THE BIG SLEEP
ITC FILMS 1978
THE CHARACTERSPHILLIP MARLOWE: ROBERT MITCHUM
American PI living in London who came over during the war and couldn’t find his way home. Gets involved in a crime so convoluted and confusing that even the book’s writer didn’t even know who committed one particular murder. Getting paid £50 per day for all the crap he endures is definitely not worth it.VIVIAN STERNWOOD-REGAN: SARAH MILES
General Sternwood’s eldest daughter and former wife to the missing Rusty Regan: trouble in a small package.GENERAL TYRES STERNWOOD: JAMES STEWART
American general resident in a British palace who has to deal with two wild daughters, blackmailers and a porno book racket.CAMILLA STERNWOOD: CANDY CLARK
The General’s younger daughter: a ditsy lady who enjoys booze, drugs, posing for X-rated pics and shooting men who do her wrong. I would love to post a pic or two of her in all her glory but Andrew would not only ding my account but also my head. EDDIE MARS: OLIVER REED
Local London gangster who speaks in a harsh whisper. Here endeth the character description.INSPECTOR CARSON: SIR JOHN MILLS
Marlowe’s friend and the policeman in charge of this very confusing case.AGNES LOZELLE: JOAN COLLINS
Very sexy bookseller who has an orgasm over a laddered stocking.JOE BRODY: EDWARD FOX
Bookmaker and Agnes’ boyfriend: shot dead through a door.LASH CANINO: RICHARD BOONE
Also known as The Brown Man: Eddie Mars’ killer for hire who would bump someone off between drinks and has no tot measure at home. Wielder of a powerful MAC-10 machine pistol. Shot dead.NORRIS: HARRY ANDREWS
General Sternwood’s butler: knows all, sees all and ignores much more.HARRY JONES: COLIN BLAKELY
Assistant to Joe Brody: collects gambling debts and then collects a stomach full of poison.MONA GRANT-MARS: DIANA QUICK
Busty singer, lager drinker and wife of Eddie Mars: busts Marlowe out of trouble and gets herself in a world of it.
ARTHUR GWYN GEIGER: JOHN JUSTIN
Society gentleman, glass eyeball wearer and private pornographer: shot dead, gets up and has a lie down.RUSTY REGAN: DAVID SAVILE
Gets shot dead, goes missing, dies and drowns.LESSONS LEARNED
Rare first edition books sometimes resemble bananas.
Always sniff the drink offered to you.
Be careful when someone offers you a drink or a cigar.
You da boss if you speak in a harsh whisper.
Some ladies just love to shoot blanks.
Despite what the IMDB tell you, Billy Jack is not in this film.
Never tell a British cab driver that he’s lost a tail.
Water can explode.
A ringing buzzer means “Pay the SOB whatever he wants”.
Ladies who drink lager have to go pee sometime.
There is no difference between washing and polishing a car.
THINGS TO WATCH OUT FOR
1:30: Did that horse just fart there?
3:00: I think Michael Winner had the camera bolted to the cinematographer’s head for these shots.
3:11: Dude – you’re wetting your feet.
6:56: Great reaction by Mr Stewart there.
7:18: I also have pride so why am I watching this film?
7:42: So far, this film is looking like a Ryan’s Daughter
reunion – first Robert Mitchum, then Sarah Miles. All we need now is for Sir John Mills to turn up.
11:00: Phoooo: Joan Collins! Calm down, Trevor.
14:31: Ah hah: he found Dr Menard’s and Brother Jack’s book collection! 17:32: RANDOM ACT OF VIOLENCE AGAINST…… UMMM…. SOMETHING!
20:29: I didn’t know that Raymond Chandler wrote about zombies: where did the corpse go to?
21:12: WTF made the water explode like that?
22:03: Welcome, Sir John Mills, we’ve been waiting for you.
22:24: After having the camera surgically removed from his head, the cameraman filmed that stupid shot.
28:20: That lovely sight was the first nude lady I ever saw in a film: my twelve year old eyes were truly treated.
