A Few Words About A few words about...™ The Big Sleep (1946) -- in Blu-ray

Robert Harris

Archivist
Reviewer
Joined
Feb 8, 1999
Messages
12,817
Reaction score
16,537
Points
9,110
Real Name
Robert Harris
Howard Hawks' The Big Sleep was produced for release in 1945, but for various reasons did not appear in theaters until 1946.


There are two versions of the film. The earlier found in the Warner vaults a number of years ago, and preserved by UCLA.


One of the wonderful things about this new Warner Archive release is that it gives us both -- the 1946 in a new gorgeous HD transfer, and the 1945 in SD, which is not a problem.


It's the changes, the re-shoots and the re-editing between the two, as explained by UCLA's Robert Gitt, here for the first time, unedited, that makes this Blu-ray doubly exciting.


For those poor souls who may be unaware, The Big Sleep in one of the greatest detective/noir films - ever. You remember Philip Marlowe.


It is only slightly more confusing than the second season of True Detective, but that's part of its everlasting charm.


Decades ago, when I was in my late teens and collecting old 16mm prints, I was occasionally gifted something by our distribution exec, that had come off the syndication inventory, as it was too splicy to be useful.


One such print, was The Big Sleep.


I already had a print, gifted earlier, that was off a dupe negative, and just a bit more murky due to TV density than I would have liked. Then this new/old print showed up.


Dupont stock, heavy in silver content, and apparently old enough to have been reduction printed directed from the camera original.


It had detail to beat the band.


That gorgeous print pales in comparison to what the Warner Archive has just made available, with full grain structure, wide shadow detail and rich blacks. Resolution, when the element was shot totally sharp, is undeniable.


Best not to get into the film, especially for those who have not been exposed to it, but suffice to say, that -- at least in this humble archivists opinion -- this very special release of The Big Sleep, turning up the brim of his hat, looking over his glasses and minding stating...


umm...


that it would be Bogart and Bacall at their best.


My favorite line - "[She] tried to sit in my lap when I was standing up..."


My advice?


Just buy this one, watch it.


And be amazed.


The first truly Great catalog release of 2016, and probably one of the best of the coming year.


Image - 5

Audio - 5

4k Up-rez - 5

Pass / Fail - Pass


Very Highly Recommended


RAH
 

atfree

Producer
Joined
Jan 28, 2012
Messages
3,606
Reaction score
3,169
Points
4,110
Age
57
Location
Boiling Springs, South Carolina
Real Name
Alex
Can't wait for my copy to arrive. Moments like these are when I am truly perplexed by the fact these catalog titles don't sell more copies to merit more releases.
 

atcolomb

Screenwriter
Joined
Mar 19, 2009
Messages
1,806
Reaction score
1,581
Points
1,610
Location
Chicago Area
Real Name
Angelo
My dvd from 2000 has the documentary called "The Big Sleep Comparisons" with Robert Gitt of UCLA which I saw first before seeing the two cuts of the movie and that was very informative on the different versions of the film. I guess this has the same documentary but unedited and that makes it more of a must buy for me.
 
  • Like
Reactions: PMF

JoeDoakes

Cinematographer
Joined
Apr 1, 2009
Messages
2,923
Reaction score
1,124
Points
4,110
Real Name
Ray
Robert Harris said:
Best not to get into the film, especially for those who have not been exposed to it, but suffice to say, that -- at least in this humble archivists opinion -- this very special release of The Big Sleep, turning up the brim of his hat, looking over his glasses and minding stating...


umm...


that it would be Bogart and Bacall at their best.
And not to forget Dorothy Malone.
 

Robert Harris

Archivist
Reviewer
Joined
Feb 8, 1999
Messages
12,817
Reaction score
16,537
Points
9,110
Real Name
Robert Harris
And Matha Vickers, who turned thumb-sucking into an art form...
 
  • Like
Reactions: Will Krupp

OliverK

Producer
Joined
Feb 1, 2000
Messages
4,248
Reaction score
2,171
Points
4,110
I watched this one more than once in the pre-DVD days both in the cineam and on video but haven't revisited it since. This is going to be a treat!
 

Oblivion138

Second Unit
Joined
Jun 13, 2012
Messages
413
Reaction score
266
Points
0
Real Name
James O'Blivion
My favorite Bogart film...maybe even my favorite noir of all time...I've been waiting for this one since I first got a BD player.

Pity that the 1945 version is still in SD...I've always liked it a bit more than the release version. But at least it is included.
 
  • Like
Reactions: PMF and DavidJ

DavidJ

Producer
Joined
Jul 23, 2001
Messages
4,046
Reaction score
736
Points
4,110
Real Name
David
I'm also one who prefers the '45 version. I would've loved to have them both in HD, but this is still a no brainer addition for me.
 
  • Like
Reactions: PMF and Oblivion138

Oblivion138

Second Unit
Joined
Jun 13, 2012
Messages
413
Reaction score
266
Points
0
Real Name
James O'Blivion
Definitely. I'm looking forward to adding the entire Bogart/Bacall library to my collection, but The Big Sleep is priority number one, by a long shot.
 

Robert Harris

Archivist
Reviewer
Joined
Feb 8, 1999
Messages
12,817
Reaction score
16,537
Points
9,110
Real Name
Robert Harris
The 1945 cut of the film has moderate to severe damage, that would preclude a simple HD transfer. Presentation in HD would have entailed inordinate expense.

