THE MALTESE FALCON (1941)
1941, Warner Bros., 101 min, USA, Dir: John Huston

Based on Dashiell Hammett’s novel, this classic mystery gives life to Sam Spade (Humphrey Bogart) and a masterfully drawn group of characters involved in a dangerous and double-crossing hunt for a bejeweled golden falcon statue. The first-rate cast includes Mary Astor, Gladys George, Peter Lorre, Sydney Greenstreet and Huston’s father, Walter.


KNOCK ON ANY DOOR
1949, Sony Repertory, 100 min, USA, Dir: Nicholas Ray

Ray’s second picture was produced by star Humphrey Bogart’s Santana Productions and it reflects the gutsy social realism both men favored in their storytelling. Delinquent John Derek and his gutter-rat chums have shot a cop during a robbery. Bogart’s character, a successful attorney who extricated himself from the ghetto, feels obligated to defend Derek. Ray poses eternal questions about character versus environment and which is more responsible for rampant urban crime. NOT AVAILABLE ON DVD!


THE ROARING TWENTIES
1939, Warner Bros., 106 min, USA, Dir: Raoul Walsh

Raoul Walsh burst onto the screen in his first Warner Bros. directorial outing with this sensational gangster tale starring James Cagney and Humphrey Bogart as World War I vets who return to an unwelcoming American society and head straight for the criminal life in a world of bootlegging and shady nightclubs. With a script from crackerjack Warner Bros. writing team Jerry Wald and Richard Macauley, and produced by the incorrigible erstwhile journalist Mark Hellinger, this picture bristles with suspense, smart-aleck humor and Walsh's great comic and dramatic timing. The triple threat of Cagney, Bogey and Walsh make for nonstop action and fun. A terrific round-up and look-back at the great Warner Bros. gangster yarns of the 1930s, this film says it all about how the studio kept in touch with the hard-knock life of the times. Also starring the inimitable Gladys George as Cagney's saloon-owning friend and Pricilla Lane as the woman who just can't love Cagney the way he wants. A blast of energy that is pure Walsh!


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