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Paul Jensen

THE BIG SLEEP (1946) 4 stars

Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall have never been better together. Smart, sexy and funny. The later version has more Bogie and Bacall footage that is irresistible. The horse-racing metaphor has gone done in film history. It's a damn entertaining film. Hawks is a tough filmmaker and he rarely has his characters confess their love to each other. Fittingly, this is the one exception. It defined an archetypal hero - Phillip Marlowe - and kept us guessing right up until the end. Best of all, there's constant sexual subtext scattered throughout. A true classic with dialogue and star appeal that will blow you away.

Genre: Film Noir
Director: Howard Hawks