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The Big Sleep

The Big Sleep

Director:Howard Hawks
Cast:Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall

By Heather Joslyn | Posted 9/22/2004

With a plot so twisted that even its four co-writers (including novelists Raymond Chandler and William Faulkner) admitted they couldn't keep track of all its doings, 1946's The Big Sleep is nevertheless a hugely entertaining movie, powered by a frisky performance by Humphrey Bogart. Bogie plays Philip Marlowe -- the original private dick who's a sex machine to all the chicks -- who's hired to help quash a blackmail threat against the wild-child daughter of a wealthy family. His duties do not keep him from engaging in delicious, just-shy-of-censorship innuendo with the family's other wild-child daughter, played by Bogart's wife, Lauren Bacall. Nor does the film move its hydra-headed plot along so relentlessly that it can't stop cold for some playfully bizarre non sequiter scenes that give its lead actor a chance to stretch. (Check out tough guy Bogie as a fey, bespectacled book collector.) The Big Sleep isn't just another bleak classic noir -- it's a hoot.

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