The Big Sleep

DVD - 2005
Average Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5.
The Big Sleep
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.


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Feb 19, 2015
  • Bazooka_Joe rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

If you ask me - I'd definitely say that The Big Sleep made for quite an enjoyable, yet unintentional, parody of the Film Noir genre. It really did.

I mean, (with the hilarious way that all of the babes were literally falling into Bogart's arms, over and over again, and with so many of the bad guys being bumped off, left, right and centre, for no apparent reason) I certainly couldn't take this crime film's tale of drama at face value for even a minute.

I clearly saw The Big Sleep as being played strictly for laughs. And, believe me, unintentional laughs it certainly did produce.

Now 70 years old, The Big Sleep is filled to overflowing with plenty of wise-cracking dialogue, and cutie-pie bantering.... And, of course, Bogart's character was so ridiculously hardboiled and always just a little too sure of himself (regardless of any imminent danger) - And that all quickly added up to a truly comical romp down "Nostalgia Lane" for me.

Anyways - Here in The Big Sleep, Humphrey Bogart plays (as only he could possibly play) character Philip Marlowe, a 25-dollar-a-day gumshoe who, agreeing to take on a cut'n'dry case of blackmail, inadvertently finds himself completely caught up in a very messy and tangled web of murder, treachery and, yes, romance that, believe me, gets screwier and screwier by the minute.

I honestly can't imagine how any audience (even from the 1940s) could ever take The Big Sleep's story with dead-faced seriousness - 'Cause it's not. It's a literal laugh-riot all the way.

Aug 22, 2014
  • 7duffy rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

Bogie rocks and Betty's hot. Lot of witty repartee between them, played against the backdrop of a convoluted detective story. Good supporting cast, like the underappreciated Elisha Cook, jr, make the film enjoyable. I never saw so many stylzed babes hitting on Bogie in a one movie, before this one.

Feb 12, 2013
  • akirakato rated this: 2.5 stars out of 5.

"The Big Sleep" published in 1939 was Raymond Chandler's first novel.
The book introduced the character of tough, cynical private detective Philip Marlowe, who became one of the icons of crime and mystery literature.
Marlowe starred in seven more Chandler novels, including his last, "Poodle Springs."
In 1944 Howard Hawks teamed up with writers William Faulkner and Jules Furthman to adopt Ernest Hemingway's novel "To have and Have Not" to the screen.
The film was a hit.
Warner Brothers wanted Hawks to duplicate that success.
He picked Chandler's hard-boiled detective story ("The Big Sleep") as his next project.
Having been impressed by the crime novel "No Good from a Corpse," Hawks hired Leigh Btrackett to write the screenplay with Faulkner.
One famous story about the film is that neither Hawks nor any of the writers could figure out who killed chauffeur Owen Taylor.
They contacted Raymond Chandler, but even he couldn't figure it out.
Neither could I.

Jan 15, 2013
  • viguyy rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

ahhhh Bogart & Bacall. They were one of Hollywood's all-time legendary couples, on screen & off. The chemistry is legendary and this classic film noir benefits greatly from their extraordinary sparks on screen. The story is a bit disjointed in spots, likley due at least in-part to many scenes being replaced a year later to bolster Bacall's presence & likability in the film. She just had some terrible reviews of her previous project & it was decided to rework the film a bit to protect the studios investment & her career. It worked in large part adding some of the most memorable moments in a film punctuated by many great moments. The whole scene at the restaurant when Bacall & Bogart are taking about horse racing ..or are they? It's fantastic!

Bogart is really likable in this film masterfully stewarded by Howard Hawks. The charcter of Philip Marlowe had men of the time trying to emulate his physical mannerisms such as touching his ear the pulling of the upper lip back exposing his top teeth etc. This film was truly a star vehicle for its stars and despite it's somewhat complicated & slightly disjointed story the film is a joy to watch.

Highly recommend The Big Sleep as a great classic!

