Double Feature

The Maltese Falcon

The Black Bird

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The Maltese Falcon

Everyone’s looking for it and they’ll do anything to get it! The Maltese Falcon, that is. It’s not just the opulent treasure in the mind’s eye of every San Francisco low-life, it’s also one of the first shining examples of Hollywood noir, a stunningly confident directing debut for John Huston, and a sordid melodrama which transformed Humphrey Bogart from B-movie sideman to star romantic lead. Mary Astor co-stars as the hot-blooded but inscrutable femme fatale who drags hard-boiled private eye Sam Spade (Bogart) into the hunt for the Falcon. Peter Lorre and Sydney Greenstreet (in his Academy Award-nominated film debut!) round out the conspiratorial cast as dandy-gangsters with twisted loyalties. The paradigm for film noir to come, this loaded, sordid mystery gets right to the tragic truth about love and crime: “It’s the stuff that dreams are made of.”

“Mr. Huston gives promise of becoming one of the smartest directors in the field.” – Bosley Crowther, The New York Times

“One of the best examples of actionful and suspenseful melodramatic story telling in cinematic form. Unfolding a most intriguing and entertaining murder mystery, [The Maltese Falcon] displays outstanding excellence in writing, direction, acting and editing – combining in overall as a prize package of entertainment” – Variety

View a collection of promotional stills for The Maltese Falcon on the New Beverly forum.

Ariel Schudson discusses The Maltese Falcon on the New Beverly blog.

Director
John Huston
Starring
Humphrey Bogart, Mary Astor, Gladys George, Peter Lorre, Barton MacLane, Lee Patrick, Sydney Greenstreet, Elisha Cook Jr.
Year
1941
Country
USA
Format
35mm
Running Time
100 minutes

The Black Bird

George Segal’s leading man good looks combined with a comic’s rubber faced expressions, kept him in such high demand during the 1970’s, that he appeared in a film released every year during that decade, and in The Black Bird (1975) – a send up of The Maltese Falcon (1941) – his talent and charm are on full display. After Sam Spade starts flying the tombstone kite, his son Sam Spade Jr. (George Segal) inherits his father’s San Francisco detective agency, complete with its wry secretary Effie Perine (Lee Patrick reprising her role as Humphrey Bogart’s secretary from Falcon). When Sam Jr. is approached to buy his father’s iconic bird, he soon finds himself pursued by a beautiful Russian seductress who wants the Falcon, “smashed” by Hawaiian tough guys, and interrogated by a bald Nazi midget who has “killed for it” and “will kill again for it.” With all the hilarious heat the statuette is bringing Sam Spade Jr., perhaps the Black Bird is the big score he’s been waiting for. After all, “superficial minds have never understood the falcon.”

“The general tenor of the film shows a sentimental empathy for the original material with no heartless put-downs marring the work. There are lots of smiles, many chuckles, and a few strong laughs.” – Variety

Director
David Giler
Starring
George Segal, Stéphane Audran, Lionel Stander, Lee Patrick, Elisha Cook Jr
Year
1975
Rated
PG
Country
USA
Format
35mm
Running Time
97 minutes

Upcoming Showtimes

Sun, December 17
6:30 pm
The Maltese Falcon
8:40 pm
The Black Bird

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