Dir. by Howard Hawks
The film adaptation of Raymond Chandler’s classic detective story is marvelously done. This is the silver-screen vehicle that put the Bogart and Bacall chemistry on the map. The screenplay is a memorable collaboration between William Faulkner, the darling of literary critics in the ‘40s, and Leigh Brackett, one of the great SF-action storytellers of all time, as well as Jules Furhtman.
Hard-boiled PI, Philip Marlowe (Humphrey Bogart) has been hired to help General Sternwood (Charles Waldron). The general is an elderly millionaire with two daughters who are about 46-flavors of trouble. Carmen (Martha Vickers) is being blackmailed. Vivian’s (Lauren Bacall) husband Rusty Reagan (a man the general respects) has disappeared and may be responsible.
What Marlowe finds is a sordid mess where secrets need to be buried as fast as they are unearthed. Navigating from swanky Hollywood nightclubs to scuzzy porno stores (back then they were illegal!) and all manner of high-society lowlifes, Marlowe follows this exceptionally twisted skein to its end.
The Big Sleep is a true classic, entertaining and stylish to see.