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The Big Sleep (1946 film) Summary
Howard Hawks

Everything you need to understand or teach The Big Sleep (1946 film) by Howard Hawks.

  • The Big Sleep Summary & Study Guide

The Big Sleep Summary

Summary and Analysis

The Big Sleep begins with the credits rolling over a background of a couple smoking in silhouette. We then see a door with a plate on it that reads "Sternwood," and a man rings the doorbell. The butler admits Phillip Marlowe to see the General. As Marlowe waits, a beautiful woman, Carmen Rutledge, comes down and begins to flirt with him. He tells her that he is a private detective, and then she falls into his arms before the butler invites him in to see the General.

The General is paralyzed in both legs and is very ill. He invites Marlowe to take off his coat, drink, and smoke since he can no longer enjoy those things. Marlowe is 38 and had formerly worked for the District Attorney's office before being fired for insubordination.

The General asks what Marlowe knows about his family, and Marlowe...

(read more from the Film Guide)

Study Pack

The The Big Sleep (1946 film) Study Pack contains about 22 pages of study material in 2 products, including:

The Big Sleep Film Summary

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