Best Movies by Farr

The Big Sleep

The Big Sleep Poster
The Big Sleep Poster

Released

1946

Runtime

116

The Big Sleep

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What's it About

Private investigator Philip Marlowe (Bogart) gets tangled in a seedy web of murder and vice when he's hired by wealthy scion General Sternwood (Waldron) to investigate a pornographer with incriminating photos of his daughter, Carmen (Vickers). Marlowe finds the man dead, but this is only the beginning, as plot twists — and bodies — pile up fast. At first, the detective is intrigued by the general's other daughter, the ravishing Vivian (Bacall), but keeps her at a safe distance. Events will soon conspire to bring them closer together.

Why we love it

Scripted by William Faulkner from Raymond Chandler's complex detective novel, Howard Hawks's "The Big Sleep" is a Hollywood whodunit of the highest order. Bogart famously cemented his trench-coated, tough-guy persona tackling the role of Chandler's shamus protagonist, Philip Marlowe, co-starring alongside soon-to-be wife Bacall. "Sleep" piles up so many dense subplots that ultimately you may lose track of who killed whom; apparently, even Chandler lost track of one culprit. Still, that Bogart/Bacall wattage and Hawks' expert direction are such that you don't much care.