Conflict

  • Directors: Curtis Bernhardt
  • Producers: William Jacobs
  • Writers: Alfred Neumann, Robert Siodmak, Arthur T Horman, Dwight Taylor
  • Genres: Film-Noir, Thriller
  • Actors: Humphrey Bogart, Alexis Smith, Sydney Greenstreet

On the surface, Richard (Humphrey Bogart) and Kathryn Mason (Rose Hobart) appear to be a happily married couple. But on their fifth wedding anniversary, Kathryn accuses Richard of having fallen in love with her younger sister, Evelyn Turner (Alexis Smith), who is living with them. He does not deny it, but has resigned himself to leaving things as they are, since he is certain Kathryn would not give him a divorce. At a party celebrating the couple’s anniversary hosted by family friend and psychologist Dr. Mark Hamilton (Sydney Greenstreet), Richard becomes annoyed when Evelyn spends time with Mark’s handsome young colleague, Professor Norman Holdsworth (Charles Drake). On the way home, Kathryn suggests to Evelyn that their mother is lonely, so Evelyn decides to move home. Distracted by this unwelcome news, Richard crashes their car and suffers a broken leg. He then decides to take desperate action.

Richard pretends to require a wheelchair, even after his leg has healed; his puzzled physician, Doctor Grant (Grant Mitchell), diagnoses the problem as psychological, not physical. He suggests exercise, so a car trip to a mountain resort is arranged. At the last minute, Richard has to stay home to do some work; he has Kathryn go on ahead by herself. She is blocked on a narrow deserted mountain road by a parked car. Richard walks unexpectedly out of the fog and kills her. Afterward, he pushes her car down a steep slope; it dislodges some logs which crash down and hide the automobile. He returns home in time to set up an alibi by meeting with employees he had summoned. He then notifies the police that she is missing.

The film is rather unique in that it is the only one which Bogart and Greenstreet co-starred and Greenstreet was not a villain or a corrupt character, but rather Bogart was.

The Maltese Falcon

  • Directors: John Huston
  • Producers: Hal B Wallis
  • Writers: Dashiell Hammett, John Huston
  • Genres: Crime, Film-Noir, Mystery
  • Actors: Humphrey Bogart, Mary Astor, Peter Lorre, Sydney Greenstreet

“In 1539, the Knights Templar of Malta paid tribute to Charles V of Spain by sending him a Golden Falcon encrusted from beak to claw with rarest jewels — but pirates seized the galley carrying this priceless token and the fate of the Maltese Falcon remains a mystery to this day.”[6]

In 1941 San Francisco, private investigators Sam Spade (Humphrey Bogart) and Miles Archer (Jerome Cowan) meet a beautiful prospective client, Miss Ruth Wonderly (Mary Astor). Wonderly claims to be looking for her missing sister, who is involved with a man named Floyd Thursby. Wonderly is to meet Thursby and hopes her sister will be with him. After receiving a substantial retainer, Archer volunteers to follow her that night and help her get her sister back.

That night, Spade is informed that Archer has been shot and killed. He tells his secretary Effie Perrine (Lee Patrick) to break the news to Archer’s wife, Iva (Gladys George). He meets his friend, Detective Tom Polhaus (Ward Bond) at the murder scene. Spade tells Polhaus that Archer was tailing Thursby, but refuses to divulge any more information. Spade then calls Wonderly’s hotel, but she has checked out without leaving a forwarding address. He is grilled by Polhaus and his supervisor, Lieutenant Dundy (Barton MacLane). Dundy suggests that Spade had the opportunity and motive (Archer’s wife) to commit the crime.

After Gutman and Cairo leave, Spade calls the police and tells them where to pick up the pair. Spade then angrily confronts Brigid, telling her he knows she killed Archer to implicate Thursby, her unwanted accomplice. Brigid cannot believe that Spade will turn her over to the police, but he is in deadly earnest. Spade turns over the fake Falcon, the money Gutman gave him, and last of all Brigid, explaining that she killed his partner. As Brigid is taken away, Polhaus picks up the statuette and asks what it is. Spade replies, “The stuff that dreams are made of.”