The Big Sleep1946
The Big Sleep (1946)
Critic Consensus: A perfect match of screenplay, director, and leading man, The Big Sleep stands as a towering achievement in film noir whose grim vitality remains undimmed.
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as Philip Marlowe
as Girl in Bookshop
as Eddie Mars
as Joe Brody
as Bernie Ohls
as Carol Lundgren
as Gen. Sternwood
as Carol Lundgren
as Art Huck
as Cab Driver
as Mona Mars
as Owen Taylor
as District Attorney Wilde
as Hat Check Girl
as Cigarette Girl
as Furtive Man
as Medical Examiner
as Ed (Deputy Sheriff)
as Mars' Thug
as Mars' Thug
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Critic Reviews for The Big Sleep
It is a fast-moving drama, knee-deep in corpses, as tough as they come. It is rather'difficult to keep track of who is murdering whom and why, but there is not time to worry about such details with so many bullets flying around.
The Big Sleep is the best scripted, best directed, best acted, and least comprehensible film noir ever made.
The plot is a bundle of confusions, but who cares? Few films have made cigarettes seem so glamorous. Or had such seductive repartee.
The Big Sleep is as fresh and perverse as ever, and remains one of Hollywood's most entrancingly strange bedtime stories.
The Big Sleep is wakeful fare for folks who don't care what is going on, or why, so long as the talk is hard and the action harder.
Audience Reviews for The Big Sleep
If one enjoys a detective outing that makes sense, where all the dots connect, then one need search elsewhere, making sense is not the purpose here. But if moody atmospherics and crack dialogue is your thing then settle in for one primo experience
A smart detective story full of the most exquisite dialogue and with an extremely complex plot that prompts us to try to connect the pieces of the intricate puzzle in our heads, even if it actually does not answer all of the questions (the death of a certain character is left unsolved).
it's supposed to be a classic, and, while I did enjoy this film noir caper, I must say...it's pretty overrated. Based on a novel by Raymond Chandler, this is about cynical private investigator Philip Marlowe and his involvement in a blackmail case that turns murderous. The film is noted for being really complex and confusing, and that's one of my main issues with it. I'm not a stupid person, but if the three screenwriters who adapted this had to contact Chandler and ask him to tell them what was going on, and even he didn't really know (or so he said), then you've got some problems here. I've watched, and enjoyed, some very complex and convoluted films before, but here it just didn't stick. I think maybe too it has something to do with how hyped this film was. Yeah, it's a strong mystery, and sure, maybe I did enjoy the fact that it's really more about the procedural aspects of a criminal investigation than the results, but even then it feels unsatisfying. Maybe that has to do with my other major complaint, which is censorship. I know that you can still have a great work of art without having to details all the graphic aspects, but when the more sordid stuff is integral to the film, then maybe yeah, they need to be shown. Obviously that wasn't gonna happen in the 40s, but maybe they could have tried to really be groundbreaking, even if it meant courting more controversy than they would have wanted to deal with. Look at stuff like A Clockwork Orange as a prime example. Sorry for ranting, I just couldn't help it. Anyways, yeah, this is a fun, though challenging mystery thriller. I think what makes it work in the end are the performances, and the chemistry the cast have with one another, especially where Bogart and Bacall are concerned. Those tow are terrific, and its said that Bogart's turn are Marlowe is the definitive one. Works for me. Martha Vickers is also really good, and, even though she makes just a brief appearance, I loved Dorothy Malone as the book seller that Marlowe has a moment with while hiding out in her shop. It's a great scene (and one where I'm okay with the subtlety). Despite how much of a complicated mess this is, the film does have some great lines, and a dry and sardonic sense of humor. It's really stylish, and from a formal perspective, is very impressive. The look is great, it's well shot, and the score by Max Steiner is a real treat. It has its flaws, and I'm prepared to have my cinema buff card revoked for saying anything bad about this film, but I stand by my judgment. I did like it, and do recommend it, but think that it's not as grand as I was lead to believe.
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