RAH
 

Robert Crawford

Moderator
Moderator
Joined
Dec 9, 1998
Messages
47,661
Reaction score
23,790
Points
9,110
Location
Michigan
Real Name
Robert
The 1945 cut of the film has moderate to severe damage, that would preclude a simple HD transfer. Presentation in HD would have entailed inordinate expense.

RAH
That is unfortunate for fans of this film.
 

Robert Crawford

Moderator
Moderator
Joined
Dec 9, 1998
Messages
47,661
Reaction score
23,790
Points
9,110
Location
Michigan
Real Name
Robert
It's a curio cut anyway. Good riddance.
Welcome to the forum, but like others, I disagree with you because the original version does have some qualities that the released version doesn't have in it.
 

Robert Crawford

Moderator
Moderator
Joined
Dec 9, 1998
Messages
47,661
Reaction score
23,790
Points
9,110
Location
Michigan
Real Name
Robert
I'd like to give a shout out to the wonderful Sonia Darrin ("What do those look like? Grapefruit?") and doesn't even get billing! Everyone talks about Bacall, Malone or Vickers but Darrin's turn as Agnes steals the movie for me.
In the same vain, I like to give a shout out to Dorthy Malone in one of her earlier roles as the book shop girl. I always had a crush on her.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Will Krupp
P

Patrick Donahue

Guest
Easily my most wanted title on Blu. The day it was announced I happened to get in the mail this advertisement for it from an auction Leonard Maltin was having of some personal memorabilia.

image.jpeg


FWIW - my most wanted title now is "The Old Dark House." Make it happen, people!
 
  • Like
Reactions: hndrsnsbks

Thomas T

Producer
Joined
Sep 30, 2001
Messages
4,500
Reaction score
4,325
Points
4,110
In the same vain, I like to give a shout out to Dorthy Malone in one of her earlier roles as the book shop girl. I always had a crush on her.
Huge Dorothy Malone fan here. When I was in high school I actually wrote her a fan letter. That Christmas, I got a personally signed Christmas card from her.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Johnny Angell

Billy Batson

Producer
Joined
Feb 19, 2008
Messages
3,496
Reaction score
2,287
Points
4,110
Age
69
Location
London
Real Name
Alan
Welcome to the forum, but like others, I disagree with you because the original version does have some qualities that the released version doesn't have in it.
I never knew there was an "original version", just the version I grew up looking at on the telly & then on VHS & DVD.
 

Tim Munton

Auditioning
Joined
Nov 11, 2013
Messages
6
Reaction score
1
Points
0
Real Name
TimM
Howard Hawks' The Big Sleep was produced for release in 1945, but for various reasons did not appear in theaters until 1946.


There are two versions of the film. The earlier found in the Warner vaults a number of years ago, and preserved by UCLA.


One of the wonderful things about this new Warner Archive release is that it gives us both -- the 1946 in a new gorgeous HD transfer, and the 1945 in SD, which is not a problem.


It's the changes, the re-shoots and the re-editing between the two, as explained by UCLA's Robert Gitt, here for the first time, unedited, that makes this Blu-ray doubly exciting.


For those poor souls who may be unaware, The Big Sleep in one of the greatest detective/noir films - ever. You remember Philip Marlowe.


It is only slightly more confusing than the second season of True Detective, but that's part of its everlasting charm.


Decades ago, when I was in my late teens and collecting old 16mm prints, I was occasionally gifted something by our distribution exec, that had come off the syndication inventory, as it was too splicy to be useful.


One such print, was The Big Sleep.


I already had a print, gifted earlier, that was off a dupe negative, and just a bit more murky due to TV density than I would have liked. Then this new/old print showed up.


Dupont stock, heavy in silver content, and apparently old enough to have been reduction printed directed from the camera original.


It had detail to beat the band.


That gorgeous print pales in comparison to what the Warner Archive has just made available, with full grain structure, wide shadow detail and rich blacks. Resolution, when the element was shot totally sharp, is undeniable.


Best not to get into the film, especially for those who have not been exposed to it, but suffice to say, that -- at least in this humble archivists opinion -- this very special release of The Big Sleep, turning up the brim of his hat, looking over his glasses and minding stating...


umm...


that it would be Bogart and Bacall at their best.


My favorite line - "[She] tried to sit in my lap when I was standing up..."


My advice?


Just buy this one, watch it.


And be amazed.


The first truly Great catalog release of 2016, and probably one of the best of the coming year.


Image - 5

Audio - 5

4k Up-rez - 5

Pass / Fail - Pass


Very Highly Recommended


RAH
Hi - This is great news!
Forgive me for possibly sounding ignorant but when you say "4k Uprez" do you mean
the film was scanned at 4k scan ( & then downscaled when encoded to ordinary blu-ray for this 23 Feb 2016 release ) or that it was scanned at 2k & you are watching it upscaled on a UHD 4k screen?

Or more simply were the film elements used for this bluray scanned at 4k before restoration work began?!
Thanks for reading this.
 

Forum Sponsors

Forum statistics

Threads
343,751
Messages
4,688,958
Members
141,027
Latest member
JP2