The Big Sleep legendarily doesn’t make a lick of sense, but you really wouldn’t want it to. Watching the sleazy, double-crossing characters in this Raymond Chandler adaptation talk circles around each other is the movie’s great joy. The picture was delayed about a year while director Howard Hawks shot new scenes, partly to clarify the narrative and partly to better showcase a young Lauren Bacall. You’ll find passionate partisans of both versions, yet this isn’t a picture about plot, but about tone – the lurid, lewd language of Chandler. Humphrey Bogart, delightfully terse, stars as Philip Marlowe, the private detective who is just one crucial step above everyone else on the ladder of morality (partly because everyone else includes drug addicts, nymphomaniacs, blackmailers and pornographers). That doesn’t mean Marlowe isn’t open to the many feminine offers that come his way, whether they are from the divorced daughter (Bacall) of his client, her younger, boy-toy sister (Martha Vickers) or a random, randy bookshop clerk (Dorothy Malone). The Big Sleep is as drenched in sex as a movie could be in 1946 – every moment of which is in some way depraved.