The Big Sleep (1946, 1 hr 54 min. No Rating.). The Big Sleep, written in 1939, is a hardboiled crime novel by Raymond Chandler, the first to feature the detective, Philip Marlowe. It has been adapted for film twice, in 1946 and again in 1978. The story is set in Los Angeles, California, according to Wikipedia, and is noted for its complexity, with characters double-crossing one another and secrets being exposed throughout the narrative. The title is a euphemism for death; it refers to a rumination about “sleeping the big sleep” in the final pages of the book.
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Private investigator Philip Marlowe is called to the home of the wealthy and elderly General Sternwood, in the month of October. He wants Marlowe to deal with an attempt by a bookseller named Arthur Geiger to blackmail his wild young daughter, Carmen. She had previously been blackmailed by a man named Joe Brody. Sternwood mentions his other, older daughter Vivian is in a loveless marriage with a man named Rusty Regan, who has disappeared. On Marlowe’s way out, Vivian wonders if he was hired to find Regan, but Marlowe will not say.
The Big Sleep, like most of Chandler’s novels, was written by what he called “cannibalizing” his short stories. Chandler would take stories he had already published in the pulp magazine Black Mask and rework them into a coherent novel. For The Big Sleep, the two main stories that form the core of the novel are “Killer in the Rain” (published in 1935) and “The Curtain” (published in 1936). Although the stories were independent and shared no characters, they had some similarities that made it logical to combine them. In both stories there is a powerful father who is distressed by his wayward daughter. Chandler merged the two fathers into a new character and did the same for the two daughters, resulting in General Sternwood and his wild daughter Carmen. Chandler also borrowed small parts of two other stories, “Finger Man” and “Mandarin’s Jade.”
The movie The Big Sleep is a 1946 film noir, directed by Howard Hawks, the first film version of Raymond Chandler’s 1939 novel. The movie stars Humphrey Bogart as private detective Philip Marlowe and Lauren Bacall as Vivian Rutledge in a story about the “process of a criminal investigation, not its results.” William Faulkner, Leigh Brackett, and Jules Furthman co-wrote the screenplay. In 1997, the U.S. Library of Congress deemed the film “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant,” and added it to the National Film Registry.
OTHER MOVIES in the MONDAY MOVIE SERIES
JULY 3, 8:30 PM………… WHO FRAMED ROGER RABBIT?
JULY 10, 8:30 PM…….. AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DAYS
JULY 24, 8:30 PM………………………….. THE BIG SLEEP
JULY 31, 8:15 PM…………JOURNEY TO THE CENTER OF THE EARTH
AUGUST 7, 8:00 PM…………………..AN AMERICAN TAIL
AUGUST 21, 8:00 PM……………..DEAD POET’S SOCIETY
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