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The definitive Humphrey Bogart/Lauren Bacall vehicle, The Big Sleep casts Bogart as Raymond Chandler's cynical private eye Philip Marlowe. Summoned to the home of the fabulously wealthy General Sternwood (Charles Waldron), Marlowe is hired to deal with a blackmailer shaking down the General's sensuous, thumb-sucking daughter Carmen (Martha Vickers). This earns Marlowe the displeasure of Carmen's sloe-eyed, seemingly straight-laced older sister Vivian (Bacall), who is fiercely protective of her somewhat addled sibling. As he pursues the case at hand, Marlowe gets mixed up in the murder of Arthur Geiger (Theodore von Eltz), a dealer in pornography. He also runs afoul of gambling-house proprietor Eddie Mars (John Ridgely), who seems to have some sort of hold over the enigmatic Vivian.

The dvd includes both the 1645 & recut 1946 edition of the film.

The original 1945 cut leans heavily on the moody detective elements, but extensive reshooting by Hawks highlighted Bacall's character and her verbal sparring with Bogey, resulting in the hit 1946 release. While the original cut of the The Big Sleep makes more narrative sense, the second version is so thoroughly enjoyable that it doesn't matter that the mystery plot doesn't quite add up. The DVD includes the movie's trailer and a short documentary that highlights the differences between both versions and explains how The Big Sleep became the beloved classic it is known as today. The transfer is pristine and conforms to the film's original full-frame dimensions.

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WA65026 Big Sleep DVD (1945/Bogart) $19.98