Starring Humphrey Bogart, Mary Astor, Sydney Greenstreet, Peter Lorre, Elisha Cook Jr.
Harboiled. Literate. Iconic.
What begins as a simple case of following and protecting a beautiful brunette for private eye Sam Spade (Bogart), soon leads to three murders, the death of his partner, and a quest for an ancient treasure. Benchmark Hollywood filmmaking. Very few characters, but all distinct and expertly played. I couldn’t imagine a single other actor in any one of these roles from Bogey to Mary Astor to massive Sydney Greenstreet to the effete Lorre to diminutive Elisha Cook Jr. Bogart’s is an indelible persona and Sam Spade was his first great role. Other, more complex noir would follow, but Huston’s pic remains the standard.
-Walter Tyrone Howard-