldron to a meeting at his house. General Sternwood, who lives with his pretty and wild daughters Vivian Rutledge Lauren Bacall and Carmen Sternwood Martha Vickers , explains that he has been blackmailed by the bookseller Arthur Geiger on Carmen debts in gambling. The general also tells that he had been blackmailed in the past by the scum Joe Brody Louis Jean Heydt , but his Irish friend and shamus Sean Reagan resolved the situation. Then Sean decided to leave <more>
L. A. with Mona Mars Peggy Knudsen , the wife of casino owner Eddie Mars John Ridgely , but now Sean has gone missing. Vivian meets Marlowe when he is leaving the house and tells that she had borrowed money from Eddie Mars to pay for photos of Carmen.Marlowe follows Geiger from his bookstore home and when he hears Carmen screaming, he discovers that Geiger is dead, Carmen is doped and also a hidden camera missing the film with photos of Carmen. Marlowe brings Carmen home and when he returns, Geiger's body is vanished. Then Chief Inspector Bernie Ohls Regis Toomey invites his friend Marlowe to go with him to see a body of the general's driver in a Packard that has been withdrawn from the pier. Marlowe connects the dots and is evolved by a complex network of blackmails and deaths while Vivian and he fall in love with each other."The Big Sleep" is a splendid film-noir, actually one of the best I have ever seen, directed by Howard Hawks with a magnificent story of blackmail and deaths and stunning performances. Lauren Bacall is the perfect femme fatale and Humphrey Bogart, my favorite actor ever, has another top-notch performance. The plot has many details and sleazy characters and I intend to see this movie again in a near future to "catch" details that might have gone missing. Last but not the least, I found the explanation of the title in Google that means "death" and is explained in the novel. My vote is nine.Title Brazil : "À Beira do Abismo" "On the Edge of the Abyss"
THE BIG SLEEP is one of the more entertaining private eye movies I have seen. A dying old man has two beautiful, uncontrollable daughters: Vivien Lauren Bacall , and Carmen Martha Vickers . Carmen is being blackmailed, and her father hires P.I. Christopher Marlowe the beloved Humphrey Bogart to get the blackmailer off her back. But Marlowe finds that somebody else has done this job for him: the blackmailer is murdered almost under his nose. And as he puts it, "That didn't stop things. That just starts 'em."I have not read Raymond Chandler's novel, on which this movie <more>
was based, but those who have say the title refers to death. That is never explained in the movie. Howard Hawks packs so much plot into 114 minutes of footage that the movie feels like it's bursting at the seams. The story is not incomprehensible as some would have it; while there are many improbable coincidences, there is no element I can point to and say "That couldn't have happened." Although I'm still not quite sure how Carmen got into Marlowe's apartment . True, the plot really is very hard to follow, and Marlowe's periodic explanations of events, without which the movie would indeed be nonsensical, smack more of inspired guesswork than logical deduction. But the furious pace at which the plot unfolds lends more excitement to the movie than nine out of ten of today's lazily plotted would-be thrillers.THE BIG SLEEP's greatest strength is its delightfully droll dialogue. When Chandler writes the novel and then Faulkner helps adapt it, you expect some verbal fireworks, and you sure do get them. "How do you like your brandy?" "In a glass." - "You're not very tall, are you?" "I try to be." - "I'm getting cuter every minute." - "Such a lot of guns around town, and so few brains." - "Is it any of your business?" "I could make it my business." "I could make your business mine." "You wouldn't like it. The pay's too small." - "She tried to sit in my lap while I was standing up." Bogie and Bacall get two of the best exchanges; they have a horse-racing discussion where racy double-entendres are dripping like savory sauce off of every word, and they also get a truly hilarious telephone conversation where Marlowe convinces Vivien not to call the police.But THE BIG SLEEP has a harder side that is also effective. It is shockingly violent for a movie produced under the stern eyes of the Hayes code censors. The movie is too unpredictable to generate much suspense you can't dread something you don't know is going to happen , but the ending is one of the most intense, nailbiting scenes you'll ever see.The 1940s were not a great era for film music, which makes Max Steiner's brooding score all the more impressive. The print I saw was very low-quality, so I can't judge the cinematography.The acting is wonderful. Bogart gets to show his chops at one point by switching off the hard-boiled personality he developed for THE MALTESE FALCON and impersonating an antiquarian bookworm. Bacall radiates class whether she's at ease smoking in a cafe or outwitting a man holding her at gunpoint. Martha Vickers' Carmen strikes the perfect balance of appealing seductiveness and outright nastiness.One final note: this movie is almost Bond-like in terms of the number of appallingly beautiful women Marlowe accidentally encounters, all of whom seem to have a burning desire for him. Even his taxi driver wants him. Dorothy Malone, whose character name we never learn, plays the sexiest book seller you will ever meet and yes, she wears glasses; eat your heart out, Dorothy Parker! . Minus fifty points for credibility, plus a hundred points for entertainment. Regrettably, I cannot promise similar thrills for the female audience; it just kind of depends on how you like Men In Suits.Rating: ***1/2 out of ****.
