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The Big Sleep (DVD, 2000, Contains Two Versions)

Howard Hawks, Humphrey Bogart | Rating: Not Rated
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Movie synopsis
Chandler's first novel introduced private detective Philip Marlowe, and THE BIG SLEEP set the standard for private detective movies. Down-at-the-heels private eye Marlowe gets the assignment to clean up after the daughters of a dying millionaire, but dead people have a nasty habit of trailing in their wake. The famously tortuous story line (Hawks supposedly asked Chandler to clarify a plot point about the murder of the family chauffeur; the novelist hadn't a clue as to who did the deed) seems beside the point when Bogart and Bacall are onscreen. The final release was recut to include more of their scenes together. A must! Remade in 1978.

Product Details
  • Edition: Contains Two Versions
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Rating: Not Rated
  • Film Country: USA
  • UPC: 012569502628

Additional Details
Genre:Dramas
Format:DVD
Display Format:Contains Two Versions

Director:Howard Hawks
Leading Role:Humphrey Bogart
eBay Product ID: EPID3309064

Editorial reviews

"...The chemistry between Bogart and Bacall is so blatant it's no surprise to learn they were married the same year. A joy..." -- 5 out of 5 stars
Total Film - John Wrathall (03/01/2000)

"...It is one of the great film noirs, a black-and-white symphony..."
Chicago Sun-Times - Roger Ebert (06/22/1997)

"...Watch Bogart and Lauren Bacall settle into their second flick together -- madly in love..."
Entertainment Weekly - Entertainment Weekly Staff (01/11/2002)

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Customer Reviews

Average review score based on 9 user reviews

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Created: 06/09/07

The Bogart & Bacall Flick That Raised The Bar Sky High

Dialogue, dialogue, dialogue. Then, the greatest hotties' sensual chemistry.
Bogie & Bacall is what "Big Sleep," was up to. Last lines first:

Vivian (Bacall): You've forgotten one thing - me.
Philip Marlowe (Bogart): What's wrong with you?
Vivian (Bacall): Nothing you can't fix.

(Do tell! That's the slow burn fired all the way up at the show stopping end. Suave dialogue leaves my chin hanging open, knowing Bacall & Bogie get busy with that fix in real life--married. This film made their romance.

Marlow (Bogart) set a standard for future P.I.s since a generation of guys mimicked his gestures, dangling a cig over their lower lip, lifting crooked eyebrows with a real toothy grimace. Oh & grabbing at his ear while he's thinking. Dir. Howard Hawks had a hand in making the late bloomer (Bogie didn't start acting until 35yo to pay off his dad's debts) a matinee idol. An ordinary enough street-smart private investigator was transformed by 1 film into a fresh brand of movie icon, by the women, & a role model for the men.

"The Big Sleep's" strength is its dialogue & delivery. Especially exchanges between Bogie & Bacall in the 1946 version. This is their major film for becoming recognized as the most sensuous real life lovers among screen actors: Lauren Bacall (Vivian Sternwood Rutledge) & Humphrey Bogart (Philip Marlow). When Raymond Chandler wrote the novel, then William Faulkner co-adapted it, their combustible chemistry was projected through the real emotions of Bacall & Bogart. Whatever happened to men being cunning & suave rather than bullying brutes? Or being funny when dead-pan serious instead of being a lunatic for a laugh? The noire script is finessed in conversation, for instance:

General Sternwood--Vivian's aged father (Charles Waldron): How do you like your brandy, sir?
Marlowe (Bogart): In a glass.

Notice how sparse in number the words are that deliver the punch? The dramatic murder mystery is a cut to the quick comedy because of great writing & great delivery of it, too. Again:

Marlowe (Bogart): "Such a lot of guns around town & so few brains."
(What a slam uttered in a mere 4 seconds!).

Even better in 20 words in 11 seconds:
Agnes Lowzier (Sonia Darrin--a saleswoman): Is Harry there?
Philip Marlowe (Bogart): Yeah, yeah, he's here.
Lowzier: Put him on, will you?
Marlowe: He can't talk to you.
Lowzier: Why?
Marlowe: Because he's dead.

That's why so many critics have called this movie too complex. It's ultra compact. If a whole scene can be done in 11 seconds & the DVD director's cut's 116 minutes, imagine counting the number of slams, seductions, crack-ups & romance moments that are packed within almost 2 hours?

Howard Hawks directed the essential 1946 version & edited scenes that made Bacall's fire flame. Hawks, then Warner, didn't want Bacall being soft & cutesy.

Almost forgot to tell you the plot. Private investigator, Philip Marlowe's hired to follow General Sternwood's younger daughter, Carmen. Seems she's into rough company & dear old Dad fears she's about to harm herself & his family's reputation in the near future. Marlowe's falling in love with the elder daughter, Vivian, who instantly develops a deep-seeded dislike of him. The plot twists & turns when 1 murder follows another murder. It's up to Marlowe to put the pieces together & figure out how to woo Vivian (on & off screen). If he does both he'll reap Vivian & Bacall as rewards. The famous couple's best!

89 of 89 people found this review helpful. Was this review helpful? Yes | No

Created: 12/04/08

The Big Sleep 1945 Bogart BaCall

Review For: The Big Sleep (DVD, 2000, Contains Two Versions)

I bought This Classic Version of The Big Sleep Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall Made 1945. This Is One Of The Best The Two Actors Were Born For!
Howard Hawks Best Director of its Time. The Snappy Character Encounters, The Brisk dialogue and Pace gives a Sultry but Romantic Mood also to the Audience as well. This Is Rare in Today's Writer's But we still have a Hunger for American Films. This is the Best Profession Today I Believe. I would of ben like Hemingway's Thinking of Scripts. And Hawks way Of Directing Movies.
David H. Mahan

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Created: 10/08/10

One of the VERY GOOD Bogies

Review For: The Big Sleep (DVD, 2000, Contains Two Versions)

This is a great & very entertaining, smoothly-paced Bogie "noir". Among his 5 or 6 best -- but not QUITE in the league of "Falcon" or (of course) "Casablanca". Bacall & Bogie's best together (in my opinion) -- & the "2 versions" DVD showing how the original version was "improved" by re-shoots & the Leigh Brackett rewrite was REALLY interesting & entertaining. HUGE improvement on the first version.

Howard Hawks' body of work is AMAZING! Why isn't he better known?

Chandler book -- in a different way -- is better, in a different way not as good.

Bogie & Betty -- a love story for the ages.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful. Was this review helpful? Yes | No

Created: 10/23/09

The Big Sleep

When you see Lauren Bacall and Humphrey Bogart together you just know that it seems perfect. When you add Howard Hawks into the mix you get one of the greatest film noirs of all time. Although the plot is a bit difficult to comprehend the relationship among its two main stars makes up for it and then some. A true classic. Highly recommend!!!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful. Was this review helpful? Yes | No

Created: 03/31/09

The Big Sleep (DVD, 2000, Contains Two Versions)

Review For: The Big Sleep (DVD, 2000, Contains Two Versions)

This is Bogart at his best as a "tough-guy" detective. This DVD gives you both the movie as it was originally shot and the official released version which was changed to take advantage of the Bogart/Bacall success in their previous film "To Have and Have Not." They do a good job presenting Raymond Chandler's hit book in a 1940's film version. You get rare glimpses of the humor of Bogart, the romantic Bogart/Bacall connection, and a strong supporting cast. If you like history, you also get to see the cars, fashions, and downtown buildings of the 1940's. This is a much better movie than the re-make of the 1970's starring Robert Mitchum.

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