Thursday 26 March: THE MALTESE FALCON

John Huston, USA 1941. 100mins. Certificate PG

John Huston delivers a directorial debut like no other, adapting Dashiell Hammett’s groundbreaking novel for the big screen and cementing Film Noir as the defining genre of 1940s American cinema. Much copied but never matched.

Where: Golden Lion, 116 Sydenham Road
When: 7.30pm Thursday 26 March 2015
Tickets: £5 on the door; FREE to members

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 a 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 products.

★★★★★ ‘The perfect movie experience’ – EMPIRE

★★★★ ‘Among the movies we not only love but treasure, The Maltese Falcon stands as a great divide. Consider what was true after its release in 1941 and was not true before.’ – Roger Ebert

★★★★‘Filmed almost entirely in interiors, it presents a claustrophobic world animated by betrayal, perversion and pain.’ – Derek Adams, TIME OUT

‘This is one of the best examples of actionful and suspenseful melodramatic story telling in cinematic form.’ – VARIETY (1941)