Thursday, February 18, 2016

75 Years of "The Maltese Falcon" (1941)

A re-post from my other classic film blog, "Silver Screen Reflections."

Sam Spade.  Brigid O’Shaughnessy.  Miles Archer.  Joel Cairo.  Kasper Gutman.  Lieutenant Dundy and Detective Pullhouse.  The “MacGuffin.”  “The stuff that dreams are made of.”

The 75th anniversary revival screening of “The Maltese Falcon” (1941)

1941 Warner Bros. trade ad for "The Maltese Falcon,"
featuring Humphrey Bogart and Mary Astor.
Fans of classic cinema and film noir are in for a real treat, as this year will mark the 75th anniversary of John Huston’s 1941 screen adaptation of “The Maltese Falcon.”

Turner Classic Movies, in conjunction with Warner Bros. Pictures and NCM Fathom Events will showcase the film in select cinema venues from coast-to-coast for one day only on Sunday, Feb. 21 and Wednesday, Feb. 24.  “The Maltese Falcon” will be shown at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. (Eastern) on that day.  A special pre-recorded introduction by TCM host Ben Mankiewicz will be shown before the film.

With an all-star cast, featuring Humphrey Bogart, Peter Lorre, Mary Astor, Sydney Greenstreet, Ward Bond and Barton MacLane, John Huston’s film adaptation of Dashiell Hammett’s novel is one of the definitive classics of the silver screen.

Earlier adaptations of Hammett’s novel for the silver screen

Before Huston’s landmark film was released, Warners made two film adaptations of Dashiell Hammett’s novel.  The first screen adaptation of “The Maltese Falcon” was released as a pre-code feature in 1931, featuring Ricardo Cortez and Bebe Daniels.

Five years later, the studio produced a lesser-known light comedic adaptation with Bette Davis and Warren William, under the title of “Satan Met a Lady.”

A comedic version of “The Maltese Falcon” 

In addition to the three motion picture adaptations of Hammett’s novel, a comedic spoof of “The Maltese Falcon” was produced by George Segal and Ray Stark in 1975, under the title of “The Black Bird.”  Directed by David Giler, the film featured Segal (who also played the lead role of Sam Spade Jr.), St├ęphane Audran, Lionel Stander, Elisha Cook Jr. and Vic Tayback.

Why you should watch “The Maltese Falcon” (1941)

If you’re going to see it on the big screen on Feb. 21 (or the upcoming TCM broadcast on Feb. 19), “The Maltese Falcon” is one of the definitive film noir classics.  You will not be disappointed by 100 minutes of suspense and intrigue.  Highly recommended!

Matinee Alert: “The Maltese Falcon” will not be shown in the Frederick area

SIDEBAR: Yet once again, the Frederick area will miss out on the revival screening of “The Maltese Falcon” (according to the NCM Fathom list of cinema venues from coast-to-coast that will be showing the film).

“The Maltese Falcon” (75th Anniversary Screening), presented by Turner Classic Movies, Warner Bros. and NCM Fathom Events

Sunday, Feb. 21 and Wednesday, Feb. 24 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Eastern in select theaters from coast-to-coast

List of cinema venues that are showing “The Maltese Falcon” from coast-to-coast (via NCM Fathom Events)

The Maltese Falcon” will be shown two days before the 75th anniversary screening on Turner Classic Movies, beginning on Friday, Feb. 19 at 11 a.m. Eastern.  

Take the "Matinee Poll:" Do you think the Frederick area will miss out on the revival screening of "The Maltese Falcon" (even though it was shown in the Frederick area 75 years ago)?

Friday, February 12, 2016

Cancellation of the Majestic Theater's special screening of "Casablanca" (1942)

A recent change has been made to an upcoming major classic film screening at the Majestic Theater in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.

The Feb. 13 revival screening of the 1942 classic, “Casablanca,” with special guest Robert Osborne (of Turner Classic Movies) has been cancelled.  According to a recent press release from the theater, Osborne informed the management of the Majestic that he is in the hospital and is undergoing treatment for pneumonia.

Osborne, a noted film critic and longtime TCM host (since the network’s launch in 1994), was originally slated to make a special guest appearance on stage at the Majestic, before the cinema’s screening of “Casablanca” (alongside Jeffrey W. Gabel, founding executive director of the theater). The cinema is honoring ticket refunds.

The writer of “At the Matinee” and “Silver Screen Reflections” wishes Robert Osborne a speedy recovery and is hopeful that he will reschedule his appearance at the Majestic in the near future.