Big Sleep, The (Warner 1946, Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall)

The Big Sleep

Raymond Chandler’s first novel introduced private detective Philip Marlowe, and The Big Sleep set the standard for private detective movies.

Down-at-the-heels private eye Marlowe gets the assignment to clean up after the daughters of a dying millionaire, but dead people have a nasty habit of trailing in their wake. The famously tortuous story line (Howard Hawks supposedly asked Chandler to clarify a plot point about the murder of the family chauffeur; the novelist hadn’t a clue as to who did the deed) seems beside the point when Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall are on-screen.

While writing The Big Sleep, William Faulkner asked if he could work at home. Days later, unable to reach Faulkner at his Hollywood apartment, director Howard Hawks discovered that the novelist had gone all the way home, to Mississippi.

Cast: Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall, Elisha Cook Jr. , Sonia Darrin, Louis Jean Heydt, Dorothy Malone, John Ridgely, Bob Steele, Regis Toomey, Martha Vickers

Producer and Director: Howard Hawks
Director of Photography: Sidney Hickox
Editor: Christian Nyby
Composer: Max Steiner
Screenwriters: Leigh Brackett, William Faulkner, Jules Furthman
Production Designer: Carl Jules Weyl

USA / Warner Bros / 114 minutes / 1946 black and white

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