Films on Friday

The weather has been definitively wonky of late.  One day it's 70 degrees, the next it's 40. There's been snow, rain, sunshine. It's also flu season. We here at the American Treasure Tour think you're best off just calling out of work.  If you don't have any actual signs of illness, then come to the American Treasure Tour Thursday through Sunday (oh, right. Did we mention we're open on Sundays now? Noon to 4pm. Come by and check in!). But if you're starting to feel a little icky, then just head directly to your local pharmacy. Get some medicine, get lots of chocolate, and pack it in. It's movie time!

Maltese Falcon.jpg

We recommend a classic noir for today - The Maltese Falcon, starring Humphrey Bogart in one of his finest roles. This John Huston-directed crime drama was released in 1941, with Bogart as the famous gumshoe Sam Spade, and Mary Astor as his client who seems to know a little more than she's letting on. Peter Lorre and Sydney Greenstreet both add a criminal element, as they search for an elusive "black figure of a bird." This is the famous Maltese falcon their looking for, a legendary statue made of gold. Will they find the falcon? Will the bad guys get what's coming to them - once it's figured out who the actual bad guys are? (not so clear cut in a film like this)? You'll just have to watch the movie to get your answer.  And please, don't confuse the "Maltese" falcon with the "Millennium" Falcon. This is not a spaceship, ladies and gentlemen.

The Maltese Falcon

True story. An event was held at the American Treasure Tour this past December - an employer thanking their staff for a successful year. An extremely nice selection of food and beverages was catered for the event, and a scavenger hunt was provided for everyone in attendance. Groups of three to five had to locate ten different items in the collection and capture an image of the team members posing in front of it. Everyone seemed to have a lot of fun and truly enjoy themselves.

I was stationed near the entrance to the Toy Box to be available to assist anyone with questions, or for whatever reason - except I wasn't supposed to offer clues regarding the scavenger hunt. So, one of the items members of the groups needed to take a picture of was a poster for the 1941 movie The Maltese Falcon.  For the record, I am not so old as to have been alive when The Maltese Falcon was in theaters, but I have seen the film. It's a classic and deserves to be seen:  Humphrey Bogart, Mary Astor, Peter Lorre - a film noir in the finest sense of the phrase. I happened to be standing near the poster as people came by on their search.

More than once, I heard a person tell their compatriots that they believed it was the name of one of the Star Trek films. I didn't have an opportunity to ask the folks who were a little confused why they thought The Maltese Falcon might be science fiction, but I was curious. And perhaps a little amused. The notion of William Shatner, or even Patrick Stewart, playing detective Sam Spade, wearing Bogart's iconic trench coat, seemed very funny to me. Guilty confession, when I realized that these people had no idea about the film, I began standing next to it, intentionally trying to draw their attention to the film. 

So. If you think The Maltese Falcon is science fiction, I encourage you to watch it. If, however, you know it for what it is - a highly engaging film noir - but you haven't seen it, I encourage you to watch it. Truth be told, even if you know what it is and you HAVE seen it, it bears repeat viewing. It's one of the greats. And there's a poster of it displayed in our Toy Box. Not too far from posters for a few science fiction films.