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



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.

production details
USA / Warner Bros  / 116 minutes / 1946

Director: Howard Hawks
Writers: Raymond Chandler, Jules Furthman, William Faulkner,

Humphrey Bogart as Philip Marlowe
Lauren Bacall as Vivian Sternwood Rutledge
Regis Toomey as Chief Inspector Bernie Ohls
Elisha Cook Jr. as Harry Jones
John Ridgely as Eddie Mars
Ben Welden as Pete
Bob Steele as Lash Canino
Charles D. Brown as Norris the Butler
Martha Vickers as Carmen Sternwood
Dorothy Malone as Acme Bookstore Proprietress
Peggy Knudsen as Mona Mars
Charles Waldron as General Sternwood
Louis Jean Heydt as Joe Brody
Sonia Darrin as Agnes Lowzier (uncredited)
Tom Fadden as Sidney
Bess Flowers as Restaurant Patron
Joy Barlow as Taxi Driver