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If you kill the Behind the Scenes Pic of the Day, how are you going to get the bird?

Ahoy, squirts! Quint here with today’s Behind the Scenes Pic!

In the wee hours of the morning I put a call out on Twitter for the movie or movies that made you realize old didn’t equal boring. There were a surprising amount of insomniacs and Brits awake and responding.

For me it was Casablanca and The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance. I mean, color films didn’t really count as “old” to me, so Wizard of Oz and most of the older films I watched on a regular basis were safe. My parents loved movies, but they were by no means film scholars. Like most people they loved the movies they loved, so I was pretty free to explore my movie passion, but it wasn’t until my early teens that I began dipping my toes into the massive pool of old Hollywood filmmaking.

I was surprised by how a handful of films kept being mentioned by the Twitter responses. There was a great diversity overall, but it was fascinating select few that kept being mentioned: Casablanca, Citizen Kane, Rope, Psycho, King Kong and today’s featured movie The Maltese Falcon.

Dashiell Hammett deserves some credit, of course, but the MVPs are clearly John Huston and Bogie here. Bogart had done High Sierra by this point, but in his early career he was usually a supporting character, mostly delinquents. I think it’s safe to say that Maltese Falcon firmly cemented the Humphrey Bogart we all know as part of our shared cultural history. That archetype had been toyed with, but his Sam Spade locked it into place.

Today’s image shows the cast taking a little nap… well, all except for Mary Astor, it seems. Way to ruin the pic, Mary! Gold stars and cookies to Bogart, Sydney Greenstreet and Peter Lorre. Thanks to Robin Jones for the image.



If you have a behind the scenes shot you’d like to submit to this column, you can email me at

Tomorrow’s pic needs a hug and gets one from a blushing bride.

-Eric Vespe
Follow Me On Twitter


Click here to visit the complete compilation of previous Behind the Scenes images, Page One
(warning: there are some broken links that will be fixed as soon as I can get around to it)

Click here to visit the complete compilation of previous Behind the Scenes images, Page Two

Readers Talkback
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  • Aug. 11, 2012, 9:49 a.m. CST

    God I love that movie!

    by AlienFanatic

    Also, killer pic!

  • My dad, for all his faults, taught me an appreciation of older movies. Black and white films have a beauty that color films sometimes lack. The use of texture and pattern was their substitute for color, and some of those films are VIBRANT in black and white. It's hard to peg the movie that convinced me to like old movies, but some candidates include TREASURE ISLAND (with the great Jackie Cooper), GOODBYE MR. CHIPS, THE MALTESE FALCON, KING KONG, and all of the OUR GANG shorts I used to watch on Saturdays. Oh, and the original GODZILLA.

  • Those are just a few that spring to mind

  • Aug. 11, 2012, 10:09 a.m. CST

    Just saw this again in a restored theater

    by Chewbacca_Khan

    I sat in the balcony and imagined what it was like back in the day. It felt amazing. And, having recently re-read the book, I was struck by how much of even the dialogue was taken directly to the script.

  • Aug. 11, 2012, 10:13 a.m. CST

    Black and white? pffff.

    by jack

    those movies would have been a lot better if they were in color,digital,3d and 48fps.

  • Aug. 11, 2012, 10:15 a.m. CST

    Kurasawa Ford Hawks Michael Curtiz

    by Wyrdy the Gerbil

    Stagecoach Seven Samurai Casablanca His Girl Friday Metropolis and M,so many more

  • Aug. 11, 2012, 10:19 a.m. CST

    Great picture

    by dukeroberts

    They don't do great studio stuff like that anymore. Too bad. For me, great old black and whites: It's a Wonderful Life, Miracle on 34th Street, The Bishop's Wife (My Christmas triumvirate), High Noon, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, King Kong, Frankenstein, Dracula, The Wolf Man, Casablanca, Nosferatu, Metropolis, It Happened One Night, His Girl Friday, Stagecoach, Shadow of a Doubt, Psycho, Strangers On a Train, The Asphalt Jungle, Citizen Kane, The Killing, Kiss Me Deadly, Out of the Past, The Night of the Hunter, Anatomy of a Murder, Harvey, Arsenic and Old Lace, Some Like it Hot, All About Eve, Sunset Boulevard, Double Indemnity, To Kill a Mockingbird, The Maltese Falcon, T-Men, The Big Sleep and Executive Suite. Those are just off the top of my head.

