Humphrey Bogart wasn’t Chandler’s ideal Philip Marlowe — the author’s choice was Cary Grant. But Bogart’s portrayal of the detective as wisecracking moralist now seems to be what makes The Big Sleep the best of the eight Philip Marlowe pictures made to date. Of course, the plot is so confusing that nobody — not director Howard Hawks, coscreenwriters Leigh Brackett, Jules Furthman, and William Faulkner, or even Chandler himself — has ever been able to make complete sense of it. But thanks to a superb ensemble (including Lauren Bacall and cowboy actor Bob Steele as a murderous thug), a poisonous Los Angeles atmosphere you can cut with a knife, and typically high-powered direction by Hawks, the whole thing is so engrossing you’re not likely to notice. Coolest scene: Bogey and bookstore clerk Dorothy Malone trading double entendres over a bottle of bourbon. A
Genre: Mystery and Thriller; Starring: Lauren Bacall, Humphrey Bogart, John Ridgely, Bob Steele, Martha Vickers; Director: Howard Hawks; Author: William Faulkner; Runtime (in minutes): 114; MPAA Rating: Unrated; Distributor: Warner Bros.
Posted September 14 1990 — 12:00 AM EDT
- 'Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.' star on that shocking casualty
- Jennifer Garner joins Bryan Cranston in 'Wakefield'
- 'Girlfriends' Guide to Divorce' season 2 premiere react: Abby gets schooled in divorce
- New 'X-Files' promo asks, 'Are we being lied to?'
- 'Real Housewives' star Yolanda Foster and music producer David Foster are divorcing
- Morrissey wins the award for the worst sex writing
- Helen Mirren in talks to join Will Smith in 'Collateral Beauty'