After taking Carmen back home, he returns and discovers the body has disappeared. Vivian comes to Marlowe's office the next morning with scandalous pictures of Carmen that she received with a blackmail demand for the negatives. Marlowe returns to Geiger's bookstore and follows a car to the apartment of Joe Brody, a gambler who previously blackmailed General Sternwood.
He then finds Carmen in Geiger's house, where she insists that it was Brody who killed Geiger. They are interrupted by Carmen, who wants her photos. Marlowe disarms her and sends Vivian and Carmen home. Brody admits that it was he who was behind the blackmailing, then has to answer the door and is shot. Marlowe chases the killer and apprehends Carol Lundgren, Geiger's former driver, who believes Brody is swindling him. Marlowe calls the police and arranges for them to come and arrest the killer. Marlowe visits Mars' casino, where he asks about Regan, who is supposed to have run off with Mars' wife.
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Mars is evasive and tells Marlowe that Vivian is running up gambling debts. Vivian wins a big wager and then wants Marlowe to take her home. A stooge of Mars' attempts to rob Vivian, but Marlowe knocks him out. While driving back, Marlowe presses Vivian on her connection with Mars, but she admits nothing. Back at his own home, Marlowe finds a flirtatious Carmen waiting for him. She says she did not like Regan and mentions that Mars calls Vivian frequently. When she attempts to seduce Marlowe, he throws her out of his apartment.
The next day, Vivian tells him he can stop looking for Regan; he has been found in Mexico and she is going to see him. Mars has Marlowe beaten up to stop him investigating further. He is found by Harry Jones, an associate of Brody's who wants to marry Agnes. When Marlowe goes to meet him and be taken to where she is hiding, he spots Canino, a gunman hired by Mars, who is there to find Agnes himself. Canino poisons Jones after he discloses Agnes' location which turns out to be false. Agnes telephones the office while Marlowe is still there and he arranges to meet her.
She reveals that she has seen Mona Mars behind an auto repair shop near a town called Realito. When he gets there, Marlowe is attacked by Canino. He wakes to find himself tied up, with Mona watching over him. Vivian is there too and frees Marlowe, allowing him to get to his gun and kill Canino. They drive back together and Marlowe calls Mars from Geiger's house, pretending to be still in Realito. Mars arrives with four men, who set up an ambush outside.
When Mars enters, Marlowe reveals that he has discerned the truth: Mars has been blackmailing Vivian, claiming that her sister Carmen had killed Regan. He then forces Mars outside, where he is shot by his own men. Marlowe then calls the police, telling them that Mars was the one who killed Regan.
He also convinces Vivian that her sister needs psychiatric care.
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The writing of the film script involved three different authors, including the American novelist William Faulkner. The writing was influenced by a primary focus of the Hays Office censorship policies which were often used to heavily restrict sexual themes. Likewise, Carmen is described as being nude in Geiger's house, and later nude and in Marlowe's bed. To ensure the film would be approved by the Hays Office, changes had to be made.
Carmen had to be fully dressed, and the pornographic elements could only be alluded to with cryptic references to photographs of Carmen wearing a "Chinese dress" and sitting in a "Chinese chair".
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The sexual orientation of Geiger and Lundgren goes unmentioned in the film because references to homosexuality were prohibited. The scene of Carmen in Marlowe's bed was replaced with a scene in which she appears, fully dressed, sitting in Marlowe's apartment, when he promptly kicks her out. The scene, shot in , was entirely omitted in the cut but restored for the version. The Big Sleep is known for its convoluted plot. During filming, allegedly neither the director nor the screenwriters knew whether chauffeur Owen Taylor was murdered or had killed himself.
They sent a cable to Chandler, who told a friend in a later letter: "They sent me a wire After its completion, Warner Bros. Because the war was ending, the studio feared the public might lose interest in the films, while The Big Sleep 's subject was not time-sensitive. Indications of the film's wartime production include period dialogue, pictures of President Franklin D. Roosevelt , and a woman taxi driver, who says to Bogart, "I'm your girl. The "Bogie and Bacall" phenomenon, a fascination with the couple that had begun with To Have and Have Not and grew during their subsequent marriage, was in full swing by the end of the war.
Bacall's agent, Charles K. Feldman , asked that portions of the film be re-shot to capitalize on their chemistry and counteract the poor reviews Bacall had received for her performance in Confidential Agent which was released prior to The Big Sleep , even though it was produced after it. Warner agreed, and new scenes for The Big Sleep , such as the sexually suggestive racehorse dialogue, were added scripted by an uncredited Julius Epstein.
Furthermore, the parts of James Flavin and Thomas E. Jackson were completely eliminated. Because of the two versions created by the re-shooting, there is a substantial difference in content of some twenty minutes between them, although the difference in running time is two minutes. Novelist Raymond Chandler said Martha Vickers Carmen overshadowed Lauren Bacall Vivian in their scenes together, which led the producers to delete much of Vickers' performance to enhance Bacall's.
The re-shot, re-edited and revised The Big Sleep was finally released on 23 August The cinematic release of The Big Sleep is regarded as more successful than the pre-release version see below , even though it is confusing and difficult to follow.
This may be due in part to the omission of a long conversation between Marlowe and the Los Angeles District Attorney where the facts of the case, thus far, are laid out. Yet movie-star aficionados prefer the film noir version because they consider the Bogart-Bacall appearances more important than a well-told story. At the time of its release, Bosley Crowther said the film leaves the viewer "confused and dissatisfied", points out that Bacall is a "dangerous looking female" The Big Sleep is one of those pictures in which so many cryptic things occur amid so much involved and devious plotting that the mind becomes utterly confused.
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And, to make it more aggravating, the brilliant detective in the case is continuously making shrewd deductions which he stubbornly keeps to himself. What with two interlocking mysteries and a great many characters involved, the complex of blackmail and murder soon becomes a web of utter bafflement.
Unfortunately, the cunning script-writers have done little to clear it at the end. The suspense is not just about whether he or she will survive, but how they will make the attempt.
The silence, or rather the absence of dialogue, increases the tension, and the fascination. The circumstances are different, but the families in each of these films work together, in mostly silence, to get by. We watch them as we do the characters in a silent movie, without verbal cues as to what they will do next, we scrutinise their expressions, their eyelines, the objects they pick up.
The intuitive family bond is expressed, rather than hidden, by their mutual silence. Not quite. So hurry — go do that — and then mark another date in your diary: Monday 13 May.
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In Canada, they celebrate that date every year as Victoria day. More than British films made between and will be available to watch, entirely free of charge, on the streaming site, including those astonishing 4K digital restorations of the 68mm large-format films. The quality of many of these films is incredible and the range and variety breathtaking.
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