Leigh Brackett was quite the screenwriter. Throughout her career she had assisted in an array of scripts that became well known movies. One of those movies is The Big Sleep. Starring Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall, this classic film follows a private detective who ends up being involved in a criminal investigation that is not what it seems.
Phillip Marlowe (Bogart) is a private eye who is summoned to the home of a retired general. When he is there he learns about the general’s gambling debts brought on by his daughter to a bookseller. On the way out, Marlowe meets Vivian (Bacall) who tells him about Sean Regan, a family friend who had disappeared a month earlier. Staying true to his word with the general Marlowe starts following the bookseller, Geiger, around. He learns that his bookstore is a front for an illegal operation after finding him dead. When he does find Geiger’s body he finds his assistant Carmen drugged and takes her home.
The following day, Vivian comes to Marlowe’s office with pictures of that Carmen had received as blackmail. After seeing these photos, he returns to the bookstore only to see them packing up the store. He discovers Joe Brody, a well known gambler who is known for blackmailing had been dealing with Geiger. Before following Brody around, he goes to Geiger’s home where Carmen accuse Brody of killing Geiger. With a web of evidence closing in on Brody, Marlowe starts to follows him around, only to learn that Brody is not the killer after he is shot and killed.
As the film goes on there are more suspects that start to come out of the woodwork. With Brody dead, a handful of suspects come forward all with a motive for killing Geiger. We are introduced to Carol Lundgren, Geiger’s former driver who tells Marlowe he killed Brody. But, this was out of revenge because he thought Brody killed Geiger. However, Marlowe gets a tip and ends up going to a casino. There he meets Mars and finds Sean Regan. While there he is informed that Vivian has been racking up gambling debts, not just her older sister. Vivian tells Marlowe the next day that he can stop looking now. However, Marlowe is determined to find the killer of Geiger at all costs. With new suspects being introduced with motives, Marlowe has to uncover gambling and love triangles that will cost many people much more than they bargained for.
The Big Sleep is a 1946 film that is filled with twists and turns. We find that there are suspects who are not what they are played out to be. Leigh Brackett assisted in the screenwriting of this epic film. On March 18, 1978 she passed away with doing much more in screen involving writing that is inspiring for years to come.