Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall made screen history together more than once, but they were never more popular than in this 1946 adaptation of Raymond Chandler's novel, directed by Howard Hawks (To Have and Have Not). Bogart plays private eye Philip Marlowe, who is hired by a wealthy socialite (Bacall) to look into troubles stirred up by her wild, young sister (Martha Vickers). Legendarily complicated (so much so that even Chandler had trouble following the plot), the film is nonetheless hugely entertaining and atmospheric, an electrifying plunge into the exotica... of detective fiction. William Faulkner wrote the screenplay. --Tom Keogh [show more]
Howard Hawks' "The Big Sleep" is deservedly a classic of the Hollywood detective genre, an adaptation of Raymond Chandler's famous novel that perfectly captures the chaotic plot and confusion of details in this classic tale. Philip Marlowe (Humphrey Bogart) is a detective who is pulled into an incredibly complicated mystery when he's hired to investigate the blackmailing of General Sternwood and his two beautiful but wild daughters (Martha Vickers and Lauren Bacall). From this simple start, Marlowe winds up involved in multiple murders and overlapping schemes, the boundaries of which are only rarely glimpsed by the audience. The film is famously confusing, so much so that even Bogart and Hawks admitted they didn't fully understand the plot. In fact, the plot is largely redundant to what makes the film great, which is the crackling dialogue, especially in the many classic scenes between Bogie and Bacall. Their antagonistic, quick-witted verbal sparring is the film's clear highlight, culminating in a scene where the duo share a prank call to a police station, interrupting a traditional noir interrogation scene with a screwball routine that could've easily fit into one of Hawks' comedies instead.
In the midst of the 'Film Noir' decade, the 40's, 'The Big Sleep' provides one of its most remarkable films.
Howard Hawks' 'The Big Sleep' uses a very well written and clever script to tell the narrative and entertain, rather than the SFX that are over-zealously used nowadays. This may be due to the fact most special effects were not available at this time!
However, the performances of Humphrey Bogart, as the Detective Philip Marlowe, and Lauren Bacall, as Vivian Sternwood Rutledge, in particular, are stunning and would be arguably their career best, makes this film an excellent watch.
Some aspects of this film are clear to see in modern films such as "Sin City" and "The Man Who Wasn"t There" which shows that the Film Noir genre is still flourishing such as the narrative elements, dark nature, mise-en-scene and witty script.
With some amusing phrases from Philip Marlowe (Bogart) and action throughout, this is a must watch and is a classic.
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Please note this is a region 2 DVD and will require a region 2 (Europe) or region Free DVD Player in order to play. 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.
A classic 'noir' adaptation of Raymond Chandler's much-filmed novel. Private detective Philip Marlowe (Humphrey Bogart) agrees to rid a wealthy family of a blackmailer who is threatening the younger daughter, but the man is killed before he can act. Drawn nevertheless into the Sternwood family's problems (not least because of his attraction to the elder sister, played by Lauren Bacall), Marlowe uncovers drugs, murder and more blackmail.