The Big Sleep
THE BIG SLEEP (PG)
D: Howard Hawks
Warner Bros (Howard Hawks)
USA 🇺🇸 1946
W: William Faulkner, Jules Furthman & Leigh Brackett [based on the novel by Raymond Chandler]
DP: Sid Hickox
Ed: Christian Nyby
Mus: Max Steiner
Humphrey Bogart (Philip Marlowe), Lauren Bacall (Vivian Rutledge), John Ridgely (Eddie Mars), Louis Jean Heydt (Joe Brody), Elisha Cook, Jr (Jones), Regis Toomey (Bernie Ohis), Sonia Darrin (Agnes), Bob Steele (Canino), Martha Vickers (Carmen)
The Big Sleep is often considered the best detective picture of the 1940's and it's a claim which is difficult to argue against.
Based on one of Raymond Chandler's most famous novels, Humphrey Bogart slips into the shoes of lead character Philip Marlowe with complete ease, taking on a case which involves blackmail, pornography and murder.
The story is years ahead of its time, full of mystery and suspense, and even an unsolved element.
Lauren Bacall is perfect as the catty femme fatale and her on-screen chemistry with Bogart simply sizzles. The supporting performances are equally great, particularly Martha Vickers who almost steals the limelight from the powerhouse A-listers.
A few characteristics now seem a bit old-fashioned, but for 1946, this is simply stellar filmmaking.
Did You Know:
Due to Humphrey Bogart's affair with co-star Lauren Bacall, his marital problems escalated during filming, and his drinking often resulted in his being unable to work. Three months after the film was finished, Bacall and Bogart were married.