My Review of ‘The Big Sleep’ (1946)


If you’re going to watch this movie, I suggest you start with the original 1945 version rather than this slightly different one that plays up the Bogey-Bacall romance.


It’s not that the second one is so terrible. It’s just that I dislike screwing around with originals. Like directors’ recut versions of so many recent films, it seems to do a disservice to the movie’s original intent. Not to mention to the viewers who liked the original just fine.

Nonetheless, in either version, this movie is a film noir treat of the highest order.

When Philip Marlowe is hired by Colonel Sternwood to, let us say, dissuade someone who’s blackmailing him, because his infantile daughter owes money to the wrong people, Marlowe gets drawn into a plot so convoluted, even the author couldn’t figure our who killed everyone.

One of the best parts of this movie is that it’s based on the novel by Raymond Chandler, who didn’t write the screenplay. That was written in part by William Faulkner – probably drunk. However, the movie includes some of Chandler’s best lines.

Marlowe: “She tried to sit in my lap while I was standing up.”

Carmen Sternwood: “You’re not very tall are you?”
Marlowe: “Well I, uh, I try to be.”

Carmen Sternwood: “You’re cute.”
Marlowe: “I’m getting cuter every minute.”

Norris: “Are you attempting to tell me my duties, sir.”
Marlowe: “No, just having fun trying to guess what they are.”


Carmen Sternwood: “You’re cute. I like you.”
Marlowe: “Yean, what you sees nothing, I got a Balinese dancing girl tattooed across my chest.”

Marlowe: “Get up angel, you look like a Pekingese.”

Agnes Lowzier: “Is Harry there?”
Marlowe: “Yeah, yeah, he’s here.”
Agnes Lowzier: “Put him on, will you?”
Marlowe: “He can’t talk to you.”
Agnes Lowzier: “Why?”
Marlowe: “Because he’s dead.”

The Big Sleep is one of my favorite film noir movies ever! A definite two thumbs up!

Hand showing thumbs up. All on white background.

This entry was posted in Film Noir and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to My Review of ‘The Big Sleep’ (1946)

  1. Bill Crider says:

    One of my favorite movies. I almost have it memorized.


  2. Pingback: MOVIE REVIEW | The Big Sleep (1946) | Bored and Dangerous

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