"One thing is certain, time and space play no role at all in the construction of a film, the cinema is unaware of them; a scene can carry you into another world, another age. One simply tries to capture, in flight, moments of truth, as much by thought as intuition, instinct, or… too rarely… by flashes of inspiration. And those moments of truth can be either comic or tragic if one is dealing with kings great enough to fall. That is how a film is made, the rest is simply a question of looking at life and people." — Nicholas Ray

Peter Lorre, John Huston, and Humphrey Bogart on the set of The Maltese Falcon.

Peter Lorre, John Huston, and Humphrey Bogart on the set of The Maltese Falcon.

If you had to stand or fall on just one of your films, which one would it be?
John Huston: I can’t name just one. I realize that the honors falling on me now are for the cumulative weight of my work. But I especially like The Maltese Falcon, The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, The Man Who Would Be King, Reflections in a Golden Eye, Fat City, Heaven Knows, Mr. Allison. And I like moments in all my work, whatever the reason I made the picture, including some that I don’t like on the whole. I always shot each scene as if it was the most important scene in the picture and shot every picture as though it was the most important one I ever made.

Danny Kaye, June Havoc, Humphrey Bogart, and Lauren Bacall at a hearing of the House Un-American Activities Committee.

Danny Kaye, June Havoc, Humphrey Bogart, and Lauren Bacall at a hearing of the House Un-American Activities Committee.

Humphrey Bogart in The Treasure of the Sierra Madre.

Humphrey Bogart in The Treasure of the Sierra Madre.

Lionel Barrymore, Lauren Bacall, John Huston, and Humphrey Bogart taking a break during the filming Key Largo.

Lionel Barrymore, Lauren Bacall, John Huston, and Humphrey Bogart taking a break during the filming Key Largo.

On the set of Casablanca

On the set of Casablanca

German poster for The Maltese Falcon. Designed by the genius Hans Hillmann.

German poster for The Maltese Falcon. Designed by the genius Hans Hillmann.

The Maltese Falcon // dir. John Huston

The Maltese Falcon // dir. John Huston