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The Big Sleep

395 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Big Sleep, The (DVD)

Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall ignite the screen in this classic film noir adaptation of Raymond Chandler's steamy detective novel. When private investigator Philip Marlowe (Bogart) accepts the blackmail case of one of Los Angeles' wealthiest men, his probe leads deep into a web of lies, drugs, pornography and murder woven around his client's two beautiful daughters. But Marlowe's most startling discovery is his inexorable attraction to one of the sisters.

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Product Details

  • Actors: Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall, John Ridgely, Martha Vickers, Dorothy Malone
  • Directors: Howard Hawks
  • Writers: William Faulkner, Leigh Brackett, Jules Furthman
  • Producers: Howard Hawks
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Black & White, Closed-captioned, Subtitled, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: July 25, 2006
  • Run Time: 114 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (395 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000FFJYA2
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,535 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Big Sleep" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

170 of 173 people found the following review helpful By Gary F. Taylor HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on July 30, 2002
Format: DVD
THE BIG SLEEP has a reputation for being a film that gets lost in its own complexity and which fails to clearly identify all the perpetrators of all the murders that litter its scenes. There is a certain truth to this: like the Raymond Chandler novel on which it is based, the plot is extremely complicated, and it requires the viewer to mentally track an unexpected number of characters--including two characters that never appear on screen, a pivotal character who doesn't actually have any lines, and a character who is frequently mentioned but doesn't appear until near the film's conclusion. There is not, however, as much truth to the accusation that the film never exposes all the killers: only one killer is not specifically identified, but even so his identity is very clearly implied.

All this having been said, THE BIG SLEEP is one helluva movie. In general, the story concerns the wealthy Sternwood family, which consists of an aging father and two "pretty and pretty wild" daughters--one of whom, Carmen, is being victimized by a blackmailer. P.I. Philip Marlowe is hired to get rid of the blackmailer, but an unexpected murder complicates matters... and touches off a series of killings by a number of parties who have covert interests in the Sternwood family. Perhaps the most amazing thing about the film is that you don't actually have to pick apart the complicated story in order to enjoy it. The script is famous for its witty lines and sleek sexual innuendo--much of it lifted directly from Chandler's novel--and the cast is a dream come true.
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79 of 80 people found the following review helpful By Joe Oliver on February 25, 2000
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
"Two...Two... Two Movies in One," could be the ad line for this wonderful DVD. Warner clearly understands that DVDs should offer the customer something new other than just a new play format. Here we get a two-sided disc containing both versions of this movie: a pre-release cut from 1944, seen mostly by servicemen oversees; and, the 1946 release, recut with reshot scenes to promote the chemistry between Bogart and Bacall (she had become a star between '44 and '46). This would be enough to justify buying this DVD, but Warner goes even further, providing an insightful documentary explaining the cuts and changes between the two movie versions--it's like being in a very good film appreciation class. While most DVDs seem overpriced to me, this one may be underpriced--especially considering it's one of the most intriging movies ever made. After watching both versions of the film, and also the documentary, I still don't fully understand the plot, but this movie really is all about atmosphere, dialogue and great acting. A wonderful addition to any movie collection.
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52 of 56 people found the following review helpful By Erik Rupp VINE VOICE on April 22, 2000
Format: DVD
If you haven't already seen THE BIG SLEEP, buy this DVD now! If you have, but don't own this DVD release, buy it now! Why? Both the 1946 classic and the pre-release 1945 edit are on this disc. The differences are quite interesting. The 1946 version shows Bogart (as Philip Marlowe) as the epitome of "Cool" in every situation, even when he has a gun pulled on him or is getting beaten up. Lauren Bacall comes off much better in the 1946 version as well, as she shows the spark that was seen in TO HAVE AND HAVE NOT. The 1945 version has a few scenes cut from the 1946 version which are quite good, and is actually a little easier to follow. Whichever version you watch, THE BIG SLEEP is one of the greatest movies ever in the "Film Noir" or detective "Murder Mystery" genres. The disc also includes a documentary on the making of the film, and the differences between the two versions, which is very interesting. The picture and sound quality are actually quite good, as any flaws in the picture are so minor that they would not be noticed unless you're watching for them, and not watching the movie itself. As stated before, if you don't already own this DVD, BUY IT NOW! It's a classic movie and an outstanding package!
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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Bobby Underwood VINE VOICE on June 29, 2006
Format: DVD
"The Big Sleep" is one of the most unique adaptations of a detective novel ever brought to the screen. Watching this film is one of the true joys of being a film buff. This is extraordinary entertainment that grabs your attention quickly and holds it until the final shot. It is exciting and engaging, and a favorite of all detective film fans.

Director Howard Hawks turned Raymond Chandler's most popular story into an absolutely mesmerizing celluloid masterpiece. Chandler's complex novel was adapted for the screen by William Faulkner, and while we may never know for sure who committed one of the murders in this blurry crime noir, like all Hawks' films, it is so incredibly entertaining we really don't care. It is full of sharp dialog and dreamy images comparable to being slipped a "mickey." One critic actually compared it to a hangover.

The story itself moves at a terrific clip, and there is so much going on you might get lost if you blink. Humphry Bogart is Raymond Chandler's 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.

One would think with a young and sultry Bacall getting tangled up with Bogart for the first time, they would be everything in this film; they are not, however. Bacall portrays the General's sultry older daughter, Vivian, but it is the sexy and thumb-sucking Carmen whom Marlowe meets first.

Martha Vickers gives a performance that has you thinking about her throughout, even when she isn't present. She steals every scene she is in and is one of the most memorable dolls in noir history. This was Vickers' finest moment on film and forever earned her a place in movie history.
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