30:27: Bleurgh, no thanks.31:58: RANDOM ACT OF VIOLENCE AGAINST CANDY CLARK’S BUM!
33:00: No, dumb ass: from South Africa.
35:33: If that revolver goes off, you’ll blow a hole in the ceiling.36:22: RANDOM ACT OF VIOLENCE AGAINST ROBERT MITCHUM’S APPENDAGE!
36:23: No, not THAT appendage, his arm!
36:44: Is she having an orgasm there or are those the only pair of stockings she has? Either way, cold shower time.
37:31: So come visit me then. 39:22: RANDOM ACT OF VIOLENCE AGAINST EDWARD FOX![39:23 – 1:03:33: Nothing much happens here really.]
1:03:34: Yes I do, you’re the guy from Murder on the Orient Express
.1:09:05: RANDOM ACT OF VIOLENCE AGAINST A GLASS DOOR!
1:10:10: Even in the dark she’s beautiful.
1:14:10: Yeeps: That’s not a tot measure of alcohol, that’s another bottle!
*Ahh* No poison there.
1:20:52: Huh? Is my hearing going or did I hear seven shots from a revolver?1:27:13: RANDOM ALMOST ACTS OF VIOLENCE AGAINST ROBERT MITCHUM!QUOTES:
Marlowe: “You should start weaning her. She looks old enough.”
Eddie Mars: “I’m nice to be nice to but I’m not nice not to be nice to.”
Marlowe: "What did it matter where you lay once you were dead? In a stagnant lake or in a marble tower on the top of a high hill? You were dead, you were sleeping the big sleep, you were not bothered by things like that. Oil and water were the same as wind and air to you. You just slept the big sleep, not caring about the nastiness of how you died or where you fell. Me, I was part of the nastiness now. Far more a part of it than Rusty Regan was. But the old man didn't have to be. He could lie quiet in his canopied bed, with his bloodless hands folded on the sheet, waiting. His heart was a brief, uncertain murmur. His thoughts were as gray as ashes. And in a little while he too, like Rusty Regan, would be sleeping the big sleep."
Marlowe: “That should save you from a pauper’s grave.”
General Sternwood: “Find him for me, Marlowe.”
Brody: “[Expletive deleted], don’t let her kill me!”
Marlowe: “Yeah. Small sick businesses go there to die.”
Canino: “To Agnes and the truth, Harry!”
Harry Jones: “Mebbe you know me?”
Marlowe: “So many guns lately and so few brains.”
Eddie Mars: “Marlowe: stop believing you’re so amusing and stay away from this house. And stay even further away from me, all right?”
Camilla: “Tall, aren’t you?”
Marlowe: “I met her in the hall. She tried to sit in my lap: I was standing up at the time.”
Carson: “You mean he pines for his dear long-lost pal Rusty Regan?”
Marlowe: “If you listen hard, you’ll hear my teeth chattering.”
Harry Jones: “He’d bump a man off between drinks.”
Canino: “Harry, Eddie doesn’t like you talking to private investigators, that’s naughty….”
Marlowe: “Reilly. Doghouse Reilly.”
Eddie Mars: “Blood. Quite a lot of blood.”
Marlowe: “All right, dopey.”
Brody: “I’m a bookmaker. The punters have been having all the luck lately.”
Marlowe: “Why don’t you shoot me?”
Agnes: “A half-smart guy. That’s all I ever meet.”
Marlowe: "Oh sure. All I itch for is money. I'm so greedy that for fifty pounds a day plus expenses on the day I work, I risk my future, the hatred of the cops, of Eddie Mars and his pals, I dodge bullets and put up with slaps and say "Thank you very much. If you have any further trouble please call me: I'll just put my card here on the table." I do all that for a few pounds. And maybe just a little bit to protect what little pride a sick and broken old man has in his family, so that he can believe his blood is not poisoned. That his little girls - though they may be a trifle wild - are not perverts and killers."THE PLOT
Just another day in the life of ace private investigator Phillip Marlowe who has been summoned to the palatial home of General Sternwood, an ailing, wheelchair bound soldier and adventurer who is being blackmailed due to his two wild daughters who will hop into bed with anyone with (a) a few bucks in the bank, (b) some booze, (c) some drugs, (d) a camera to take feelthy peectures and (e) someone who has all the above and is hung like a donkey.
