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4.4 out of 5 stars
173
4.4 out of 5 stars
Format: DVD|Change
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on 13 January 2003
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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The Big Sleep is one of the all-time great movies.

It is not just detective fiction, not just on-screen chemistry between world-weary Bogart (as Philip Marlowe) and the young Bacall, it is not even because of the complexity of the Raymond Chandler plot or the deft direction from Hawks; somehow it is more than the sum of the parts, with every scene having relevance and subtle details that one keeps on discovering on each subsequent viewing.

This is one of those films that has to be seen, and should be a part of all Detective, or Film Noir, or Bogart collections.

The B&W photography seems to add to the atmosphere, colour might have made more visual impact, but I think it would have diluted the seedy atmospheric feel and weakened the way the film grabs one's attention.

We watched this again last Sunday, and my 2005 purchase from Az played again perfectly. The 4:3 picture is the release print and the transfer is a reasonable quality with only a little hop and weave and not much grain or dirt. The Mono sound is clear.

The only extras are the theatrical trailer and the options for French and Italian soundtracks as well as English, and twelve subtitle options including English for the Hearing Impaired.
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VINE VOICEon 13 August 2016
Difficult to follow the convoluted plot but I think it was quite famous for that.
I had sen this film a very long time ago and had forgotten that in among the wisecracks are some very funny lines.
Bogart was made for the Marlowesque type roles and excels. How his character keeps a handle on Bacall's 'one minute innocent next minute an accessory to everything' and cropping up in the most unexpected scenes, I don't know but they hit off each other so well.
Great fun.
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on 12 April 2017
Made in 1947 this film still is the definition of a classic "Film Noir", Bogart and Bacall dominate the screen with a chemistry never surpassed. The direction, the acting and the photography together with the terrific supporting cast make this one of the best films ever made.
The DVD is first class with good clean definition and sound plus sub-titles - Perfect!
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on 12 May 2017
An all time favourite. I could just watch it all the time.
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on 8 March 2017
Excellent film, Bogie at his best.
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on 17 July 2017
Great buy
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on 5 July 2017
Should be in everybody's movie library.
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on 31 March 2017
good
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on 1 February 2013
Love the film, both actors are some of my favourites. Like the man said, the old films are the best.
Thank you Amazon for still selling them.
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