The Big Sleep (1946)

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Title: The Big Sleep [IMDb]

Film Structure

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Release date: August 23, 1946
Studio: Warner Brothers
Runtime: 114 minutes
IMDB genres: crime, film-noir, mystery, thriller
BYU holdings: https://search.lib.byu.edu/byu/record/lee.6769649

Synopsis [hide]

Private detective Philip Marlowe is hired by a rich family. Before the complex case is over, he's seen murder, blackmail, and what might be love.

Plot keywords (from IMDb): assault, based on novel, bead curtain, beating, beret, betrayal, blackmail, book, book seller, bookstore, brandy, butler, california, car in water, chauffeur, corpse, cult film, dame, dead body, death by poison, detective, diner, drug addict, drugging, face slap, fake robbery, father daughter relationship, female taxi driver, femme fatale, flat tire, flirtation, forced suicide, gambling, gambling debt, gangster, gay subtext, general, greenhouse, gunfire, hard boiled, hidden camera, hidden character, hold up, hothouse, invalid, library, los angeles california, missing body, missing person, murder, national book award, night, nylon stockings, nymphomaniac, orchestral music score, orchid, orientalist, pay phone, photograph, pier, plot twist, poison, police, pornography, prank telephone call, private detective, private eye, private investigator, promissory note, protection, punched in the face, rain, rare book, rare book store, reference to charlie chan, reference to marcel proust, restaurant, roadhouse, rolling up one's sleeves, roulette, scratching oneself, scream, seduction, sexual attraction, sexy librarian, sibling rivalry, sister sister relationship, stakeout, stars married in real life, surprise ending, symphonic music score, tailing a suspect, taxi, telephone call, three word title, thunderstorm, tied up, title same as book, traffic, wheelchair, world war one veteran, philip marlowe

Cast and Crew

Humphrey BogartPhilip Marlowe
Lauren BacallVivian Rutledge
John RidgelyEddie Mars
Martha VickersCarmen Sternwood
Dorothy MaloneAcme Book Shop Proprietress
Peggy KnudsenMona Mars
Regis ToomeyChief Inspector Bernie Ohls
Charles WaldronGeneral Sternwood
Charles D. BrownNorris
Bob SteeleLash Canino
Elisha Cook Jr.Harry Jones
Louis Jean HeydtJoe Brody

Howard Hawks: director

Max Steiner: composer

Simon Bucharoff: orchestrator

Leo F. Forbstein: musical director

Film Statistics

Film duration: 1:53:45
Music duration: 00:55:33
Pages in score: 168
Total themes: 43
Themes with variants: 11
Total variants: 62
Total gestures: 20
Total underscoring sections: 28
Total underscoring duration: 00:06:16
Total instances: 202


Name Uses Variants
Marlowe 59 36
Carmen 15 7
Walking 12 4
Hurrying 8 1
Vivian 8 1
Driving 2 7 0
Marlowe 2 7 3
Jones 5 4
Sternwood 5 3
Car 2 0
Questions 2 0
Action 1 0
Canino's Death 1 0
Chevalier Audubon 1 0
Driving 1 0
Entering 1 0
Flirtation 1 0
Girl Driver 1 0
Mars Dies 1 0
Recovering 1 0
Signature 1 0
Station Wagon 1 0
The Big Sleep 1 0
The Library 1 0
The Pursuit 1 0
Transition 1 0
Waiting 1 0
Walking 2 1 0
Wrong Address 1 0
You! 1 0

Other films borrowed from:

Crime School (1938)

King Kong (1933)

Lucky Devils (1933)

The Amazing Dr. Clitterhouse (1938)

In This Our Life (1942)


Name Uses
Driving 2 + Vivian 3
Down the Stairs + The Chase + Marlowe 1
Driving 2 + Carmen 1
Hostage + Marlowe 1
Vivian + Marlowe 1

Source Music

Name Uses
And Her Tears Flowed Like Wine 1
Down the Stairs 1
Hostage 1
I Guess I'll Have to Change My Plan 1
I'm in a Jam With Baby 1
Liza (All the Clouds'll Roll Away) 1
The Blue Room 1
The Chase 1
What Are You Doin' the Rest of Your Life 1
Wotta Life 1
You Go to My Head 1


Bites hand
Carmen falls
Coin in phone
Door slam
Drops hat
Glass drops
Hangs up phone
He skids
Jones falls
Marlowe rises
Phone dialing
Running and jumping
Running down
Running out
Turning page
Turns light off
Turns light on
Water running