The Big Sleep


Michael Winner

Misguided attempt to update Raymond Chandler is badly let down by a terrible 70s TV movie ambience, an awful key performance by Candy Clark, and most of all, by an inexplicable change of venue from Los Angeles to England. Chandler's writing is given its soul, its backbone, by the City of Angels. To change the setting totally destroys the essence of his work. Mitchum is miscast (actually everyone is miscast) and too old for the role of Marlowe, the movie looks dull and dreary and the whole thing is a complete waste of time, effort and talent. The fact that it is quite faithful to the novel just heightens the pain. Go watch Bogie and Bacall or read the novel instead.

The DVD is an exceptionally poor transfer, whether because of the original cinematography or issues in making a DVD master is hard to tell. Either way it is overly grainy with a green cast and makes the film an even bigger ordeal than it otherwise would be. The fact that some reviewers on Amazon give this film 5 stars frightens me.

-Dave W.

The Big Sleep
13th March 1978

99 mins

Big Sleep (1978/ Pioneer)
22nd August 2000

99 mins

Robert Mitchum
Philip Marlowe
Sarah Miles
Charlotte Sternwood
Richard Boone
Lash Canino
Candy Clark
Camilla Sternwood
Joan Collins
Agnes Lozelle
Edward Fox
Joe Brody
John Mills
Inspector Jim Carson
James Stewart
General Sternwood
Harry Andrews
Vincent Norris
Oliver Reed
Eddie Mars
Colin Blakely
Harry Jones
Richard Todd
Commander Stephen Barker
Diana Quick
Mona Grant
James Donald
Inspector Gregory
John Justin
Arthur Gwynn Geiger
Martin Potter
Owen Taylor
David Savile
Rusty Regan
Dudley Sutton
Simon Fisher-Turner
Karl Lundgren
(as Simon Turner)
Don Henderson
Nik Forster
Joe Ritchie
Taxi Driver
Patrick Durkin
Derek Deadman
Customer in Bookshop
Anthony Lang
Police Constable Passing Geiger's
David Millett
Detective (uncredited)
Clifford Earl
Police Doctor
Roy Evans
Barry Purchese
Eddie's Bodyguard
Mike Lewin
Detective Waring
David Jackson
Inspector Willis
Norman Mitchell
Cheval Club Doorman
Judy Buxton
Cheval Club Receptionist
Norman Lumsden
Lord Entering Cheval Club
Michael Segal
George, Cheval Club Barman
Cy Town
Cheval Club Patron
John Tatum
Cheval Club Patron
Pat Gorman
Man in Pool Hall
Walter Henry
Detective Taking Statement

Dave Wright: Screencaps & Notes