Despite the title, "The Big Sleep" will not send you nodding off. This absorbing and handsome thriller is a must-see that receives a good DVD release.
Humphrey Bogart plays Chandler's gumshoe, Philip Marlowe, called upon to investigate a case of blackmail. It's a long and winding trail of murder, gambling, and deceit that he follows. Much of the action takes place without dialogue, which is used sparingly but effectively to keep the pace up. Performances all round are excellent although the smouldering chemistry between Bogart and Lauren Bacall dominates the film.
The 1.0 sound mix on the DVD is a solid affair. It is far superior to the poor quality of Warner's "Key Largo" which suffers from a feeble track that distorts during any rousing moments. "The Big Sleep" is thankfully far stronger and clearer.
The picture quality is also better with a sharp image of good contrast. Scenes like Bogart in the Acme bookstore in chapter six or the rain in chapter nine are as clear as you could hope.
The layout of the DVD menu system is nicely done to look like an old cinema poster and gives you access to the original trailer. As with the "Key Largo" disc there are no biographies or filmographies for the stars, which is a letdown. This is still a disc well worth owning though.
Sound: Dolby Digital 1.0
Extra Features: Scene selection, trailer, multiple languages, subtitles, English and Italian for the hearing impaired.