I'm going to go ahead and say that most fans of Howard Hawks's THE BIG SLEEP will have, at one time or another, wondered about Martha Vickers. She plays the lethal nympho Carmen Sternwood, and she's so sexy and twisted, she nearly steals the film out from under Lauren Bacall. (In fact, the imbalance in their charisma was felt to be such a danger to the film--which was intended first and foremost as a Bogart/Bacall vehicle--that some weak Bacall scenes were cut and new ones that upped the sex-and-sarcasm were added.)
But whatever happened to Martha Vickers? Why didn't she become a star in her own right? I explore that question in a new essay over at Criminal Element.