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"The Big Sleep"-- Bogart & Bacall Version


RJMacReady
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Hello TCMers... I was so thunderstruck by Bogie and Bacall in "To Have And Have Not" that I bought the four DVD set. "The Big Sleep" DVD has a fan's dream of the alternate version of the film, the most notable different scene IMHO is Bogart's explanation to the DA of the mysterious goings on regarding the Sternwoods. I've viewed both versions many, many times. I came to two conclusions, I'd love to hear other opinions: 1) I can only assume Brody really did kill Owen Taylor, how else would he have gotten the film? I know Bogie tells Lundgren that "You shot the wrong guy, Brody didn't kill Geiger". That is what confuses me. I know the urban legend about Hawke's claiming not to know even after contacting the author of the book, what do you all think? Who else had motive, means and opportunity? 2) Carol Lundgren and Geiger were lovers I am guessing? There really isn't any specific innuendo to indicate this, I am basing this theory on the fact he was so angered at Geiger's murder he shot who he thought was responsible. His holding an umbrella for Geiger and being referred to as "his shadow" don't really add up to much, once again IMHO. What do you other "Big Sleep" lovers think? However you slice it, although nothing can compare to watching two people fall in love right on film as in "To Have And Have Not", it is still worth it's weight in gold. I'd love to read some other thoughts on these issues... MacReady

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A couple of years ago, I wrote up some notes about this. Here are some of my notes:

 

"Marlowe chases and catches Carol Lundgren and tells him that Brody didn?t kill Geiger. Takes Lundgren to Geiger?s house. They fight. Marlowe finds Geiger dressed in nice suit and lying in bed (still dead). How he got in the bed, no one knows.

 

Marlowe calls Bernie at DA?s office and says Owen Taylor (Lido Pier) might have had gun with three empty shells in it. Says Taylor killed Geiger. Bernie won?t tell Marlowe anything about gun.

 

At DA?s office with Marlowe, Bernie says Owen Taylor killed Geiger last night. Says Taylor, Lundgren, Brody, and Agnes, knew about Geiger killing.

 

DA says he wondered of Regan was mixed up in this somehow.

 

So far, no one knows who killed Owen Taylor. Taylor killed Geiger. Lundgren killed Brody. Brody says he got film from Taylor but left him alive in Packard on some street.

 

---

 

So, in conclusion:

 

Apparently Owen Taylor (Packard) killed Geiger because Taylor loved Carmen, and Geiger was blackmailing Carmen with photos.

 

Joe Brody got the blackmail film from Owen Taylor and began blackmailing Carmen. Brody might have killed Owen Taylor, but he never admitted it. No one is ever sure who killed Taylor and shoved him and his car off the end of the Lido Pier."

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Fred, So I guess Brody will do down in history as the most likely candidate, and I suspect that whole sub-plot could have been dismissed, making it a bit easier on an already overwhelmed audience. As for Carol's and Geiger's relationship, I'll receive no "sleuth of the year" nominations concluding they were lovers--- not that it really matters if they were or not. What is interesting is how carefully the studio tiptoed around the issue, it is a stark difference between then and now. Some of the misogynistic language used in these films can make one wince, such as our beautiful gal Lauren lightheartedly singing about how a girl got "socked in the choppers". "Key Largo" is so riddled with archaic stereotypes and language it actually decreases the film's entertainment value, IMHO. The two Native American brothers (the Osceola brothers, if memory serves) on the run from the law, saying "Mr. Temple, him good friend to Indian. We do what he say". All the while this ridiculous stereotypical soundtrack music is playing in the background, all that was missing was "Ugh, Kemosabe"...

 

 

 

But I digress. Warts and all they just don't make films like these anymore, and the B&W photography, such as the scene in "To Have And Have Not" in the basement where Bogie is removing the bullet is absolutely beautiful.

 

Thanks for listening to my ramblings... MacReady

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Love the movie despite not understanding the storyline. I always get confused at the point Eddie Mars' wife is added to the story.

 

I've always been upset that Martha Vickers was cut out of the film for Lauren Bacall, who she's better than in this film. In fact, to me Bacall is the 3rd most appealing woman in the movie, behind Vickers and Dorothy Malone in that awesome cameo.

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> {quote:title=JefCostello wrote:}{quote}

> Love the movie despite not understanding the storyline. I always get confused at the point Eddie Mars' wife is added to the story.

 

More from my notes:

 

 

"Marlow drives out to the garage. Knocks on door. Two men don?t want to let him in at first, but finally someone named Art and another guy (could be Canino) grab Marlowe, tie him up and take him in house in back of the barn. Eddie Mars? wife is there with Vivian. Mars? wife said she ?had to disappear? when Regan disappeared because police would think Eddie Mars killed Regan. So she had to pretend she ran off with Regan. Marlowe says a hired thug of Mars killed Jones. Mars? wife doesn?t believe it. (I think the thug was Canino.) Both Mars? wife and Vivien refuse to believe that Mars is a crook or killer.

 

Vivian helps Marlowe escape, first gunman goes after him but runs away after Marlowe shoots at him. Canino shoots at Marlowe. Marlowe shoots Canino. Vivian suggests that she might have killed Regan, but Marlowe doesn?t believe it. Marlowe and Vivian go to Geiger?s rental house. Marlowe calls Eddie Mars and tells him he (Marlowe) just killed Canino. Tells Mars to meet him at Geiger?s house. Mars and two thugs arrive. Mars goes in. Marlowe pulls a gun on Mars.

 

Marlowe says Carmen killed Sean Regan. Says Carmen was high at the time. Marlowe says she killed him because she wanted him but he was more interested in Eddie Mars? wife. Says Mars began blackmailing Vivian because he knew Carmen killed Regan. Carmen?s motive for the murder was that Regan didn?t fall for her because he was in love with Mars? wife."

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Dear Jef, Man, I could not agree w/you more. The Sean Regan story line really serves to complicate an already blurry mix of connections, clues, motives, etc... I can only relate my conclusions, which are no more valid than yours, but here goes: As Marlowe has Mars held hostage on the couch, he asks Mars how he knew about certain things relating to Carmen/Regan, and says something like "Go ahead Eddie, I've been waiting to hear this one". Mars replies with something along the lines of "What are you going to do about it..." I guess the most logical way out of this spider web is to conclude Mars did indeed kill Regan, but he was probably the one who was supplying Carmen's narcotics, and knew how and when he could get her so stoned she would not be able to remember what happened. Remember Vivian's statement to Marlowe early in the film re: Camen's memory: "She never remembers anyway". Whether Mars was responsible for Regan's death or not, I heartily agree the addition of his alleged romancing of Mars's wife, disappearing, then her hiding out in the rear of the farmhouse to help prove Mars DID NOT kill him is illogical at best. Thanks for your thoughts, MacReady

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