Watch The Big Sleep

"The picture they were born for!"

The Big Sleep, based on a Raymond Chandler mystery of the same title, is classic film noir. Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall star in this black-and-white puzzler, directed by Howard Hawks, and released in the US in August of 1946. The film, moody and atmospheric, is set in Los Angeles in the forties. Philip Marlowe (Bogart), the epitome of the hard-boiled private detective, is hired by the wealthy General Sternwood (Charles Waldron) to deal with the attempted blackmail of his younger, somewhat disturbed, daughter, Carmen (Martha Vickers). Bacall plays the older daughter, Vivian, who becomes involved with Marlowe while trying to protect her sister. The convoluted plot includes, in addition to blackmail, murder, deceit, missing persons and a bookstore that is not quite what it seems.

While this film is decidedly not a comedy, much of the dialog is wryly funny due to its sharpness and wit, most of it taken directly from the book. Notably, novelist William Faulkner was one of the three credited script-writers, along with Jules Furthman and Leigh Brackett.

| 1946 | 1 hr 55 min | 8.0/10
Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall, John Ridgely, Martha Vickers
Warner Bros. Pictures
Howard Hawks

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Very Small Favor - The Big Sleep (1946)|3:33

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