Catch The Maltese Falcon at the Paramount

Noir at its best, the film stars Bogart, Lorre, and Greenstreet in underground caper.


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It’s the stuff that dreams are made of. That’s how Humphrey Bogart describes the original and most MacGuffiny of MacGuffins films, The Maltese Falcon, and it still holds true today.

The quintessential film noir that established all the hallmarks of the genre, The Maltese Falcon (1941) follows hard-boiled private eye Sam Spade (Bogart) as he meets danger in the form of a beautiful woman and a legion of crooks, con-artists, and ne’er-do-wells all willing to kill to get their grubby little mitts on a fabled multimillion-dollar jeweled bird statue.

Peter Lorre appears as a weasely hit man with that distinctive Lorre whine you’ve heard parodied by every cartoon henchman since, and esteemed British stage thespian Sydney Greenstreet made his Hollywood premiere, his smug chortle perfectly encapsulating the menacing kingpin persona.

The film followed Dashiell Hammett’s gritty pulp novel almost verbatim, crafting the perfect underworld caper that endures and captivates to this day. How’s Sam going to get out of this one? Fri., May 11, 8 p.m., $5, Paramount Theatre, 2025 Broadway, Oakland, ParamountTheatre.com

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