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51 of 51 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Detective Masterpiece
This film is absolutely mesmerizing, a masterpiece full of sharp dialog and a plot so complex not even Raymond Chandler could tell you who commited one of the murders. Bogart is Detective Philip Marlowe and from the moment he arrives to talk to General Sternwood and gets mixed up with his daughters this is a film classic.
Bacall is the sultry older sister, but it is...
Published on 13 Jan 2003

versus
16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Sloppy, sloppy work
One would have hoped that the persons charged with the responsibility of committing this superb film to DVD would have taken a little more care than the idiot who assembled my shed. Somebody, after all, went to the trouble to prepare subtitles in 10 languages (though I can't vouch for the accuracy of all of them). Instead, we have a damaged print, well below the standard...
Published on 24 July 2010 by The Prophet Zarquon


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51 of 51 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Detective Masterpiece, 13 Jan 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: The Big Sleep [1946] [DVD] (DVD)
This film is absolutely mesmerizing, a masterpiece full of sharp dialog and a plot so complex not even Raymond Chandler could tell you who commited one of the murders. Bogart is Detective Philip Marlowe and from the moment he arrives to talk to General Sternwood and gets mixed up with his daughters this is a film classic.
Bacall is the sultry older sister, but it is sexy and thumb sucking little sister Martha Vickers he meets first. As he tells Sternwood, "Yeah, we met. She tried to sit in my lap and I was standing up". This is all about gambling debts and murder, all of which leads to Eddie Mars and Carmen (Vickers). But there are more twist and turns here than a rollercoaster, and it moves just about as fast. If you blink, be prepared to start over.
Howard Hawks made a masterpiece here. It is the finest straightforward detective novel ever put on celluloid. William Faulkner adapted Raymond Chandler's greatest literary achievement for Hawks and the whole thing is filmed as a fast moving dream of dialog and images hard to forget. One critic likened it to a huge hangover. That is a perfect description of this film.
Bogart's Marlowe has his hands full trying to keep Carmen out of trouble she may already be in to deep to get out of, and the sparks between he and Bacall may just ignite if he can figure out a way to keep the fast rising body count from getting any higher while keeping himself alive. Bacall has never been more beautiful or inviting than when she is slumped down in the seat of Bogart's car, just waiting for him to kiss her.
You have to see this film to really appreciate it. You'll never see anything else like it in American cinema. Pick up this one as soon as you can.
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31 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You didn't understand the plot? It doesn't matter!, 15 Nov 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: The Big Sleep [1946] [DVD] (DVD)
This detective thriller is archetypal Bogart and Bacall. Dripping with rich, sensual, dark atmosphere, so that the complexity of the plot (it took me several viewings over many years to get the hang of it) just doesn't matter - don't worry about following every detail, just sit back and let this stylish, classic noir soak in to your consciousness in its own good time.
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27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Discover Bogart..., 31 Oct 2000
This review is from: The Big Sleep [1946] [DVD] (DVD)
I grew up hearing great stories about Bogart's movies, so much loved by my dad... It took me years before I decided to "face" one of those black&whites and see what the fuss was all about. Now I know: his charms, the lines, the storyboard... I absolutely loved my first Bogey movie and I went straight for more. The Big Sleep provides you with intrigue, suspense, romance and even some action, all of them mixed the right way for a captivating cocktail.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dark as a ditch, 20 Aug 2006
By 
Henry Ireton (Cambridge) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: The Big Sleep [1946] [DVD] (DVD)
The fact that this has got six five star reviews so far should say something about its quality and there are so many wonderful performances in this film that are really worth highlighting that I hope even in this review I can say something new about it. The point of the film in part is the wonderful relationship between Bacall and Bogart and yet just saying this is a film of that relationship would be completely wrong. There are many other great performances- even by characters whose description is as small as girl in a bookstore.

This film is about as atmospheric as it gets. You can disregard the complicated plot to concentrate solely on the way that each scene, each character almost draws with him or herself an atmosphere. So for instance General Sternwood who hires Marlowe as a private detective has an atmosphere of decadence around him- the heat of his room and the wilting flowers mirror the rottenness of his past. Decadence, moral and actual dominates the film- pornography and violence are referenced though a lot is toned down from the book because of the Production codes in Hollywood at the time.

