7.9/10
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272 user 110 critic

The Big Sleep (1946)

Not Rated | | Crime, Film-Noir, Mystery | 31 August 1946 (USA)
Trailer
1:49 | Trailer
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.

Director:

Howard Hawks

Writers:

William Faulkner (screen play), Leigh Brackett (screen play) | 2 more credits »
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2 wins. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Humphrey Bogart ... Philip Marlowe
Lauren Bacall ... Vivian Rutledge
John Ridgely ... Eddie Mars
Martha Vickers ... Carmen Sternwood
Dorothy Malone ... Acme Book Shop Proprietress
Peggy Knudsen ... Mona Mars
Regis Toomey ... Chief Inspector Bernie Ohls
Charles Waldron Charles Waldron ... General Sternwood
Charles D. Brown Charles D. Brown ... Norris - the Butler
Bob Steele ... Lash Canino
Elisha Cook Jr. ... Harry Jones
Louis Jean Heydt ... Joe Brody
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Storyline

P.I. Philip Marlowe's hired by a wealthy general to find out and stop his daughter, Carmen from being blackmailed over gambling debts, Marlowe finds himself deep within a web of love triangles, blackmail, murder, gambling, and organised crime. With help from Vivian (another of the general's daughters), Marlowe hatches a plot to free the family from this web and trap the real culprit. Written by Alec

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

It's a smash! See more »


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

31 August 1946 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Big Sleep See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$250,000 (estimated)

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$22,356
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (pre-release)

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Of the many ways Hollywood hid Bogart's small stature, two are shown heavily in this film: the women all wear flats (unusual at the time) and Bacall slouching in the car's passenger seat when she had no reason (hiding). See more »

Goofs

When Bogart is in the house with the beaded curtain, the curtain is always completely still even after a very short time of passing through it. The first time Bogart goes into the bedroom and out again, you can see the curtain continue to move for a certain duration. His movements past the curtain should have them moving each time he comes back out of the bedroom because that duration is less than the first time. See more »

Quotes

General Sternwood: I assume they have all the usual vices, besides those they've invented for themselves.
See more »

Crazy Credits

When Marlowe asks the Acme Book store employee if she knows anything about rare books, she is holding a pencil with the pointed writing edge pointing toward Marlowe. But on the very next cut after she answers, "You could try me", the eraser edge of the pencil is now pointing toward Marlowe. See more »

Alternate Versions

Both the preview version and the theatrical release are available on DVD. The running times of each are similar but there are actually over 20m of differences between the two versions - the impact of the changes is to beef up the Bogart/Bacall romance angle and make it much sexier. The preview version comes across as much duller than the better-known theatrical release print which has been made a genuine classic by the re-shooting and re-editing. The major differences are:
  • preview version has extra footage of Bogart searching Geiger's house where he has found Bacall's sister in a drugged state. This doesn't reveal any new information and was deleted for pacing reasons in the theatrical print.
  • preview version has different footage when Bogart takes the drugged sister back to her mansion. Theatrical print removes some of this and replaces it with a new scene set in Bacall's bedroom in which she and Bogie exchange some great, racy dialogue. This new scene considerably alters the tone of the film.
  • preview version has a scene in which Bacall visits Bogie's office wearing a veil and they talk a lot. Bacall's agent particularly objected to this veil. The theatrical print removes the scene entirely and replaces it with a new one with the couple set in a restaurant which has much sexier dialogue and innuendo (to do with racehorses among other things).
  • the preview version has a long-ish dialogue scene in the DA's office which explains a lot of the plot details although it goes on too long and slows the film's pace. Scene has been removed entirely from the theatrical print.
  • the theatrical print has an additional scene in which Bacall's psycho sister tries to seduce Bogie in his apartment. He rebuffs her. This scene was in the original novel and is important in explaining who really killed the chauffeur. In the preview print, the absence of this scene makes it unclear why Bogie knows that the sister is a psychopath at the finale.
  • the scene in which Bogie is tied up with Bacall and Eddie Mars' wife was completely re-shot for the theatrical release with a different actress playing Mars' wife. The theatrical release edit emphasizes the Bacall/Bogie pairing more and has additional close-ups of Bacall.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Doogie Howser, M.D.: The Big Sleep... Not! (1992) See more »

Soundtracks

And Her Tears Flowed Like Wine
(uncredited)
Music by Stan Kenton and Charles Lawrence
Lyrics by Joe Greene
Played by a band at the casino and sung by Lauren Bacall and patrons
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Classic Film-Noir. Murder and mayhem; and a private dick that doesn't quit.
15 January 2002 | by michaelRokeefeSee all my reviews

Howard Hawks directs Raymond Chandler's novel on the silver screen. None other than William Faulkner is primary screenplay writer. Bogart and Bacall star in this grand black and white thriller. Private eye Philip Marlowe(Bogart)is hired by a very wealthy family to protect a young woman from her own indiscretions and along the way there is murder, blackmail, car chases and gun play to deal with. Right smack in the middle of this complex case Marlowe finds time to fall in love with his client's eldest daughter(Bacall). Murder galore does not phase our cool detective with the cigarette hanging from his thin lips.

Flawless acting from Bogart and Bacall. There is a very talented supporting cast that includes Regis Toomey, Martha Vickers, Elisha Cook Jr., Bob Steele and John Ridgely. Then there is the charming Dorothy Malone that sizzles in her short time on screen. Very witty dialogue and colorful characters make this a classic among classics.


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