There had been several tries in the mid-1930’s to bring Pinkerton Agent Dashiell Hammett’s tale of a hardboiled private eye named Sam Spade to the screen. But those efforts failed miserably. But when first-time director John Huston took charge in 1941, he created a film noir masterpiece. When Spade goes after those who murdered his partner, Archer, he runs into a vile gang of international thieves seeking a mythical statue of a black bird. The movie starred Humphrey Bogart, Mary Astor, Sydney Greensteet and Peter Lorre.