  • Aug. 11, 2012, 10:39 a.m. CST

    On a side note, kids love movies

    by ltgalloway

    I've heard people say that kids don't like old movies and think they're boring. My wife's a teacher and sometimes she'll ask me to find a clip from a movie that will help kids get involved in a new lesson, as she knows I'm a movie geek. I wasn't sure they'd go for old black and white films, but they ended up loving them. Some even went home and found some way to watch the rest of the movie on their own. I guess the lesson is good story telling never gets old.

  • Aug. 11, 2012, 10:56 a.m. CST


    by Industrious Angel

    Kids LOVE slapstick. You simply can't go wrong with Laurel&Hardy!

  • One of my least favorite Bogart films. I'd definitely take Casablanca, Key Largo and Sierra Madre over it. Honestly, I enjoyed High Sierra better as well, and of course the African Queen. Maybe I hyped this movie up too much, but in the end, I found it very unsatisfying. Doesn't change my opinion that Bogart is still the man!

  • Aug. 11, 2012, 11:17 a.m. CST

    great pic and Mary ain't ruinin' nothing!

    by Anthony Torchia

    She is SUPPOSED to be looking, she's the devious little slut that can't be trusted Bless her for looking :-)

  • Aug. 11, 2012, 11:42 a.m. CST

    Didnt know Ricky Gervais had a role in Maltese Falcon

    by jack

  • Aug. 11, 2012, 11:42 a.m. CST

    i dont know. alot..

    by mcgillj

    But 3 standouts. Well alot more keep coming to me. Harvey. 12 Angry Men. To Kill a Mockingbird. Paths of Glory. I know there are alot more but i have to get back to work.. Whatever Happened to Baby Jane as well..

  • Aug. 11, 2012, 12:01 p.m. CST

    We had a B&W TV when I was growing up, so...

    by buggerbugger

    ...the idea of "B&W movies equal boring" has never even crossed my mind because regular day-to-day televised entertainment was monochrome anyway. It was the norm. I grew up watching the Universal monsters, old US serials like Flash Gordon, Zorro and the Lone Ranger. Nope, none of those were boring to kid-me. No, the closest comparison for me would be with the silent movie that made me realize that "silent didn't equal boring" and that honour goes to the fucking magnificent Lon Chaney-starring 'Phantom of the Opera'. I think I saw that for the first time when I was around 12 or 13 years old and it blew my mind at how powerful silent movies could be.

  • Aug. 11, 2012, 12:46 p.m. CST

    We watched CASABLANCA in class at my school once.

    by ROBRAM89

    That kind of cemented in my head that old movies could still rock.

  • Aug. 11, 2012, 1:15 p.m. CST

    Re:Black & White movies...umm how about Citizen Kane, Psycho, The Third Man...

    by openthepodbaydoorshal

    just to name three.

  • ...if anything B&W MEANS cool. Especially today. When a film is shooting in B&W it usually means something special is happening artistically. Ed Wood, Clerks, Schindler's List, The Mist (B&W treatment). It is an interesting question though, because M and Dr. Strangelove are really different in terms of 'oldness.' If the question is what film made me realize that 'old' films are great, the answer is A Clockwork Orange. 'Old' is not the same as B&W. That said, still have not seen The Maltese Falcon, but I hear it's the world's greatest remake.

  • Aug. 11, 2012, 2:21 p.m. CST

    Rope is not...

    by bdc777

    ... black and white.

  • Aug. 11, 2012, 2:25 p.m. CST

    Kids absolutely love old B&W slapstick!

    by BiggusDickus

    My eight year old daughter - raised on Children's BBC, Nicktoons and Scooby-Doo re-runs - recently came across a series of Chaplin shorts and sat spellbound watching them. I've since weaned her onto the Three Stooges...

  • Aug. 11, 2012, 2:33 p.m. CST

    The guys are all taking "The Big Sleep".

    by sweeneydave

  • Eric,you never watched 'A Petrified Forest.' Shame on you!!!!

  • Aug. 11, 2012, 4:25 p.m. CST

    Which one let me know the oldies were indeed still goodies?

    by Jungle Fish

    Fuck... that's hard to say. My mother always made sure I grew up with plenty of the classics; mostly musicals. The Sound of Music and My Fair Lady are still some of my favorite films. If I were to use your criteria, though, their color disqualifies them. I'm really not sure which B&W impressed me first. Growing up in the 80s and 90s old was old, and there were plenty of color films I considered terribly old. Fortunately, I was also instilled early with the notion that good was good, no matter the era. This is very rare for my generation. I will say that my favorite black and white film of all time is Casablanca. Cliché, maybe, but goddamn do I love that movie.

