I have watched the original THE BIG SLEEP many times over the years and it never loses it's magic.
But this is the first time I have ever watched the deleted material and while it does not change the plot or I would argue even improve the story, it does add more clarity. The newly inserted District Attorney scene in particular goes a long way untangling the complex mystery for the audience.
All the re-inserted scenes are fairly well inserted. The audio work is excellent; only the minor difference in video quality hints that a scene may not be from the original version. But this did not detract from my enjoyment.
I watched the 1945 cut and not the 1946 cut recently with the idea of making an extended edition. Then along comes ParanoidAndroid and saves me the trouble. I would not change a single thing he has done with this edit. A great job was done on this. The 1945 footage is not quite as sharp but it is more than good enough not to be distracting and the plot is much easier to follow with the reinstated scenes which never should have been cut in my opinion.
I must say, this has polish and luster and is the go to version of this clsasic for me. It may not be refernce level HD due to the source material, but I don't mark down (nor should anyone frankly) when the limitation is the source.
Those extra Betty scenes and dialogue, and the clarity brought to this by having itall in one place is a joy to behold.
Sure, there are a few narrative quirks, but given that we get the 45 and 46 material in one place...MEH to quirks, it adds to the noir feel all over.
The 45 scenes are a touch softer, but on smaller setups will be missed by most. The pacing is exquisite, the tongue in cheek moments glorious and bot, they don't make 'em like this anymore...and more the shame..
Thanks "Marvin" for your diligence and hard work.
I love the original novel and I've always been a fan of Bogart, but I'm probably going to be one of the extremely few to review this who has only seen the pre-release 1945 cut and NOT the far more well-known 1946 theatrical cut (due to, for reasons I have never quite determined, the Humphrey Bogart Essential Collection DVD set that I purchased only including the 1945 cut and not the 1946 cut). Fantastic! I understand the more famous 1946 cut is infamously confusing for audiences, an issue the 1945 cut doesn't have, and looking over the cut list to see which scenes you were taking from the one cut to insert in the other actually left my jaw dropped - how could anyone have understood what was going on without the DA scene or the scene with the sister breaking into Marlowe's apartment? Those are key to the whole story!
For me, it's the new (to me) reshoot scenes giving more screentime to Bacall that really makes this shine including that incredible scene in the restaurant. Just a great film and this edit is highly recommended! You really did a great job integrating the two cuts together, and this will absolutely be the cut I show people in the future.
Do you recommend this edit?
Owner's replyFebruary 19, 2023
Delighted that you enjoyed it so, while both original versions are great in their own right I think it no bad thing to see all the available footage in one place, none of it in my mind outstays its welcome.
Loved the original and now with this version i Love this movie even more. The transfer Looks great and seamless changes this edit just adds to the story - i think the original is a little too ambiguous as to the plot.