Big Sleep, The (1946)

The Big Sleep (1946), directed by Howard Hawks.

Weary of waiting for a Blu-ray (of which I have heard no rumors) I hope that my rewatching the ancient flipper DVD will move the Warner gods to produce an edition as fine as their Casablanca (1942) disc. [Later: the Blu-ray appeared].

Because this is one of my essential, must-have titles.

There are two scenes where Bogart is driving at night and Bacall just leans back and watches him, thinking her mysterious thoughts. I think these are among the sexiest moments in classic cinema. I don't know why, unless it is that famous sideways look she uses to cloud men's minds:

You see complaints that the plot is incomprehensible, and that even author Raymond Chandler confessed he couldn't figure out who killed one character. He may have meant it, or he may have been joking or drunk. Everything is explained in the book, and although the movie is altered from the text, it does makes sense, although perhaps only if you already know what is going on.

You have to mentally introduce the pornographic bookstore, recognize the gay characters, and imagine kid sister Carmen naked in Marlowe's bed. The movie amps up Marlowe as a ladies man, and really turns up the romance with Vivian.

Chandler did apologize for the plot complexity, and for the high body count. It was his first novel, pasted together from earlier short stories. In all the books, I remember Marlowe killing only one man: Canino.

It helps to see the movie split almost evenly into two halves, each with its own mystery:

Misc notes:

Max Steiner score.