  • Aug. 11, 2012, 4:27 p.m. CST


    by berserkrl

    Having grown up watching old movies -- and having a B&W tv in any case -- I never absorbed the idea that B&W movies were boring.

  • Aug. 11, 2012, 4:45 p.m. CST


    by Horace Cox

    Easily one of the greatest films ever made.

  • Aug. 11, 2012, 5:12 p.m. CST

    the stuff dreams are made of.

    by Arcadian

    what a great, great movie.

  • Aug. 11, 2012, 5:52 p.m. CST

    As a kid, I really loved Abbott & Costello, Stooges, et al

    by mr.underwater

    So B&W never meant boring to me, per se. Although, in my early teens I guess I did sort of consider old movies to be corny, tame, and behind the times. I guess the movies that changed my wrongheadedness were: Stalag 17 (which seemed to be on TV a lot when I was a kid. Funny, tough, and tense.) His Girl Friday (which I found as funny as any contemporary comedy, if not funnier) Night and the City (when I realized a God walked the earth, and the God's name was Richard Widmark) The Razor's Edge (hipped me to some ways of thinking outside of my friends, parents and church. Plus, with this and the above, maybe I had a thing for Gene Tierney) and This Gun for Hire (the hero of the story was a psychotic named Raven who pets a cat then hits a woman before speaking a word of dialogue. OH! And Veronica Lake. Be still my raging hormones) After these five, I was an AMC, then TCM devotee.

  • Aug. 11, 2012, 6:02 p.m. CST

    Old is not boring? And you left out ...

    by The StarWolf

    Metropolis?! Nosferatu? Battleship Potemkin? Cabinet of Doctor Caligari? All knock out silent era films.

  • Aug. 11, 2012, 6:08 p.m. CST

    I Was A Fugitive From A Chain Gang

    by tangcameo

    Better than Shawshank and with a dark ending.

  • Aug. 11, 2012, 6:14 p.m. CST

    the Maltese Falcon...

    by ponyboy

    I am by no means a "toy" collector of collector of figurines... but this movie has to be one of my all time favorites... that said, a few years ago I ordered a "replica" Maltese can see it in the bonus features on the DVD/blu-ray as numerous film directors, film stars reflect on their love of the film. I'm looking at it right now, shiny, black & polished atop my bookshelf. when friends come over that are not film freaks such as myself, the question why/what am I doing with a black "bird" on my bookshelf. I then take that as my cue to introduce them to that gem of a film. they always walk away happy from the experience. I also have all hammets books, & if only I could persuade them to actually READ the book I'd be happy. seems like not a one of my friends actually reads books. love the picture, love the film, love the actors & director & above all love my personal "falcon" if anyone is interested, you can order the "falcon" on eBay...I think I paid $100 bucks canadian. thanks for the pic! and I think I do a pretty mean impersonation of Peter Lorre!

  • Aug. 11, 2012, 7:02 p.m. CST

    ponyboy, that is damn cool.

    by Nichole

  • Aug. 11, 2012, 7:05 p.m. CST

    if we are talking about black and white and color...

    by Nichole

    How about the Wizard of Oz. Damn, if that isn't the most striking visual, when dorothy enters Oz after the twister. And let us all, not forget, or mention.... Night Of The Fucking Living Dead.

  • Aug. 11, 2012, 7:45 p.m. CST


    by ponyboy

    thanks dude! for the record, I've enjoyed your posts over my years coming here. take easy bro!

  • Aug. 11, 2012, 9:14 p.m. CST

    The Think from Another World

    by KC

    Please...please....PLEASE....give us(me) a restored HD release...with the John Carpenter commentary.

  • Aug. 11, 2012, 9:52 p.m. CST

    by KC

    I would love a Casablanca-level restoration of The Thing from Another World(And The Big Sleep)

  • Aug. 11, 2012, 10:03 p.m. CST

    Awwww, Peter Lorre looks so sweet with his eyes closed...

    by Royston Lodge

    ... and then he opens his eyes, stares at you, and opens a door to Hell right in your soul!!!

  • Aug. 11, 2012, 10:04 p.m. CST


    by Royston Lodge

    I'm just sayin'.

  • Aug. 11, 2012, 10:07 p.m. CST


    by Dan

    Is it me, am I the only one that hates High Noon? Never dug that flick, always thought Cooper was not only too old, but a real wimp. Please help me...blah... Would like to see a just remake with Russel Crowe.

  • Aug. 11, 2012, 10:47 p.m. CST


    by Nichole

    Thanks I appreciate that. Sincerely. You are not all burnt up are you? Is not, that what happened to Ponyboy in the Outsiders. Always made me cringe and cry. Take care, my friend.

