The Big Sleep
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The definitive Humphrey Bogart/Lauren Bacall vehicle, The Big Sleep casts Bogart as Raymond Chandler's cynical private eye Philip Marlowe. Summoned to the home of the fabulously wealthy General Sternwood (Charles Waldron), Marlowe is hired to deal with a blackmailer shaking down the General's sensuous, thumb-sucking daughter Carmen (Martha Vickers). This earns Marlowe the displeasure of Carmen's sloe-eyed, seemingly straight-laced older sister Vivian (Bacall), who is fiercely protective of her somewhat addled sibling. As he pursues the case at hand, Marlowe gets mixed up in the… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 96%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"The Big Sleep is wakeful fare for folks who don't care what is going on, or why, so long as the talk is hard and the action harder."
‑ James Agee, TIME Magazine
"What you remember here are moments."
‑ Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader
"The Big Sleep is the best scripted, best directed, best acted, and least comprehensible film noir ever made."
‑ Tim Robey, Daily Telegraph
"Hawks' film noir remains legendary, despite complicated and convoluted plot, due to its star power and chemistry between Bogart and Bacall."
‑ Emanuel Levy, EmanuelLevy.Com
"Oozing class from start to finish, Howard Hawks' 1946 noir isn't just a Hollywood classic."
‑ Neil Smith, Total Film
"The Big Sleep, though, is witty and sinister, and in an odd way is a realistic portrayal of big-city life with Arabian Nights overtones."
‑ Manny Farber, The New Republic
"This is arguably the high-water mark of Hollywood's love affair with the infinitely slippery possibilities of the English language."
‑ Tom Huddleston, Time Out
"The plot is a bundle of confusions, but who cares? Few films have made cigarettes seem so glamorous. Or had such seductive repartee."
‑ Sukhdev Sandhu, Daily Telegraph
"It's unmissable, irresistible."
‑ Philip French, Observer [UK]
"No screen couple, before or since, had as much chemistry as Bogart and Bacall."
‑ Peter Bradshaw, Guardian
"Brittle Chandler characters have been transferred to the screen with punch by Howard Hawks' production and direction, providing full load of rough, tense action most of the way."
‑ Variety Staff, Variety
"It's likely to leave you confused and dissatisfied."
‑ Bosley Crowther, New York Times
"The Big Sleep is as fresh and perverse as ever, and remains one of Hollywood's most entrancingly strange bedtime stories."
‑ Jonathan Romney, Independent
"The Big Sleep has the distinction of being without doubt one of the greatest crime films of the Forties, yet also one of the least structurally satisfying."
‑ Jennie Kermode, Eye for Film
"One of the great pleasures of the silver screen."
‑ Tony Sloman, Radio Times
More reviews for The Big Sleep on Rotten Tomatoes

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