Directed by John Houston
Not Rated | 100 min | 1941 | USA
Movie starts at dusk
One of the best known of all noir films, John Huston’s adaptation of the Dashiell Hammett mystery novel features most of the genre’s trademark characters. Cynical private eye (Humphrey Bogart’s Sam Spade), conniving mystery woman (Sam’s latest client, played by Mary Astor), Weaselly stooge (Peter Lorre), and corpulent, sweaty bad guy, Sydney Greenstreet. They’re all there.
Still, as familiar as the story might seem on paper—Astor’s character gets Sam involved in murder and intrigue—there are more than enough twists and turns to keep this tale interesting. It doesn’t hurt that the cast all seems to be having fun with this material. There’s a reason why it’s considered one of the classics.