The Big Sleep

Synopsis: The Big Sleep is the story of a private investigator, named Philip Marlowe, hired by a wealthy general to find out and stop his youngest daughter, Carmen, from being blackmailed about her gambling debts; things almost immediately unravel and blow up from here, as Marlowe finds himself deep within a web of love triangles, blackmail, murder, gambling, and organized crime. Marlowe, with the help of the General's eldest daughter, Vivian, skillfully plot to free the family from this web and trap the main main behind much of this mischief, Eddie, to meet his end at the hands of his own henchmen.
Director(s): Howard Hawks
Production: Warner Bros. Pictures
  2 wins.
Rotten Tomatoes:
114 min

My name's Marlowe.

The general wanted to see me.

Yes, Mr. Marlowe.

Will you come in, please, sir?

- I'll tell the general that you're here.

- Thank you.

Good morning.

You're not very tall, are you?

Well, I tried to be.

Not bad-looking...

...though you probably know it.

Thank you.

What's your name?

Reilly. Doghouse Reilly.

That's a funny kind of name.

You think so?

What are you? A prizefighter?

- No, I'm a shamus.

- What's that?

A private detective.

You're making fun of me.

You're cute.

The general will see you now, sir.

- Who's that?

- Miss Carmen Sternwood.

You ought to wean her.

She's old enough.

- This is Mr. Marlowe, general.

- How do you do, sir?

- Sit down, sir.

- Thank you.

Brandy, Norris.

- How do you like your brandy, sir?

- In a glass.

I used to like mine with champagne.

Champagne cold as Valley Forge...

...with about three ponies

of brandy under it.

Come, come, man!

Pour a decent one.

I like to see people drink.

That'll do, Norris.

You may take off your coat, sir.

Thank you.

Too hot in here for any man

who has any blood in his veins.

You may smoke too.

I can still enjoy the smell of it.

Nice state of affairs when a man

has to indulge his vices by proxy.

You're looking, sir, at a very dull

survival of a very gaudy life.

Crippled, paralyzed in both legs.

Little I can eat, and

my sleep is so near waking...'s hardly worth the name.

I seem to exist largely on heat,

like a newborn spider.

The orchids are an excuse

for the heat.

- Do you like orchids?

- Not particularly.

Nasty things.

Their flesh is too much

like the flesh of men.

Their perfume has the rotten

sweetness of corruption.

Tell me about yourself.

There isn't much to tell.

I'm 38. I went to college.

I can still speak English,

when my business demands it.

I worked for the

district attorney's office.

Bernie Ohls, the chief inspector,

said you wanted to see me.

You didn't like working

for the district attorney?

I was fired for insubordination.

I seem to rate pretty high on that.

I always did, myself.

What do you know about my family?

Well, you're a widower,

a millionaire.

You have two daughters.

One unmarried...

...and one married to a man

named Rutledge, but it didn't take.

- Both living with you and both...

- Go on, sir.

Both pretty and both pretty wild.

- Why'd you want to see me?

- I'm being blackmailed again.


About a year ago, I paid a man

named Joe Brody $5000... let my younger daughter alone.

What does that mean?

It means, "Hm!"

It didn't go through the DA

or I'd have heard.

Who handled it for you?

Shawn Regan.

There must be some reason why

he isn't handling it this time.

Shawn has left me.

- I thought I hadn't seen him lately.

- A month ago, without a word.

I had no claim on him.

I was only his employer.

But I had hoped that he'd come

to regard me as something more.

And that at least

he'd have said good bye.

That's what hurt.

You knew him too?

Yes, in the old days when he

used to run rum out of Mexico...

...and I was on the other side.

We used to swap shots

between drinks...

...or drinks between shots.

My respects to you, sir.

Few men ever swapped more than

one shot with Shawn Regan.

He commanded a brigade

in the Irish Republican Army.

But you knew that.

No, I didn't.

I know he was a good man

at whatever he did.

No one was more pleased than I

when you took him on as your...

...whatever he was.

My friend.

My son, almost.

Many an hour he sat with me,

sweating like a pig...

...drinking brandy and telling

stories of the Irish Revolution.

Well, enough of that.


Read the other side.

These her signatures?

- Who's Arthur Geiger?

- I haven't the faintest idea.

- Did you ask her?

- No, and I don't intend to.

If I did, she'd just suck

her thumb and look coy.

I met her in the hall

and she did that to me.

Then she tried to sit on my lap

while I was standing up.


Your other daughter, Mrs. Rutledge.

She mixed up in this?

They alike?

They're alike only in having

the same corrupt blood.

Vivian is spoiled, exacting... and ruthless.

Carmen is still a little child who

likes to pull the wings off flies.

I assume they have

all the usual vices...

...besides those they've

invented for themselves.

If I seem a bit sinister

as a parent, Mr. Marlowe...'s because my hold

on life is too slight... include any

Victorian hypocrisy.

I need hardly add that any man

who has lived as I have...

...and who indulges, for the first

time, in parenthood at my age...

...deserves all he gets.


Pay him.


She signed these notes, didn't she?

Who's this Joe Brody

you paid the $5000 to?

I can't recall.

My butler, Norris, would know.

I think he called himself a gambler.

Geiger says these are gambling debts.

They may be.

Think they are?

You want me to take this Geiger

off your back. Is that right?

Want to know anything?

I just want to get rid of him.

Might cost you a little.

Thanks for the drink.

I enjoyed your drink

as much as you did, sir.

- You'll hear from me.

- Good luck.

Mr. Marlowe, Mrs. Rutledge would like

to see you before you leave.

About the money, the general

has instructed me... give you a check

for whatever you require.

Instructed you how?

I see, sir. I forget

that you're a detective.

By the way he rang his bell, sir.

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William Faulkner

The townspeople made fun of William Faulkner, because they didn't think he fought in the first word war. But he was busy writing many books. He won the Nobel prize in literature later in life. When he received the prize, he said he didn't know what a talent he had when he was writing. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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