Sydenham Film Club presents
The Maltese Falcon
7.30pm, Thursday 26 March
Golden Lion pub, 116 Sydenham Road SE26 5JX map
£5 on the door – cut price for Film Club members
John Huston delivers a directorial debut like no other, adapting Dashiell Hammett’s ground-breaking novel for the big screen and cementing film noir as the defining genre of 1940s American cinema. Much copied but never matched.
Humphrey Bogart stars as Sam Spade, private investigator. When his partner Miles Archer is hired by Ruth Wonderly (Mary Astor), both Miles and the man he was hired to follow are found dead. The police think Spade did it so he sets out to find the real culprit.
His investigation draws him into a dark world of criminals obsessed by finding the Maltese Falcon – a jewel encrusted bird greedily desired by a diverse cast of hard-nosed villains and low-life crooks, including Sydney Greenstreet’s unforgettable Gutman and Joel Cairo masterfully played by Peter Lorre.
Ruth Wonderly disappears and resurfaces as Brigid O’Shaughnessy, with Mary Astor delivering a perfectly pitched performance as the original femme fatale.
The film launched Humphrey Bogart’s career as one of Hollywood’s most successful leading men and kick started a prolific and celebrated career for Huston.
Earth shattering on its release in 1941, little of its freshness has been lost in the intervening years. Join us to watch what is still one of cinema’s most satisfying movies.