$11 – $72

35mm Bogart & Bacall in Howard Hawk's THE BIG SLEEP at the Vista, Los Feliz

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Vista Theatre

4473 Sunset Drive

Los Angeles, CA 90027

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Part of our THE INSPIRATION & THE INSPIRED series. Saturday, August 31, 2019 @ 10:30a, The Vista: THE BIG SLEEP (1946, Warner Brothers, dir by Howard Hawks, Warner Brothers, 35mm)

The Big Sleep is like the Screaming Jay Hawkins of cinematic fathers, its birthed many many children.

Possibly none as widely popular as the Coen Brothers’ The Big Lebowski. Yet along the way, we’ve also gotten Robert Altman’s The Long Goodbye, Paul Thomas Anderson’s Inherent Vice, and many other shaggy dog murder mysteries solved by valiant knights who nevertheless know how to navigate the wild roads frequented by highwaymen and marauders.

It all starts with Raymond Chandler’s brilliant, beautiful prose and Phillip Marlowe novels. Howard Hawks was so taken with them that he chose, as his first post-war movie, to adapt Chandler’s debut Marlowe novel The Big Sleep into a feature film starring new “hot item” couple, Humphrey Bogart, and Lauren Bacall.

Hawks of course made masterpieces in every genre he worked in. Usually Hawks is responsible for one of the top five titles in every genre you can think of. Gangster movie? Scarface (the original). Western? Red River and Rio Bravo. Comedy? Bringing up Baby and His Girl Friday. Musical? Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. And on and on and on. . .

Detective fiction and mystery movie? The Big Sleep. What’s fascinating about Hawks’ Big Sleep is just how much he got away with. Many of the novel’s racier elements-the nymphomaniac coked up sister, the porn ring-are essentially retained in the movie adaptation. And of course, no script came with a better pedigree of writer than The Big Sleep which counts Chandler, William Faulkner, and Leigh Brackett as contributors.

What also makes The Big Sleep work is Bogart and Bacall’s undeniable chemistry, They have a scene of such stunning double entendre sexual word play that Hawks has often said the censors let him keep it in the movie because they were just blown away by the brassy daring of the whole sequence (“I like a jockey who comes from behind. . .”).

The movie also is suffused with that dreamlike nocturnal Los Angeles atmosphere that shows why we live in the city of dreams and nightmares.

Of course, Hawks also talks about how nobody, including himself or Raymond Chandler, could totally figure out the labyrinthine plot of the novel. But it’s the journey that makes it fun. And that’s a lesson that the Coen Brothers would take and turn into cinematic gold fifty years later with their masterpiece. . .

Best always,

Craig Hammill

35mm Secret Movie Club Programmer.Organizer


TICKETS: Tickets for all our events are available online at https://secretmovieclub.eventbrite.com or through each individual event on our Facebook Page:


Unless otherwise noted, all our movies screen at The Vista Theater, 4473 Sunset Drive, Los Angeles, CA 90027.

We currently are showing 1-2 documentaries with Director Q&A's afterwards a season at the Los Feliz 3, 1822 North Vermont Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90027; about 8 blocks from the Vista Theater in Los Feliz.

We also make tickets available at the Vista Box Office.

REFUNDS: We will honor all refund requests as long as they are made 24 hours or more before the listed start time of the screening. After that, no refunds. Sorry.

HOW DOES A SECRET MOVIE CLUB 2019 SINGLE SEASON or MULTI-SEASON ALL-ACCESS PASS WORK: If you buy an SEASON or MULTI-SEASON ALL-ACCESS PASS (access to all movies we’re showing within one season or multi-seasons as listed on the pass), you get entrance into every single movie we show throughout that time (including any special events we may announce at a later time; so your value may increase!). We offer SPRING and SUMMER 2019 SEASON PASSES individually (for example, if you know you will be able to attend in Spring but not Summer; a great deal at $6 a ticket) and a MULTI-SEASON PASS (all 83 events in both Spring & Summer 2019, our best deal at $4.50 per ticket). These passes are available through the following EVENTBRITE LINK:


If you decide to buy the SEASON or MULTI-SEASON ALL-ACCESS PASS and have already bought a series pass or individual ticket, just write us: secretmovieclub@curiousproductions.com and we’ll issue you a refund for the individual tickets you bought so you can get the all-access pass.

Each pass is available for purchase online until the start of the first event of the season that would be covered by that pass.

With the ALL-ACCESS PASS, we generate a special list with your name on it. All you have to do is come to our table ahead of each movie, give us your name, and get your ticket.

HOW DOES A SERIES PASS WORK: If you buy an Individual Series Pass, you gain entrance to all movies in that series. This is our next best deal at $9 a ticket after an All-Access pass at $4.50 or $6.00 a ticket. If you want to see all the movies in a particular series but not necessarily all the movies in a season this is the way to go.

The price of each Series Pass depends on how many movies we show in that series. So for instance if we are showing 7 movies in the series, the pass would cost $63 (or $9 per movie). If we are showing 4 movies in that series, the pass would cost $36, and so on.

You can buy the Series Pass through any individual Eventbrite link for a movie in that series. Then, we generate a special list with your name on it. All you have to do is come to our table ahead of each movie, give us your name, and get your ticket.

MOVIEPASS AND OTHER PASSES LIKE IT (as of February 2019): While we do accept and want you to use your special passes, we advise all moviegoers to first check the current rules and regulations of their pass to make sure their pass is accepted for our events. Secret Movie Club and the Vista Theater are not associated with nor responsible for any changes in policy on the part of any outside vendor offering a pass to Los Angeles screenings or any similar service.

CONCESSIONS: The Vista Concessions stand is open for all our events. So you will always have access to popcorn, soda, candy, coffee the works!

PARKING: The Vista has no dedicated parking lot. Thankfully, there is parking in the residential areas around the Vista Theater. Just plan to get to the theater 20 minutes earlier than normal so you have enough time to park, walk to the theater, get your tickets, get in line. Make sure you read the street signs! Hillhurst and Sunset Drive tend to be the best for street parking. Avoid Rosalia and Commonwealth as they have permit-only parking rules. We don’t want any Secret Movie Clubbers getting parking tickets.

SHOWTIMES: We screen our movies before or after the Vista’s official movies. This is why most of our showtimes are either at 11:59pm or between 10am-11am in the morning. Always check the listed showtime before buying your ticket as we do sometimes have to adjust the showtime to accommodate the running time of the movie.

MAILING LIST: We started as a secret email list way back in April of 2016. In respect to our origins, we will always announce our upcoming seasons, special events, and speakers with the ability to get tickets via the email list first before posting to Facebook or anywhere else. If you’d like to get on the secret email list, email us at: secretmovieclub@curiousproductions.com.

OTHER QUESTIONS: You can always email us at: secretmovieclub@curiousproductions.com . We work to respond asap within receipt of your email. If you don't get a response within 48 hours, please email us again.

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Vista Theatre

4473 Sunset Drive

Los Angeles, CA 90027

View Map

Refund Policy

Refunds up to 1 day before event

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