Movie Essays Romanticism In The Film Version Of The Big Sleep

1660 words - 7 pages

Romanticism in the Film Version of The Big Sleep

     In Raymond Chandler's novel The Big Sleep, he presents two sisters, Vivian and Carmen. These women become the central characters, aside from Philip Marlowe, and they control much of the action in the novel. The 1946 film version of The Big Sleep, however, manipulates Chandler's characters considerably. Aside from playing with the dialogue of the novel, the screen-writers change the very essences of Vivian and Carmen. Perhaps it is the casting of the film which forces changes from the novel, or perhaps the Production Code keeps the writers from developing the women in the way that Chandler does; either way, the film version of The Big Sleep makes the story romantic and often cliche.


Vivian and Carmen, sisters, are presented by Chandler as psychotic and dangerous women. Vivian, is described in detective Philip Marlowe's thoughts as "tall and rangy and strong-looking...Her hair was black and wiry and parted in the middle and she had the hot black eyes of the portrait in the hall"(Chandler 17). She is cool and manipulative, instantly suspicious of Marlowe's presence in her world, and she plays her suspicions off as insults. When she meets Marlowe, she says, "So you're a private detective,...I didn't know they really existed, except in books. Or else they were greasy little men snooping around hotels"(Chandler 18). Marlowe plays right back at her, countering every snide remark with one of his own. When Vivian tells Marlowe she doesn't like his manners, his response is,


I'm not crazy about yours...I didn't ask to see you. You sent for me. I don't mind your ritzing me or drinking your lunch out of a Scotch bottle...I don't mind if you don't like my manners. They're pretty bad. I grieve over them during the long winter evenings. But don't waste your time trying to cross-examine me. (Chandler 19)


In the novel, Marlowe doesn't care for Vivian anymore than she does for him. A fact that is hammered home throughout the novel in the dialogue between these two characters.


In the movie, however, there is a distinct attraction between the characters, purposely created to capitalize on the real-life affair between Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall. Director Howard Hawks was charged with creating a movie vehicle for these stars as a result of their incredible chemistry from the earlier movie To Have and Have Not. Bogart and Bacall were phenomenally well-matched on-screen and off, and Hawks decided that The Big Sleep was the best film to display their chemistry. In order to do so, the script needed to be revised from the novel. The novel calls for Marlowe and Vivian to go their separate ways, with Marlowe discretely threatening to reveal Vivian's secrets and Vivian shattered and responsible for Carmen's deranged life. Hawks asked William Faulkner to create a screenplay that would maximize the drama while maintaining an air of...

Find Another Essay On Movie Essays - Romanticism in the Film Version of The Big Sleep

'The Big Sleep' Film By Howard Hawkes, Review

1019 words - 4 pages classic detective story, which although extremely convoluted, is lifted by superb characterizations, atmospheric and moody noir scenes and standout performances from both Lauren Bacall and Humphrey Bogart. It is the changes Hawke's made in the process of adapting the big sleep from text to cinema that make this new film a trip to the cinemas.The Big Sleep has many inherent stereotypes, but it's modification of these become archetype conventions and

Film Essays - Comparison of the Movie, Life is Beautiful and the Bible

641 words - 3 pages movie are comparable to examples in the Bible. In the film, Guido is a Christ figure to his son. During their imprisonment in the concentration camp, Guido explains things to his son in a way that shelters his son from the reality of what is happening. Guido loves his son and he protects his son from being hurt, even if doing so involved breaking rules and getting in trouble himself. In such a way did Jesus Christ love his followers

Movie Essays - Jane Campion's Film of Henry James's The Portrait of a Lady

3982 words - 16 pages Jane Campion's Film Version of Henry James's The Portrait of a Lady Jane Campion's film version of Henry James's novel, The Portrait of a Lady, offers the viewer a sexually charged narrative of a young naive American girl in Victorian era Europe. James's novel focuses on "what an exciting inward life may do for the person leading it even while it [a person's life] remains perfectly normal" (James 54). James could not or would not place

Film Analysis of Big Sleep and A Soldiers Story

2424 words - 10 pages people who inhabit that setting do not want to know what happened and would rather have the mystery left alone. In spite of the protagonist's popularity, the people in the movie do not like him much and didn't appear upset when he was murdered.Photographic TechniquesAnother way of telling a story in a film is through the use of the camera. The choice of camera angles can be important. The Big Sleep used many wide shots and close-up shots. Every so

Movie Essays - Shakespeare's Henry Plays - A Comparative Study of Falstaff on Film

1210 words - 5 pages . The first of the myriad flashbacks in the film begins with the assignment of Falstaff's description of himself as "A goodly, portly man in faith," (1 Henry IV.II.iv.421) to Pistol. This shows that in Branagh's version Falstaff is as well respected by his comrades as he is by himself. This is somewhat in contrast to the way he is commonly illustrated, which is as a man who abuses deceit, but is not fooling anyone. In this flashback the audience

Corruption in The Big Sleep

1013 words - 4 pages .” Unless the Threat of Death is Behind Them: Hard-Boiled Fiction and Film Noir. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins UP, 2006. 31-68. Print. Rzepka, Charles J. “‘I’m in the Business Too’: Gothic Chivalry, Private Eyes, and Proxy Sex and Violence in Chandler’s The Big Sleep.” Modern Fiction Studies 46.3 (2000): 695-724. Print.