*COUGH*: that excludes me for sure. All of those, not just (e).
The General’s other problem is that an old friend of his named Rusty Regan has vanished and he wants him found, but that remains unsaid to Marlowe, who is told in very friendly terms that he has to open up a can of whoop-ass on the public rare book collector and private pornographer Dr Menard…. umm…. Mr Arthur Gwynn Geiger, the driver of a very posh car and the wearer of a glass eye.
One encounter with Geiger’s assistant Agnes – and one cold shower later by Trevor when he realizes that Joan Collins is playing her – leads Marlowe to believe that Dr Menard and his associates Jack, Reverend Powell and Javakoala are running a filthy lending library of elaborate smut in an otherwise respectable neighborhood.
Only one Afrikaans word can describe this adequately: Sies. [See-iss: Yuck]
Marlowe tracks down Geiger and stakes out his house, when one of General Sternwood’s daughters pitches up at the house. Shortly thereafter, someone gets high, someone gets nekkid
and someone gets shot three times by someone. On breaking in and entering, Marlowe discovers Geiger dead, Camilla kaalgat
and the killer (and the film in the camera) gone.
Taking the dopey beauty home, Marlowe returns, only to find that Geiger has turned into a zombie, got up and walked out. Then we cut to a car roaring down a pier front and crashing into exploding water, driven, as Marlowe later finds out, by General Sternwood’s chauffeur who was, it turns out, in love with Camilla and shot Geiger for showing her in all her glory.
The next day, Marlowe returns to Geiger’s house and stumbles across Camilla who is looking for her photos. The two of them run into the mysterious Eddie Mars – the mobster who speaks in a harsh whisper and calls Marlowe ‘soldier’. Continuing on the case, Marlowe tracks down Joe Brody, only to have the unwanted intruder Camilla attempt to kill him and Joan Collins having a small orgasm after her rough handling by Marlowe, which leads to her getting a ladder in her stocking.
Shortly thereafter, Joe answers the door, only to be made totally holey by the nutcase behind it; Marlowe chases him down and returns to Geiger’s house, to find the pornographer stiff in his bed – stiff as in from rigor mortis, not from Viagra. Time then for the police as Marlowe is in over his head in weird happenings and manages to keep himself out of trouble with them, as well as with Eddie Mars and his goons.
As the story progresses, things get progressively weirder and weirder as Marlowe becomes involved with both sisters, both of whom try to bed him, while those behind the crime attempt to ‘dead’ him. Marlowe meets up with one Harry Jones whose attempt to expose Eddie Mars’ shady shenanigans leads to him ingesting a glassful of poison courtesy Mars’ killer for hire Lash Canino, aka the Brown Man.
Meeting up with the gorgeous Agnes once more, Marlowe pays her off with £200 and he follows the lead she has given him, only to end up with two flat tyres and a hell of a headache when Canino and another of Eddie Mars’ goons attack him at a garage.
As Marlowe wakes up, so does the sound man and after some horrible photography, he discovers the enigmatic Mona Grant-Mars, the person that Rusty Regan was supposed to have run off with. After tricking her into assisting him, Marlowe engages in a brutal fire fight with Canino, shooting him seven times with a six cylinder revolver.
What? Seven shots? Oh, never mind.
After yet another visit to the police, Marlowe returns to General Sternwood’s crib where the ailing soldier asks him to locate the disappeared Rusty Regan and where Marlowe runs into Camilla once more and teaches her to shoot. Bad idea as Camilla makes him her next target but Marlowe has preloaded the pistol with blanks, causing her to froth at the mouth and have a certain wetness in a southern area.
The final reveal is that the long-vanished Rusty Regan – shot by Camilla – is now rusting up and fouling the nearby lake waters and that Trevor’s twelve year old eyes were royally treated in 1978 to a very nubile hot young lady. That and the fact that the South African censors banned this film back in 1978: bah humbug.