This is an amazing film to which this review doesn't do adequate justice but I hope it adds to the pile of general approbation and convinces you to give this a try.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Most Famous Detective Film Ever?, 21 Aug 2002
By 
E. A. Redfearn "eredfearn2" (Middlesbrough) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Big Sleep [1946] [DVD] (DVD)
Perhaps the most famous detective film ever made, and one of the most complex! Still entertaining even after all these years, even though it seems to last hours at times! The chemistry between Bogart and Bacall is legendary; their scenes sparkle, and that wonderful final scene when the police sirens can be heard in the distance and they share "that look." Amazing. As far as the DVD version is concerned. its good, but not brilliant. Picture is clear, especially in the dark scenes, and there are many. Sound is dated, but bear in mind that it is an old film. However, you must buy this since films like this are ageless.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars My trall through the IMDB 100, at number 99.., 20 Dec 2006
By 
R. J. Williams "Postie" (Clevedon, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Big Sleep [1946] [DVD] (DVD)
This is the first time I've ever seen 'Bogie' in lead role and what a star he is, Lauren Bacall is equally as mesmerising on screen.

The plot is a right old head scratcher as you try to keep track with what the hell is going on, but it's still highly entertaining stuff from the quirky one liners, "she tried to sit on my lap while I was standing up", the nymphomaniac character played by the beautiful Martha Vickers, to the directors obsession that every single female character would find Bogart a sex symbol on first sight, something which he himself thought was amusing.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bogart and Bacall will never be forgotten., 17 Dec 2014
This review is from: The Big Sleep [1946] [DVD] (DVD)
The perfect gift for all movie buffs is THE ROMA VICTRIX WINE BEAKERCalix Imperium, Roma Victrix Pewter wine beaker

In this Howard Hawk masterpiece Bogart is the coolest private detective that has ever existed with a clever witty comeback for anyone who dares talk to him while he chain smokes and looks for his next glass of brandy.

Lauren Bacall in what is only her third film, more then holds her own with her sultry voice while her chemistry with her future husband Bogart makes up for the rest. Martha Vickers isn't just good here, but would have easily stolen the film from Bacall if she would have had more screen time. Her character, Carmen Sternwood, is also responsible for one of Bogart's best lines in the film: " She tried to sit in my lap while I was standing up."

