The most convoluted of the great noir films, based on the first yarn written by Raymond Chandler. THE BIG SLEEP comes magically alive through Hawks's careful direction and Bogart's persona, which is twin to his character of Philip Marlowe.
Summoned to the lavish mansion of General Sternwood (Charles Waldron), Marlowe is hired to investigate blackmailer Geiger (Theodore Von Eltz), a Hollywood smut book dealer who has compromising photos of the general's daughter Carmen (Vickers). The general's real aim, however, is to have Bogart
locate his missing confidante Shawn Regan. Marlowe follows his clues to Geiger's home, finding the smut peddler dead and Carmen drugged. Before police arrive, Marlowe secrets Carmen back home and strikes up a romance with the general's other daughter, Vivian (Bacall). With Vivian at the gumshoe's
side, Marlowe sinks deeper and deeper into a labyrinthine plot of gambling, blackmail, and murder.
One of the greatest detective films to come out of Hollywood, THE BIG SLEEP is perhaps most notorious for its famous unsolved murder--that of the Sternwood chauffeur. The unwieldy plot, scripted by William Faulkner, kept Hawks busy trying to figure out the puzzle. When Hawks called Chandler to ask
the killer's identity, the writer reportedly stated: "How should I know? You figure it out," and hung up. It was on the set of THE BIG SLEEP that the Bogart and Bacall love-team image was cemented, although their first sizzling union on screen was in TO HAVE AND HAVE NOT. Their dazzling star
personas, combined with the poetry of both Chandler's and Faulkner's words and Howard Hawks's direction, give THE BIG SLEEP some of the most sexually electric dialogue ever to hit the screen.
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- Rating: NR
- Review: The most convoluted of the great noir films, based on the first yarn written by Raymond Chandler. THE BIG SLEEP comes magically alive through Hawks's careful direction and Bogart's persona, which is twin to his character of Philip Marlowe. Summoned to the… (more)