Dec 17, 2012
  • Monolith rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Talk about a convoluted plot! Sheesh! Still love the film, nevertheless. Clever, witty dialogue. And yeah, the Acme bookstore clerk (Dorothy Malone) was a hottie, but I preferred the ditzy thumb-sucking nymphet Carmen (Martha Vickers). (lol) Lauren Bacall was stunning, too. (25 years younger than hubby Bogie!) Interesting that they shelved this flick for a year because WWII had just ended and the studio wanted to push its remaining war movies, (obviously) knowing that a crime noir had more shelf life. Well, I'm gonna go watch this again to see if the butler did it (kidding) FIVE STARS.

May 13, 2012
  • badgirls rated this: 2 stars out of 5.

OK let's get real, this supposed "classic" should have been called The Big Snooze. The story can only be described as contorted and confused. Of course it has Bogart and Bacall and if it had two lesser known actors, this film would long ago been forgotten. The DVD contains a special feature that shows the original deleted scenes with redone scenes. Looks like this film was such a mess back in 1944 that they didn't release it, a year later they went back and added new scenes and then released it. One of the deleted scenes had Bacall wearing this stupid hat with a veil over her face-good thing they took that out. Anyways another redone scene had Bogie and Bacall in an office but they just dubbed in new dialogue-so their mouths are saying different words from what you hear. Bacall is perched provocatively on a desk- maybe they thought no one would notice. Some of the sets are very creative especially a house where a murder takes place. This set can only be described as wacky asian. But who am i to bash Bogart and Bacall? Have a cocktail, relax and be transported back to the shadowy world of film noir where everyone smoked, drank, hung out in nightclubs, played mind games and occasionally shot each other.

Feb 21, 2012
  • voisjoe1 rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

One of the best of the early film noir. I've seen it several times. One time I stopped the DVD player after somebody mentioned a name for the first time. See there is a string of murders so that the authorities could never determine who was guilty of some of the murders . The amazing thing is that Raymond Chandler, the author of the novel, actually could not explain who killed all of the various victims. What is very important though, is that you don't really have to follow everything to totally enjoy the interaction between all of the characters.

Dec 08, 2010
  • e_long rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

A real disappointment after reading the book.

Jul 20, 2010

An absolute classic!

Sep 04, 2009
  • KarenW rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Bogie never looked so suave and Bacall never looked so devious in this wonderful and twisted thriller noir. A great one for a stormy night at home!


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Dec 17, 2012
  • Monolith rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Philip Marlowe: "You wanna tell me now?" Vivian Rutledge: "Tell you what?" Philip Marlowe: "What it is you're trying to find out. You know, it's a funny thing. You're trying to find out what your father hired me to find out, and I'm trying to find out why you want to find out."

Dec 17, 2012
  • Monolith rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Carmen Sternwood: "You're cute." Philip Marlowe: "I'm getting cuter every minute."

Dec 17, 2012
  • Monolith rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Philip Marlowe (to General Sternwood, of his daughter Carmen): "...She tried to sit in my lap while I was standing up..."

Dec 17, 2012
  • Monolith rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Eddie Mars: "Convenient, the door being open when you didn't have a key, eh?" Philip Marlowe: "Yeah, wasn't it. By the way, how'd you happen to have one?" Eddie Mars: "Is that any of your business?" Philip Marlowe: "I could make it my business." Eddie Mars: "I could make your business mine." Philip Marlowe: "Oh, you wouldn't like it. The pay's too small."

Dec 17, 2012
  • Monolith rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Vivian Rutledge: "You've forgotten one thing - me." Philip Marlowe: "What's wrong with you?" Vivian Rutledge: "Nothing you can't fix."

Dec 17, 2012
  • Monolith rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

General Sternwood: "How do you like your brandy, sir?" Philip Marlowe: "In a glass."

Dec 17, 2012
  • Monolith rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Vivian Rutledge: "I don't like your manners." Philip Marlowe: "And I'm not crazy about yours. I didn't ask to see you. I don't mind if you don't like my manners, I don't like them myself. They are pretty bad. I grieve over them on long winter evenings. I don't mind your ritzing me drinking your lunch out of a bottle. But don't waste your time trying to cross-examine me."

Dec 17, 2012
  • Monolith rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Librarian: "Did you find what you wanted?" Philip Marlowe: "Yes, thanks." Librarian: "You know, you don't look like a man who'd be interested in first editions." Philip Marlowe: "I collect blondes and bottles, too."


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