The film is quintessential film-noir, quintessential Humphrey Bogart and quintessential Howard Hawks. It manages to be a perfect film while having a plot too complex to understand, but like Bogart's Philip Marlowe, it doesn't care if you understand it or not.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A masterpiece of sexual tension and investigative drama., 16 Nov 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: The Big Sleep [VHS] (VHS Tape)
The screen version of Raymond Chandler's novel of the same name is marked by the potent sexual chemistry between the two main stars; Lauren Becall and Humphrey Bogart. This wonderful pairing is buttressed by a fast-paced and ceaselessly witty script that whilst maintaining a dramatic tension, never loses an underlying comic tilt. Philip Marlowe, Bogart's character, is everything you would imagine a private investigator should be, witty without being aloof, strong without losing a strange vulnerability. Whilst it would be untrue to suggest that the film manages to evade confusing the viewer at times, this merely adds to the films allure. Quite simply the big sleep ranks as one of the best detective films of cinema history. The only shame is the long shadow it casts over the modern day tendancy to place far to little importance on scripts of such genuine quality or to so successfully tranfer a novel to the screen. This film is a must see!
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29 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Murder, mystery and the magnetism of Bogart and Bacall., 8 Mar 2004
By 
Themis-Athena (from somewhere between California and Germany) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Big Sleep [1946] [DVD] (DVD)
They were one of Hollywood's all-time legendary couples, both on screen and off; producing celluloid magic in the four films they made together between 1943 and 1948 as much as by their off-screen romance, which in itself was the stuff that dreams are made of. He was the American Film Insititute's No. 1 star of the 20th century, Hollywood's original noir anti-hero, who in addition to the AFI honors bestowed on his real-life persona also played two of the 20th century's Top 50 film heroes ("Casablanca"'Rick Blaine and this movie's Philip Marlow); epitome of the handsome, cynical and oh-so lonesome wolf, looking unbeatably cool in dinner jacket, trenchcoat and fedora alike, a glass of whiskey in his hand and cigarette dangling from the corner of his mouth; and endowed with a legendary aura several times larger than his physical stature. She, despite a 25-year age difference his equal in everything from grit and toughness to mysterious appeal; chillier than bourbon on the rocks, possessing more than just a touch of class whatever her role; and long since a bona fide AFI movie legend in her own right.
Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall met on the set of Howard Hawks's 1944 realization of Ernest Hemingway's "To Have and Have Not," where an obvious chemistry quickly developed between 45-year-old veteran Bogart, who had just scored two of film history's greatest-ever hits with "The Maltese Falcon" and "Casablanca" in the two preceding years, and the sassy, exciting 20-year-old newcomer who possessed the maturity and sex-appeal of a woman good and well 10 years her senior. They were reunited two years later for this adaptation of Raymond Chandler's first Philip Marlowe novel "The Big Sleep" (1939), based on a screenplay written, like that of "To Have and Have Not," by William Faulkner and Jules Furthman, together with Leigh Brackett (who had not participated in scripting the Hemingway adaptation). By the time the movie was released in 1946, Bogart and Bacall were married.
Reprising Bogart's noir gumshoe role with a character not unlike Dashiell Hammett's Sam Spade in "The Maltese Falcon," the movie "The Big Sleep" is as infamous as Chandler's literary original for its labyrinthine plot, which reportedly even the author himself couldn't completely untangle (nor did he care to). The plot is essentially faithful to Chandler's novel, from which it takes much of its dialogue; albeit streamlined and with some changes made to fit Bogart's physical characteristics, and eliminating or softening a few scenes considered unfit for display to a moviegoing audience in the 1940s. The story begins when Marlowe is hired by wealthy old General Sternwood to handle a blackmailing attempt involving gambling debts incurred by Sternwood's younger daughter Carmen (Martha Vickers) (whom the detective has already met when she literally threw herself into his arms upon his entry into the house, sucking her thumb and coyly telling him "you're cute"). After his interview with the dying general in the latter's hot and humid orchid house, a disheveled Marlowe is summoned to the rooms of the general's older daughter Vivian (Lauren Bacall), who tries to worm out of him the purpose of his engagement and who, as Marlowe quickly concludes, has more than a minor hidden agenda of her own. Soon the detective is up to his ears in the classical film noir brew of murder, damsels in distress, shady characters and a world where nothing is what it appears to be, and where he'll be able to consider himself lucky if he gets out alive - yet, he is determined to see the case through and will neither be bought off by money nor by sweetness and seduction.
Looking back at the movie and its stars' almost mythical fame, it is difficult to imagine that, produced at the height of the studio system era, it was originally just one of the roughly 50 movies released by Warner Brothers over the course of one year. But mass production didn't equal low quality; on the contrary, the great care given to all production values, from script-writing to camera work, editing, score (Max Steiner) and the stars' presentation in the movie itself and in its trailer was at least partly responsible for its lasting success. Indeed, the release of "The Big Sleep" was delayed for an entire year - and not only because its first version was completed around the end of WWII and Warner Brothers wanted to get their still-unreleased war movies into theaters first, but also, and significantly, because Lauren Bacall's agent convinced studio boss Jack Warner and director Howard Hawks to reshoot several scenes to better highlight the sassy, mysterious new star Bacall had become after "To Have and Have Not." And it certainly paid off: "The Big Sleep" firmly established then-22-year-old Lauren Bacall as one of Hollywood's new leading ladies, and even more than her first film with Humphrey Bogart laid the foundation for the couple's mythical relationship.
Bogart and Bacall would star together two more times after "The Big Sleep": In "Dark Passage" (1947) and "Key Largo" (1948). But of their four collaborations, the first two - and in particular, "The Big Sleep" - remain unparalleled for their secretive, shadowy aura, tight scripting, snappy dialogue, cynicism and underlying seductiveness; due in equal parts to the story crafted by Raymond Chandler, its adaptation by Faulkner, Furthman and Brackett, Howard Hawks's masterful direction and its starring couple's irresistible chemistry. After three failed marriages, after having produced on-screen magic with Mary Astor in "The Maltese Falcon" and, even more so, with Ingrid Bergman in "Casablanca" (and although he would go on to star in such memorable pairings as next to Katherine Hepburn in "The African Queen" and Audrey Hepburn in "Sabrina"), Humphrey Bogart had finally met his match - and while his and Bacall's marriage was painfully cut short by the cancer to which he succumbed in 1957, the magnetism they created on screen will live on, and nowhere more brilliantly than in "The Big Sleep."
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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Sloppy, sloppy work, 24 July 2010
This review is from: The Big Sleep [1946] [DVD] (DVD)
One would have hoped that the persons charged with the responsibility of committing this superb film to DVD would have taken a little more care than the idiot who assembled my shed. Somebody, after all, went to the trouble to prepare subtitles in 10 languages (though I can't vouch for the accuracy of all of them). Instead, we have a damaged print, well below the standard of that regularly shown on television. I just don't understand the mentality of the person who decided that this would be adequate.

An insult to the history of cinema; a waste of precious Makrolon®. Shame on you Warner Video.
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The Big Sleep [VHS]
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