The Big Sleep (1946) dir. Howard Hawks

6/29-6/30 @ Harvard Film Archive


Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall star in the Raymond Chandler adaptation ​The Big Sleep (1946),​ directed by Howard Hawks. The compelling and terrifically complex plot features Bogart as private eye Philip Marlowe. Based on the first Marlowe story by Chandler, the story finds Marlowe visiting the mansion of General Sternwood, who asks him to resolve a gambling debt his younger daughter owes. On his way out, he gets stopped by Mrs. V​ivian Sternwood Rutledge (Bacall), who tells him she suspects a different motivation from his father’s request. Twists, turns, betrayals, and revelations follow, leaving the audience at the edge of their seat. You’ll be sure to leave the theater satisfied, and backtracking trying to figure out what actually happened. Hawks directs this mind bending tale with the help of the unbreakable chemistry of Bacall and Bogart. The near-screwball-comedy wit and impeccable delivery make this film as entertaining as it is thrilling. Make sure to bring your finest vintage suit, as you’ll be thrusted back into the backdrop of 1940s Los Angeles. The film is part of HFA’s ​The Complete Howard Hawks ​ series. It be presented in 35mm both days. The theatrical cut will be screened on June 29 at 7:00pm, and the 1945 pre-release cut will be screened the following night at 7:00pm.

The Big Sleep
dir. Howard Hawks
114 min.

Screens Saturday, 6/29, 7:00pm (Theatrical cut) and Sunday, 6/30, 7:00pm (Pre-release cut) @ HFA – both on 35mm!
Part of the ongoing series: The Complete Howard Hawks
Discounts for Members, Students, and Harvard Staff. Free for Harvard Students!

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