The Maltese Falcon

I had a long day of grading students and lecturing to indifferent students.  I returned home to watch “The Maltese Falcon,” the classic movie with Humphrey Bogart and Mary Aston.  I still found it hard to believe that Spade could have any real feeling for Brigid.  I could watch this movie many more times because of Bogart and Lorre and Greenstreet.  The line about Brigid facing the gallows made me think of how Mary Astor died in real life.  She was in a retirement home and died on September 25, 1987 at age 81.  Peter Lorre was 59 when he died in 1964.  “The Maltese Falcon” reminds me of how John Huston was such a great director from the start all the way to the end with “The Dead.”  There is more to the movie than a seven-minute shot and film noir dialogue.  Where are the Maltese Falcon figures now?  I’d like to know.  While John Huston was still alive, I recalled when the movies from “The Man Who Would Be King” onward were released to theatres originally, but the only two I saw in the original release were “Prizzi’s Honor” and “The Dead.”  I imagined Huston directing his final film and having trouble breathing.  Dashiell Hammett went through a period of decline in the 1950s, and he died in 1961 at age 66.  My lasting memory of “The Maltese Falcon” is watching it one summer on a double feature with “The Big Sleep,” a great movie with Lauren Bacall directed by Howard Hawks.  What happened to Martha Vickers?  She was married to Mickey Rooney for two years.  She died on cancer in 1971, when she was only 46.  Hawks was another great director.  I watched the trailer for the “Hal” documentary again, and I tried to figure out what the song used in it was.  Apparently, it was “It’s What You’ve Got” by Pete Dello.  I would like to know more about him.  Some of the people who died on September 26 include Daniel Boone (1820), Bessie Smith (1937), Bela Bartok (1945), Hugh Lofting (1947), Clara Bow (1965), Anna Magnani (1973), Betty Carter (1998), Richard Mulligan (2000), Robert Palmer (2003), Paul Newman (2008), and Gloria Stuart (2010).  Today is a birthday for Linda Hamilton (62), Olivia Newton-John (70), Bryan Ferry (73), and Kent McCord (76).  According to the Brandon Brooks Rewind radio segment for September 26, the film version of “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” opened at the United Artists Theatre in Westwood in 1975.  In 1986, “’Crocodile’ Dundee” premiered.  In 2003, Robert Palmer died of cardiac arrest in a Paris hotel room.

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