Why Significant Changes Were Made to the Plot in the Big Sleep Movie

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Topics: The Big Sleep
Why Significant Changes Were Made to the Plot in The Big Sleep Movie

After reading the novel "The Big Sleep" by Raymond Chandler, then watching the 1946 movie version starring Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall, I found myself asking why are there so many changes to the plot in this movie as compared to the novel. Many significant pieces of the plot were drastically different and there were even certain scenes that had been made up for the movie that were never in the book. After doing some research I was able to come up with many reasons for these significant changes. Some of the main reasons for there being significant changes is the Hays Code which was a code of rules that all movies were to follow, as well as the chemistry that Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall had together.

Many of the changes in the movie version of "The Big Sleep" can be credited to the Hays Code. The Hays Code was a set of rules that movies were to follow. Will H. Hays was not the creator of this code however he was the first person to be in charge of enforcing it therefore his name became attached to it (TV Tropes). Some smaller changes the Hays Code affected are the dealings that go on at Geiger 's Book Store as well as Geiger 's love interest. In the novel we are told that the book store is actually a front for a pornography store. We are also told in the novel that Arthur Geiger is gay and has a male partner. In the Hays Code it is stated that "The sanctity of the institution of marriage and the home shall be upheld. Pictures shall not infer that low forms of sex relationship are the accepted or common thing." (Arts Reformation). Given this the writers of the screenplay were forced to leave out the fact that the book store was actually a front for a pornographic store. As for the fact that Arthur Geiger was gay and had a male partner, it is stated in the Hays Code that "Sex perversion or any inference to it is forbidden." (Arts Reformation). Although a homosexual couple is more



Cited: - Ahearn, William. "The Big Sleep (1946)" 2008. November 2012. http://www.williamahearn.com/bs1945.html - "The Motion Picture Production Code of 1930 (Hays Code)". Arts Reformation. April 2006. November 2012. http://www.artsreformation.com/a001/hays-code.html - "The Big Sleep (1946 Film)". Wikipedia. November 15 2012. November 23 2012. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Big_Sleep_(1946_film)#Cast -"Hays Code". TV Tropes. November 2012. http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/HaysCode

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