'The Maltese Falcon' Returns To Theaters At Ripe Age Of 80

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Danny Hustons first dog was an Airedale Terrier named Sam after Humphrey Bogarts Maltese Falcon character, Sam Spade. His father John Hustons debut may have been over 20 years old by the time Danny was born, but the film that helped define the noir genre and launch both his and Bogarts careers still factored heavily in his life from an early age.

Growing up in Ireland, one of his favorite memories was when his father would bring out the projector and theyd gather around to watch his films. The Maltese Falcon was always a highlight.

Its like a good book, Huston said. You find new things when you revisit it.

Now the film that no one believed in is celebrating its 80th anniversary. Its returning to theaters through Fathom Events for a limited engagement on Wednesday.

Its an important film to see if you love films and I think it stands the test of time. Its gripping in its speed but its not reckless. And the lines! It had such memorable lines, Huston said. The dialogue in Maltese Falcon is action, pure action.

Huston loves talking about his father, who gave him advice and unforgettable experiences along the way. When he was a teenager, his father brought him along to Morocco for the shoot of The Man Who Would Be King with Sean Connery and Michael Caine.

And when Huston himself was thinking about directing, his father told him to treat every scene as if its the most important and to never feel bashful about asking family for help. John Huston reminded him that hed even called on his own father for The Maltese Falcon. Walter Huston famously appears in a cameo role as the man who delivers the falcon.

The films legend has only grown and the prop itself has become one of the most valuable pieces of movie memorabilia.

I have a falcon but its not real, Huston laughed.

Danny Huston never got to meet Bogart, who died a few years before he was born, but he knew that it was a great loss for his father.

They were great friends and larked about a lot, much to Katherine Hepburns horror. But they loved each other deeply, he said. The camera sees things that the naked eye doesnt and with Bogart, the camera found an incredible nobility.

Danny Huston said that his father got to enjoy his own legacy during his long life he died in 1987 at age 81 but that he likely wouldnt have believed that 80 years later the film would still be a topic of discussion.

But, Huston laughed, He would certainly be delighted.

And he has yet to name another pet after a character in his father’s films, but he thinks he might start again. Next up: Wilmer.