Classic private eye tale with Bogart and Bacall in fine form (by DeeNine-2)
This classic of American cinema, actually made during the war and released in 1946, got a whole nation of young men affecting Bogey mannerisms, raising their eyebrows or showing their teeth while grimacing, and especially pulling on their earlobes while deep in thought, a smoking cigarette dangling between their lips. It was the genius of Howard Hawks, who directed, to do everything possible to make Humphrey Bogart a matinée idol, including having Lauren Bacall slump down in the car seat so as not to tower over him. With this movie a new kind of cinematic hero was created, the existential <more>
PI, a seemingly ordinary looking guy gifted with street smarts and easy courage, admired by men, and adored by women.Hawks fashioned this, part of the Bogart legend, with a noire script penned by William Faulkner, et al., adapted from Raymond Chandler's first novel, that sparkled with spiffy lines, intriguing characters, danger and a not entirely serious attention to plot detail. Hawks surrounded Bogey with admiring dames, beginning with the sexy Martha Vickers who tries to jump into his lap while he's still standing as Marlowe tells General Sternwood , and ending with the incomparable Lauren Bacall, looking beguiling, beautiful and mysteriously seductive. In fact, every female in the cast wants to get her hands on Bogey, including a quick and easy Dorothy Malone, bored in her specs while clerking at a book store. Hawks also employed some very fine character actors, most notably Elisa Cook Jr., and Bob Steele, the former as always, the little guy crook, Harry Jones , and the latter, as often seen in westerns, the mindless heavy with a gun Canino . Charles Waldron played the world-weary general and Charles D. Brown was the butler.I was reminded somehow of the old Charlie Chan movies with the dark, mysterious, ornately-decorated interiors heavily carpeted and studded with ethnic statuettes, especially the house on Laverne Terrace that Bogey keeps coming back to, and the glass-paned doors and glass-separated cubicals of his office and others. The atmospheric L.A. created here has been much admired and imitated, cf., Chinatown 1974 and L.A. Confidential 1997 , two very superior movies that continued the tradition.In comparing this to the book, I have to say it's a little on the white-washed side, and not as clearly drawn--'confused' some have said. Of course liberties were taken with Chandler's novel to make it romantic. Chandler's novel emphasizes cynicism, and romance takes a back seat to manliness and loyalty to the client. An especially striking difference is in the character of General Sternwood's younger daughter, Carmen. She is vividly drawn in the book as something of monster, a degenerate sex kitten who would try and do just about anything. She is twice encountered butt naked by Marlowe, once in his bed. Being the sterling guy he is, he turns her away. Right. I could do that. Another difference is in all the sleazy details about the low-life underworld of Los Angeles that are omitted or glossed over in the film, including Geiger's homosexuality and his gay house guest, Carol Lundgren. Of course there was a code in those days. Bacall's character in the movie is actually a fusion of Vivian and Mona Mars from the book, made nice for movie fans. In the book, Marlowe kisses Vivian, but turns down her invitation for more intimate contact. In the movie, of course, there is no way Bogart is going to say 'no' to Bacall. In the book Marlowe seems to prefer whiskey to women.Most of the sharp dialogue comes right from Chandler's novel, including Bogart's grinning line, 'Such a lot of guns around town, and so few brains.' Interesting is the little joke on Bogart in the opening scene. In the novel, Chandler's hero is greeted by the purring Carmen with the words, 'Tall, aren't you?' Well, the one thing Bogey ain't is tall, and so in the movie Carmen says, 'You're not very tall, are you?' Bogart comes back with, 'I try to be.' In the novel, Marlowe says, 'I didn't mean to be.'By the way, the film features Bacall singing a forties tune and looking mighty good doing it. Note: Over 500 of my movie reviews are now available in my book "Cut to the Chaise Lounge or I Can't Believe I Swallowed the Remote!" Get it at Amazon!