Free Macbeth Essays: The Importance of Sleep

593 words - 2 pages The Importance of Sleep in Macbeth     The image of sleep is consistently mentioned in Macbeth with the intention of creating a symbolic importance.  Macbeth himself notes that the sleep he discusses with us, is that that ‘knits up’, meaning the sleep which smoothes out and pieces together. Macbeth recites this after he has spoken to Lady Macbeth directly after he committed the bloody murder of King Duncan.  He

the big sleep

544 words - 2 pages FOLLOWING CLUES: DETECTIVE FICTION IN FILM AND LITERATURE FILM REVIEW # 2WORK OF: CHARANJEEV MEHMISTUDENT NUMBER: 991351103SUBMITTED TO: ADAM HONSINGERThis whole review revolves around the Motion Picture "The Big Sleep" and many aspects of movie including the personalities will be highlighted and my focus will be on the detective who played a vital role in movie and the process through which the case being solved by hard-boiled detective will

Comparing the Book and Movie Version of The Secret Garden

674 words - 3 pages literary work of art. Yes, the story is thought provoking; for that, viewers can thank the author, Francis Hodgson Burnett. But the exceptional cinematography, along with the fantastic locations and merging character schemes, is a credit to Agnieszka Holland. The movie stands on the merits of the actors, the director, and the production/film crews. Taking nothing away from the author, this movie is entertaining in its own right. Viewers will see

Title: "Corruption in the Big Sleep" - This essay explores the corruption of society found in "The Big Sleep" by Raymond Chandler

1106 words - 4 pages "The Big Sleep" is about a private detective that is trying to solve a blackmailing case for a dying millionaire. The detective, Philip Marlowe, finds that the case not only involves blackmail, but also murder. This book was Raymond Chandler's first novel and it explores the oppressive and corrupt society of 1930's America. Chandler uses Philip Marlowe as the immoral yet heroic protagonist.The corruption of 1930's society is present in the

Sterotypes of Mascalinity in the Film Big Lebowski

1192 words - 5 pages the film, he uses aggressive military tactics to try to solve his civilian problems, and in nearly every situation his tactics are shown to be ineffective and unfailingly exacerbate the issue. As he states himself, “This is not Nam. There are rules.” It was the absence of rules in Nam that made it an aggressive, masculine venture, and his confinement to rules have left Walter struggling like a fish out of water. The “Big” Lebowski, (not the Dude

Similar Essays

Movie Essays Comparing The Novel And Film Version Of Joy Luck Club

1844 words - 7 pages the movie with the power of multiple perspectives. Eight different narrators tell the stories construing the palimpsest that is Tan's novel. Although it might be argued that the picture of film imposes on the viewer a single perspective, or at least could favor certain view points, Wang's film speaks in different voices. The film combines shifts in scene with personal narration to present the characters' individual memories. Only scenes one and

Film Noir: The Big Sleep Essay

1069 words - 5 pages Film Noir is a genre of distinct and unique characteristics. Mostly prominent in the 40s and 50s, the genre rarely skewed from the skeletal plot to which all Film Noir pictures follow. The most famous of these films is The Big Sleep (1946) directed by Howard Hawks. This film is the go to when it comes to all the genre’s clichés. This formula for film is so well known and deeply understood that it is often a target for satire. This is what the

The Big Sleep: Movie Vs. Novel

1724 words - 7 pages their individual representations of The Big Sleep. The differences between the works allow them to converse and argue with each other, thus creating a new interpretation on the themes of the story. Hawks' version seems to be about Marlowe's struggle with the unnatural world, Chandler's about a struggle with nature. The movie was well made, as the book was well written: both are sufficient to stand and to be appreciated alone.   Works Cited   Bluestone, George. Novels into Film. 1957. Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1961. Bordwell, David, and Kristin Thompson. Film Art: An Introduction. 5th ed. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1997.

This Essays Compares The The Book Version Of The Salem Witch Trials "The Crucible" To The Movie Version Of The Salem Witch Trials

595 words - 2 pages The Crucible is a story of the Salem Witch Trials, which took place in 1692. Arthur Miller has portrayed this story in many different forums. The book for example, requires the reader to think, picture and visualize emotions and scenes by thought of imagination. The movie, however, adds all emotions and allow the viewers to connect with the characters, from seeing the emotions and body language being expressed. This leaves many with the question