John Huston’s classic The Maltese Falcon premiered in New York on 3rd October 1941, making it 80 years since it was first released. It was Huston’s directorial debut so even more impressive that it would go down as one of the greatest films of all time (and be called ‘culturally, historically, […] aesthetically significant’ by the US Library of Congress).
This slice of cinematic history stars Humphrey Bogart as the renowned private detective Sam Spade. Opposite Bogart is the compelling Mary Astor, playing one of the most fabulous femme fatales ever to have graced our screens, the elusive Brigid O’Shaughnessy (or is it Ruth Wonderly?).
The actual maltese falcon of the title is a much-desired jewel-encrusted statuette that evades those who try to acquire it (often luring them to sticky ends instead).
The film is widely considered to have established the ‘film noir’ genre and its influence stretches well into the modern day. If you haven’t seen this, you absolutely must – and if you have, revel once more in this glorious black and white wonder.
‘The film that brought the detective movie into the modern world’, – The Guardian
‘Superb cinematic entertainment’ – The Radio Times
‘An unassailable triumph’ – Empire