5.8/10
3,819
50 user 25 critic

The Big Sleep (1978)

Grizzled American private detective in England investigates a complicated case of blackmail turned murder involving a rich but honest elderly general, his two loose socialite daughters, a pornographer and a gangster.

Director:

Michael Winner

Writers:

Michael Winner (screenplay), Raymond Chandler (novel)
Reviews

Videos

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Crime | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Los Angeles private eye Philip Marlowe is hired by paroled convict Moose Malloy to find his girlfriend Velma, former seedy nightclub dancer.

Director: Dick Richards
Stars: Robert Mitchum, Charlotte Rampling, John Ireland
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

The professional and romantic misadventures of an advertising executive in 1960s swinging London.

Director: Michael Winner
Stars: Oliver Reed, Orson Welles, Carol White
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Biographical movie of the life of French sculptor Henri Gaudier-Brzeska (Scott Antony).

Director: Ken Russell
Stars: Dorothy Tutin, Scott Antony, Helen Mirren
Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

Ten people are invited to a hotel in the Iranian desert, only to find that an unseen person is killing them one by one. Could one of them be the killer?

Director: Peter Collinson
Stars: Charles Aznavour, Maria Rohm, Adolfo Celi
Certificate: M Action | Adventure | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A woman causes a group of assassins to face their greatest challenge.

Director: Basil Dearden
Stars: Oliver Reed, Diana Rigg, Telly Savalas
Royal Flash (1975)
Adventure | Comedy | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Ne'er-do-well Captain Harry Flashman (Malcolm McDowell) is coerced by Otto Von Bismarck (Oliver Reed) into impersonating a Prince.

Director: Richard Lester
Stars: Malcolm McDowell, Alan Bates, Florinda Bolkan
The Trap (1966)
Adventure | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A fur trapper takes a mute girl as his unwilling wife to live with him in his remote cabin in the woods.

Director: Sidney Hayers
Stars: Rita Tushingham, Oliver Reed, Rex Sevenoaks
Comedy | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

When the leading lady of a low-budget musical revue sprains her ankle, the assistant stage manager is forced to understudy and perform in her place, becoming a star and finding love in the process.

Director: Ken Russell
Stars: Twiggy, Christopher Gable, Max Adrian
Adventure | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

The Four Musketeers defend the queen and her dressmaker from Cardinal Richelieu and Milady de Winter.

Director: Richard Lester
Stars: Michael York, Raquel Welch, Oliver Reed
Mahler (1974)
Biography | Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Composer Gustav Mahler's life, told in a series of flashbacks as he and his wife discuss their failing marriage during a train journey.

Director: Ken Russell
Stars: Robert Powell, Georgina Hale, Lee Montague
Action | Adventure | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

In France in 1649, the services of the Four Musketeers are needed again, and they run into some old foes from twenty years before.

Director: Richard Lester
Stars: Michael York, Oliver Reed, Frank Finlay
Action | Drama | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A ruthless rancher, and his gang, use extremely long range rifles to kill the men who kidnapped his infidel wife.

Director: Don Medford
Stars: Oliver Reed, Candice Bergen, Gene Hackman
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Robert Mitchum ... Philip Marlowe
Sarah Miles ... Charlotte Sternwood
Richard Boone ... Lash Canino
Candy Clark ... Camilla Sternwood
Joan Collins ... Agnes Lozelle
Edward Fox ... Joe Brody
John Mills ... Inspector Carson
James Stewart ... General Sternwood
Oliver Reed ... Eddie Mars
Harry Andrews ... Norris
Colin Blakely ... Harry Jones
Richard Todd ... Commander Barker
Diana Quick ... Mona Grant
James Donald ... Inspector Gregory
John Justin ... Arthur Geiger
Edit

Storyline

Philip Marlowe (Robert Mitchum) is asked by the elderly General Sternwood (James Stewart) to investigate an attempt at blackmail on one of his daughters. He soon finds that the attempt is half-hearted at best, and seems to be more connected with the disappearance of the other daughter's husband, Rusty Regan (David Savile). Rusty's wife seems unconcerned with his disappearance, further complicating the mystery. Only General Sternwood seems concerned as mobsters and hired killers continue to appear in the path of the investigation. Written by John Vogel <jlvogel@comcast.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Meet Philip Marlowe, the toughest private eye whoever wore a trench coat, slapped a dame, and split his knuckles on a jawbone. See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

UK | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

7 April 1978 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

The Big Sleep See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

GBP3,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Although Robert Mitchum's age was not commented on so much when Farewell, My Lovely (1975) (1975) was released, when this movie came out, the majority of critics felt he looked too old and paunchy to play Marlowe. See more »

Goofs

Marlowe retrieved a 6-shot revolved from his car. When he attracted the attention of Lash Canino, he fired 2 shots into the window, but when he emerged from the burning car's smoke, he fired 6 more. Too many. See more »

Quotes

Philip Marlowe: What did it matter where you lay once you were dead? In a stagnant lake or in a marble tower on the top of a high hill? You were dead, you were sleeping the big sleep, you were not bothered by things like that. Oil and water were the same as wind and air to you. You just slept the big sleep, not caring about the nastiness of how you died or where you fell. Me, I was part of the nastiness now. Far more a part of it than Rusty Regan was. But the old man didn't have to be. He could lie quiet in ...
See more »


Soundtracks

Won't Somebody Dance With Me
Music and Lyrics by Lynsey de Paul
Sung by Diana Quick (uncredited)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

Big Mistake, The (1978)
31 July 1999 | by AthanatosSee all my reviews

Chandler's novel is pushed ahead by about 40 years. His Philip Marlowe is aged about 30 years. The location is changed by the combined breadth of the United States and the Atlantic Ocean. It should come as no surprise that this doesn't work at all. The scandal from which Marlowe shields the old man was so much more significant in the period in which the book was set. (Who, for example, really would be heart-broken or even especially shocked to learn in 1978 that his daughter had been photographed in the nude? Granted, that the secrets get darker, but the point is that so much is diluted.) Mitchum is a very, very fine actor, and when he was, say, 30 to 40 years old he would have been a good choice to play Marlowe; but an important aspect of Marlowe is exactly that he is so weary of spirit while still a relatively young man; we expect the old to feel old. And...a film noir in the English country-side? I don't think so!


32 of 43 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 50 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows You Can Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse free movies and TV series

Stream Trending TV Series With Prime Video

Explore popular and recently added TV series available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed