A dying millionaire hires private eye Philip Marlowe to handle the blackmailer of one of his two troublesome daughters, and Marlowe finds himself involved with more than extortion. Kidnapping, pornography, seduction, and murder are just a few of the complications he gets caught up in.
"Down these mean streets a man must go who is not himself mean, who is neither tarnished nor afraid....He is the hero; he is everything. He must be a complete man and a common man and yet an unusual man.
This is the Code of the Private Eye as defined by Raymond Chandler in his 1944 essay 'The Simple Act of Murder.' Such a man was Philip Marlowe, private eye, an educated, heroic, streetwise, rugged individualist and the hero of Chandler's first novel, The Big Sleep. This work established Chandler as the master of the 'hard-boiled' detective novel, and his articulate and literary style of writing won him a large audience, which ranged from the man in the street to the most sophisticated intellectual.
Marlowe subsequently appeared in a series of extremely popular novels, among them The Lady in the Lake, The Long Goodbye, and Farewell, My Lovely." ~ Elizabeth Diefendorf, editor, The New York Public Library's Books of the Century, p. 112.
The first novel by Raymond Chandler at the age of 51.
Private eye Philip Marlowe investigates a society girl's involvement in the murder of a pornographer.
Release Date: August 23, 1946
Release Time: 116 minutes
Humphrey Bogart as Philip Marlowe
Lauren Bacall as Vivian Sternwood Rutledge
John Ridgely as Eddie Mars
Martha Vickers as Carmen Sternwood
Dorothy Malone as Acme Bookstore proprietress
Peggy Knudsen as Mona Mars
Regis Toomey as Chief Inspector Bernie Ohls
Charles Waldron as General Sternwood
Charles D. Brown as Norris
Bob Steele as Lash Canino
Elisha Cook, Jr. as Harry Jones
Louis Jean Heydt as Joe Brody
Sonia Darrin as Agnes Lowzier
Tommy Rafferty as Carol Lundgren (uncredited)
General Sternwood: How do you like your brandy, sir?
Marlowe: In a glass.
Vivian: I don't like your manners.
Marlowe: And I'm not crazy about yours. I didn't ask to see you. I don't mind if you don't like my manners, I don't like them myself. They are pretty bad. I grieve over them on long winter evenings. I don't mind your ritzing me drinking your lunch out of a bottle. But don't waste your time trying to cross-examine me.
Female Taxi Driver: If you can use me again sometime, call this number.
Marlowe: Day and night?
Female Taxi Driver: Uh, night's better. I work during the day.
Carmen Sternwood: Is he as cute as you are?
Marlowe: Nobody is.
Marlowe: My, my, my! Such a lot of guns around town and so few brains! You know, you're the second guy I've met today that seems to think a gat in the hand means the world by the tail.
Raymond Thornton Chandler was an American novelist and screenwriter.
In 1932, at age forty-four, Raymond Chandler decided to become a detective fiction writer after losing his job as an oil company executive during the Depression. His first short story, "Blackmailers Don't Shoot", was published in 1933 in Black Mask, a popular pulp magazine. His first novel, The Big Sleep, was published in 1939. In addition to his short stories, Chandler published just seven full novels during his lifetime (though an eighth in progress at his death was completed by Robert B. Parker). All but Playback have been realized into motion pictures, some several times. In the year before he died, he was elected president of the Mystery Writers of America. He died on March 26, 1959, in La Jolla, California.
Chandler had an immense stylistic influence on American popular literature, and is considered by many to be a founder, along with Dashiell Hammett, James M. Cain and other Black Mask writers, of the hard-boiled school of detective fiction. Chandler's Philip Marlowe, along with Hammett's Sam Spade, are considered by some to be synonymous with "private detective," both having been played on screen by Humphrey Bogart, whom many considered to be the quintessential Marlowe.
Some of Chandler's novels are considered to be important literary works, and three are often considered to be masterpieces: Farewell, My Lovely (1940), The Little Sister (1949), and The Long Goodbye (1953). The Long Goodbye is praised within an anthology of American crime stories as "arguably the first book since Hammett's The Glass Key, published more than twenty years earlier, to qualify as a serious and significant mainstream novel that just happened to possess elements of mystery".