  • Aug. 11, 2012, 10:52 p.m. CST

    Fuck You Creepythinman.

    by Nichole

    Fuck you.

  • Aug. 11, 2012, 11:01 p.m. CST

    Anyone else pretend that Greenstreet/Lorre got away at the end?

    by deathbird

    As Lecter said: "The world's a more interesting place with you in it."

  • Actually, I'm not too sure about this but I think the fact that Strangelove is in B&W is an anachronism because when it came out colour was the mostly accepted medium for movies at that point.

  • Aug. 12, 2012, 2:14 a.m. CST


    by ponyboy

    ha!, not burnt, but I have tattooed on my right arm the name ponyboy, from my wrist to my elbow (I guess you could call the tattoo "Latino" script) there is some pain attached to the moniker. & to tell the truth, ponyboy is my dogs name...& he can do a mean 360 jump to catch a frisbee...thus ponyboy360...obviously love my dog. & it was Ralph Maccios (sp?)character that was burned... but you were close!...take care fellow film lover/geek! & to be real cheesy...stay gold my friend you're a great TBr! (whenever anyone asks my dogs name, they always say "stay gold")...doesn't bother me, as they are usually girls!...although girlfriend doesn't always appreciate that!

  • Aug. 12, 2012, 8:23 a.m. CST

    A few from the vaults

    by Perigee

    If you enjoy silent films, and you haven't seen "The Passion of Joan of Arc" (1928), See it. ASAP. I thought I was pretty well up on silents, but a friend suggested it just a few months back, and the intensity blew my tiny lil mind. You can rarely go wrong with Chaplin, but if you want to see the minute that pathos became a cinematic device, "The Kid" is a landmark, and still amazing. "Citizen Kane" is remarkable BECAUSE it is black and white. With a small budget, Welles used darkness to suggest large spaces he couldn't afford to actually create. What Kubrick may have done with a 2 million dollar set Wells created in your head with a fireplace, two chairs, a stairway in the distance and judicial use of lighting. People keep saying "Seven Samurai," but I'll bet you that if you watch Kurosawa's "Ikiru," you'll change your opinion of his best film. Most people do - check IMDB ratings between the two. James Whale's "Frankenstein" films - with Bride being, arguably, the better of the two. "Metropolis" is great - "Nosferatu" is pretty good... but give a try to "The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari" for some seriously fascinating visuals.

  • Great film, great cast. More of these classics please!

  • Aug. 12, 2012, 12:18 p.m. CST

    It Happened One Night

    by thelordofhell

    Without this film..........there would be no Bugs Bunny

  • Aug. 12, 2012, 12:39 p.m. CST


    by dukeroberts

    You are absolutely correct!

  • Aug. 12, 2012, 12:39 p.m. CST


    by dukeroberts

    Is your dog, by chance, a golden retriever?

  • Aug. 12, 2012, 1:45 p.m. CST

    LOVE it.

    by CatVutt

    Great stuff. Thanks!

  • Aug. 12, 2012, 3:57 p.m. CST


    by ponyboy

    nope, not golden retriever, & I fucking hope there's not another dog out there named ponyboy...cuz there's only ONE!..mine!

  • Aug. 12, 2012, 6 p.m. CST

    His Girl Friday and Arsenic and Old Lace

    by snomusic

    Two old films that will never be old

  • Aug. 12, 2012, 11 p.m. CST


    by dukeroberts

    Damn straight. Arsenic and Old Lace is my favorite Cary Grant movie. He apparently didn't like it very much. He felt he was too manic in it. That is exactly what I love about it. His Girl Friday is possibly my second favorite Cary Grant movie. I wish Criterion would get their hands on it and make a good DVD or Blu-ray of it. All copies on the market are public domain junk.

  • Aug. 13, 2012, 12:31 a.m. CST

    The Bad Seed...

    by tailhook

    Two scenes... 1) 'They got a little blue chair for little boys and a little pink chair for little girls.' <--- Coolest line ever. Just every scene with Leroy and Rhoda going tooth and nail is money and really gets across how evil she is. and this just stops the blood cold every time.... 2) Leroy getting burned alive as he runs across the lawn. The whole thing shown facing the two women in the window that track their heads left to right as he's running across the lawn burning to death screaming while Rhoda pounds the piano. Far more chilling than any special effect would have been and a death scene that to this day i've never forgotten $$.

  • Aug. 13, 2012, 10:09 p.m. CST

    Black & White movies are the, uh, stuff that dreams are made of.

    by Ricky Retardo