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NOIR: The Big Sleep

(Rated PG)

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"Don't you know any better than to wake a man up at two o'clock in the afternoon?"

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Overview

Jaded private investigator Philip Marlowe (Humphrey Bogart) is hired by General Sternwood to help settle the astronomical gambling debts of his wild young daughter Carmen (Martha Vickers). Sternwood's older daughter Vivian (Lauren Bacall) provides assistance when she implies that the situation is far more complex that it first appears, and also involves a big-time casino owner (John Ridgely) and a recently disappeared family friend. As people linked to the family start being murdered one by one, Marlowe finds himself trapped within a web of love triangles, foul play, free-flowing booze and organised crime.

Why You Should See This Film

Adapted from the hardboiled Raymond Chandler novel and with a screenplay co-written by William Faulkner, The Big Sleep boasts a literary pedigree shared by few film noirs made before or since. It's little surprise that the film eschews hackneyed storylines in favour of complex plot threads, big twists and nail-biting, edge-of-your-seat mystery. Sizzling co-stars Bogart and Bacall – who would go on to be wed just three months after shooting wrapped – had such great chemistry on the set that the production received a memo from producer Jack L. Warner saying “Word has reached me that you are having fun on the set. This must stop." Needless to say, their romantic pairing remains a match made in film noir heaven.

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  • Year: 1946
  • Rating: PG
  • Director: Howard Hawks
  • Cast: Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall, Martha Vickers
  • Duration: 114 minutes
  • Language: English
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