On Jan. 8, the Smith Opera House revives “The Maltese Falcon” — Hollywood's first film noir and one of the greatest detective films of all time.
Into the offices of the Spade & Archer detective agency sweeps a Miss Wonderly (Mary Astor), who offers a large retainer to Sam and his partner Miles Archer (Jerome Cowan) if they'll protect her from someone named Floyd Thursby. The detectives believe neither Miss Wonderly nor her story, but they believe her money. Since Archer saw her first, he takes the case — and later that evening he is shot to death, as is the mysterious Thursby. Miss Wonderly's real name turns out to be Brigid O'Shaughnessey, and, as the story continues, Sam is also introduced to the effeminate Joel Cairo (Peter Lorre) and the fat, erudite Kasper Gutman (Sidney Greenstreet, in his film debut). It turns out that Brigid, Cairo and Gutman are all international scoundrels, all involved in the search for a foot-high, jewel-encrusted statuette in the shape of a falcon.
“The Maltese Falcon” will be screened at 10 a.m. on Jan. 8, at 7 p.m. on Jan. 8, 9 and 10 and at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 11. This film is not rated. It has a running time of one hour, 41 minutes. Tickets are $5 for adults and $3 for students and senior citizens. All seats on Thursday are $3. Call 315-781-5483 or toll-free 866-355-5483 for details or to pre-order tickets.
The Smith Opera House is located at 82 Seneca Street in Geneva. The Smith is supported, in part, with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts, the City of Geneva, the Town of Geneva and by contributions from individual supporters.