The Big Sleep started as a 1939 novel by Raymond Chandler and this novel introduces mystery readers to private investigator Phillip Marlowe. Mr. Marlow is called to the large and beautiful mansion owned by an elderly paraplegic named General Sternwood. He asks Philip Marlowe to deal with a blackmailer by the name of Arthur Gywnn Geiger who is a purveyor of rare books. This is because Geiger is dating General Sternwood’s sex-crazed daughter Carmen and he makes her sign promissory notes. Marlowe tells the general that he will persuade Geiger to stop doing this to his daughter. This convoluted tale involves Philip Marlowe chasing many suspicious characters, some of whom die under mysterious circumstances on his watch. Finally, Phillip Marlowe discovers the truth about Carmen being a murderess.
Did you know that The Big Sleep is a euphemism for death? Did you also know that there are two, yes, and two movie versions of The Big Sleep? There is a black and white version and a color version of this classic mystery yarn. Most classic movies were done in black and white back in the day. The 1978 movie version of The Big Sleep starred Robert Mitchum as the hard boiled private detective Phillip Marlowe and James Stewart as General Sternwood. James Stewart is well known for starring in the Christmas classic It’s a Wonderful Life and Harvey. Anyway, the 1970’s version of the Big Sleep was set in London England, rather then the 1940’s version that was set in Los Angeles California. In addition, the 1970’s version of this film contained more explicit and mature material such as homosexuality, nudity, and pornography. It seems right that a great crime mystery movie be set in London England because many classic crime and mystery movie have been shot in London England over the years. The Big Sleep is an exciting crime movie that hopefully will not put you to sleep.