Cast and Crew: Mary Astor, William Hopper, Walter Huston
What It’s About: Private-eye Sam Spade (Humphrey Bogart) gets drawn into a case that involves two murders (including his partner) and the Maltese Falcon, a priceless artefact that men (and women) will kill to possess.
Why Watch it Today?: Author Dashiell Hammett was born today in 1894. Out of four films based on his novel, this one, written for the screen and directed by John Huston is the most successful and well-regarded, featuring a star-making performance by Humphrey Bogart (prior to this film he mostly played villains and second bananas) and an excellent supporting cast including Peter Lorre, Ward Bond, Elisha Cook Jr., and, in his Oscar nominated screen début, stage actor Sydney Greenstreet. The film was also nominated for Best Picture, and Huston picked up a Best Adapted Screenplay nomination for his script, though he probably deserved one for his direction, as well, which was an important influence on Film Noir .