"My, my, my, such a lot of guns around town and so few brains." (by classicsoncall)
Starting out, I must advise that my review here is for the 1945 pre-release version of "The Big Sleep", which had quite a few scenes redone prior to it's release to general audiences in October 1946. With filming already completed by Spring of 1945, there were two main reasons for the year and a half delay; first, with World War II underway, Warner Brothers felt compelled to get it's war related films into theaters while they were still timely. Secondly, Producer/Director Howard Hawks was convinced he had to re-shoot some scenes involving Lauren Bacall, who was critically <more>
panned in her latest film, "Confidential Agent" with Charles Boyer. In the original print, Bacall is presented in a few scenes wearing a distracting veil, and it's her more glamorous side that the studio needed to capitalize on.Much has been made of the complexity of the "The Big Sleep", and deservedly so. On my latest viewing, I took pen in hand to keep track of the characters and situations. That only helped so much. For example, Humprey Bogart's character, private detective Philip Marlowe is tailing rare book dealer Arthur Gwynne Geiger for his client General Sternwood; Geiger allegedly holds gambling debts involving a few thousand dollars on Sternwood's daughter Carmen Martha Vickers . Following Geiger's auto to his residence, Marlowe studies his surroundings, and then hears a woman's scream and gunshots, followed immediately by two cars careening out of the driveway. Entering the house, he discovers the lifeless body of Geiger, and a spaced out Carmen Sternwood. Out of this scenario are offered two, maybe three possibilities. First, General Sternwood's chauffeur Owen Taylor is implicated, as he had fallen in love with Carmen and wanted to defend her from blackmail. Secondly, a shady Geiger accomplice Joe Brody may have done it, OR may have chased the guilty Taylor from the crime scene either to retrieve some incriminating blackmail film or to remove him as a potential witness. OR, the spaced out Carmen could have killed Geiger herself, and although this wasn't offered as a possibility in the film, she WAS present, and may have been entirely coherent when the murder was committed.And this is how the story proceeds. Even more characters are introduced to spin off the original plot, and Marlowe is off investigating the proprietor of a gambling house named Eddie Mars, Brody's accomplice Agnes Lozier, the salesgirl at the rare bookstore, and Harry Jones Elisha Cook Jr. , a tail on Marlowe who gets rubbed out after setting up a meeting with Agnes that might provide more information to go on.All of the intrigue aside, it's the chemistry once again between Bogey and by now, Mrs. Bogey, Lauren Bacall that propels this movie forward. Whether just sizing each other up at the beginning of the film, or as unwilling accomplices and possible lovers by film's end, it's the snappy banter and smoldering tension between the two that put the sizzle into this edgy noir thriller. As if to prove how great an actor Bogart was, this film offers us a glimpse at his incredible range. Of course I'm referring to the bookstore scene in which Bogey portrays a nerdy client seeking information on a non existent rare book. With a mere upturn of his hat's brim and a cleverly positioned pair of glasses, Bogart completely transforms into an almost unrecognizable comic character who befuddles and infuriates the store's proprietress. He follows that up with a walk across the street, and a double entendre filled conversation with a disarmingly seductive Dorothy Malone in a scene that could have lingered into X-rated territory if not for the task at hand.One could go on and on about "The Big Sleep", and others have, but to appreciate the film's mystery, darkness and noir complexity you'll have to view it. But don't try to solve the case, you won't want to hurt yourself.