|A gallery of high-living lowlifes will stop at nothing to get their sweaty hands on a jewel-encrusted falcon. Detective Sam Spade (Humphrey Bogart) wants to find out why - and who’s gonna take the fall. |
This third screen version of Dashiell Hammett’s novel is a film of firsts: John Huston’s directorial debut, rotund 62-year-old Sydney Greenstreet’s screen debut, film history’s first film noir and Bogart’s breakthrough role after years as a Warner contract player. When George Raft refused to work with a first-time director, Bogart took on the role of Spade - and launched the most acclaimed period of his career.
An all-star cast (including Greenstreet, Mary Astor, Peter Lorre and Elisha Cook Jr.) join Bogart in this crisply written sizzler that placed in the top quarter of the American Film Institute’s 100 Greatest American Films list. Many say it’s the best detective drama ever. Each time you see it, you’ll find it hard to disagree.
Editor's NoteHard-drinking private eye Sam Spade (Humphrey Bogart) sleuths the backyard of San Francisco in search of an elusive black bird statuette while evading the setups of three disparate miscreants: the duplicitous Brigid, the perfumed Mr. Cairo, and the scheming Fat Man. John Huston's brilliant directorial debut is aided by first-rate performances, excellent camera work, as well as the director's acute attention to detail while shooting the film. Based on the crime novel by Dashiell Hammett. Academy Award Nominations: 3, including Best Picture, Best Supporting Actor (Sydney Greenstreet), and Best Screenplay. Previous versions of the story were filmed in 1931 (a.k.a. DANGEROUS FEMALE) and in 1936 (as SATAN MET A LADY, starring Bette Davis), and poorly redone in 1975 (THE BLACK BIRD).
|Elisha Cook Jr.|
|Arthur Edeson - Director of Photography|
|Thomas Richards - Editor|
|Orry-Kelly - Costume Designer|
|Walter Huston - Cameo|
|Adolph Deutsch - Composer|
|Robert M. Haas - Production Designer|
|Dashiell Hammett - Story|
|Henry Blanke - Producer|
|John Huston - Screenwriter|
|John Huston - Director|
|"When you're slapped, you'll take it and like it!" ---- Sam Spade (Humphrey Bogart) to Cairo (Peter Lorre)|
|"Don't be too sure I'm as crooked as I'm supposed to be." ---- Spade to Brigid O'Shaugnessy (Mary Astor)|