Customer Review

19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Contains wrong version of "The Big Sleep", January 9, 2011
This review is from: Humphrey Bogart: The Essential Collection (DVD)
First off, let me say, I love this set. I previously owned the first version of the Signature set (The Bogart Collection (Casablanca/The Maltese Falcon/To Have and Have Not/The Big Sleep/The Treasure of the Sierra Madre)), and will be giving it to a friend. Fantastic to own so many great Bogart flicks -- all those on the Signature Collection, plus rarer gems like They Drive By Night.

As I was giving my Signature set one last look before giving it away -- watching all the 2nd disk stuff that isn't in The Essentials -- in the case of Casablanca and The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, I got what I expected: The Essentials included all the data from the first disk, but not the second. Fine... better to get 24 movies instead of 5, even if it means giving up a few bonus features.

In the case of "The Big Sleep" however, they included instead what was on the B side of that two-sided disk: the inferior prerelease 1945 version, not the better 1946 theatrical release. There was a reason WB held up the release for a year, because the 1945 version simply isn't as good. The 1945 release was the bonus selection in the Signature Collection, but in The Essentials, they pass it off as the main feature.

Looking at the comments in response to the 3-star review "A Few Bugs In Bogart", it is apparent that WB's quality control is lacking, and different copies of The Essentials have different versions of the DVDs. (It is also apparent from those comments, that requests to WB to replace this disks are not always successful -- I will be trying my luck on that.)

To tell which version of "The Big Sleep" you have, go to chapter 18. If you see Lauren Bacall wearing a ridiculous looking veil (presumably in mourning after the death of her family's chauffeur), you too have the wrong version.

I was thrilled when this set came out, but am disappointed that "The Big Sleep", my favorite Bogart movie of all time, will no longer be my favorite on this set.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Nov 7, 2011 6:57:53 PM PST
I don't understand how its not the big sleep ? what is it ?

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 7, 2011 10:55:30 PM PST
W. L. West says:
It's an earlier release of "The Big Sleep" that the producer didn't want released, and for good reason. Lauren Bacall is not the smoldering vamp that she played so perfectly in the 1946 version of the movie... in stead she looks a bit silly at times.

The Big Sleep (the 1946 version) is so near-perfect, it's a shame to have this flawed version be part of the set. And, no surprise, I contacted Warner about it, hoping to get a replacement, but never heard back. :(
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