The Big Sleep

Martha Vickers as Carmen Sternwood in a publicity still for The Big Sleep (1946)

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The Big Sleep

Martha Vickers in a Warner Brothers publicity still.  Martha was born in Ann Arbor, Michigan and had 33 acting credits from an uncredited bit in Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man in 1943, to two episodes of a 1960 tv series.  The Big Sleep was her ninth film, and first credit as Martha Vickers.  Her previous films, when she was credited, were under Martha MacVicar.

The Big Sleep

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Humphrey Bogart and Martha Vickers in an original publicity still for The Big Sleep (1946).  It was her big break but she failed to capitalize on it.

The Big Sleep

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Bogart and Bacall and a passed out Martha Vickers in The Big Sleep (1946)

The Big Sleep

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The back of this publicity still reads

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HOLLYWOOD  –  BEHIND THE SCENES

-or-

“What Makes Motion Pictures

As Seen By The Candid Cameraman”

1.  In the still gallery, at Warner Bros., Martha Vickers poses a pretty pin-up.  Miss Vickers will appear with Humphrey Bogart in “The Big Sleep,” and naturally nobody gets a wink of it.

From Warner Bros. Studio

Burbank, California

6846

(Printed in U.S.A.)

 

The Big Sleep

Martha Vickers tries to sit in Humphrey Bogart’s lap while he’s still standing in The Big Sleep (1946).  One of the biggest challenges William Faulkner had in adapting Raymond Chandler’s novel for Bogart and Bacall’s follow up to their first film together, To Have and Have Not, was toning down Martha’s wild and crazy nympho character Carmen Sternwood.

The Big Sleep

Humphrey Bogart and Martha Vickers in a publicity still for The Big Sleep (1946).

The Big Sleep

The back of this publicity still reads

Today’s sleek unfussed face made possible possible by the great strides of motion pictures to improve the heavy stagey makeup of yesteryear when makeup for the stage was thick and harsh because of the perspective lost after the 15th row.  Here is lovely Warner Bros. actress, Martha Vickers soon to appear in THE BIG SLEEP in today’s story.  Complexion – fresh, bright:  eyes bright, clear mouth (that is a mouth):  brow clear – bared by hair that is not a creation but hair.

From:  Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.

321 West 44th St.

New York, New York

Printed in U.S.A.

Yes, possible is erroneously repeated twice, and the comma after actress is misplaced.

A Girl in Every Port

Victor McLaglen as Spike Madden and Myrna Loy as Jetta, the girl from Singapore, in A Girl in Every Port (1928).

The Big Sleep

Martha Vickers in a publicity still.  Martha was born in Ann Arbor, Michigan and had 31 acting credits in her career, from an uncredited bit in Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man (1943), through her big break as Carmen Sternwood in The Big Sleep (1946), and two episodes of The Rebel in 1960.  Although her performance in The Big Sleep was unforgettable, she was unable to capitalize on her association with Howard Hawks.

The Big Sleep

oldfilmsflicker: “ Vickers is very good in the film, beautifully lit, as if someone had striven to get the shine of a flawed pearl, and allowed all variety of mannerisms - playing with her hair, sucking her thumb, and doing a sort of little girl’s...

Martha Vickers as Carmen Sternwood prepares to sit in Humphrey Bogart’s lap while he’s still standing in The Big Sleep (1946).   She was even more of an amoral nympho in Raymond Chandler’s novel.