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The Film Programs of the Detroit Film Theatre, Michigan Theater, and Redford Theatre

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Looking Back

November 1941

Step back in time to see what area movie theaters were presenting in November 1941. Film titles are linked to the Internet Movie Database.

For more information about these theaters, see Cinema Treasures or Water Winter Wonderland.


The Maltese Falcon with Humphrey Bogart and Mary Astor opened in Detroit at the Michigan on Friday, November 7, 1941. It had earlier opened in New York City on October 3, 1941. It debuted in Los Angeles on November 20, 1941.

Also on the bill with The Maltese Falcon at the Michigan was Kisses for Breakfast (Dennis Morgan, Jane Wyatt). These movies succeeded a twin bill of New York Town (Fred MacMurray, Mary Martin, Robert Preston) and Barnacle Bill (Wallace Beery, Marjorie Main).

"Messrs. Alfred Hitchcock and Fritz Lang, filmdom's ace thriller directors, had better look to their laurels, for they are facing dangerous competition in John Huston, whose maiden effort as a director, 'The Maltese Falcon,' opened Friday at the Michigan," wrote Detroit Free Press Motion Picture Editor Frank P. Gill on November 8, 1941.

"In John Huston, son of the celebrated actor, Walter Huston, Hollywood has found its most gifted young director since Garson Kanin," commented Al Weitschat in the November 8, 1941 edition of The Detroit News. "Huston's first achievement is this Dashiell Hammett detective story filmed twice previously. Having also adapted the yarn himself, Huston scores something of a one-man triumph in bringing fans one of the best mystery thrillers the screen has produced."

Other downtown Detroit movies when The Maltese Falcon opened were You'll Never Get Rich (Fred Astaire, Rita Hayworth) at the Adams; Tom, Dick, and Harry (Ginger Rogers, George Murphy) at the Broadway Capitol; Week-End in Havana (Alice Faye, John Payne, Carmen Miranda, Cesar Romero) at the Fox; New Moon (Jeanette MacDonald, Nelson Eddy) at the Madison; New York Town (Fred MacMurray, Mary Martin, Robert Preston) at the Palms-State; and Honky Tonk (Clark Gable, Lana Turner) at the United Artists.

The Redford was screening a double bill of That Hamilton Woman (Vivien Leigh, Laurence Olivier) and Here Comes Mr. Jordan (Robert Montgomery). The Senate also was showing That Hamilton Woman, along with Sailors on Leave (William Lundigan). The art house Cinema was screening The Art of Love (Danielle Darrieux) and The Bedroom Diplomat (Reginald Gardiner).

The Maltese Falcon played at the Michigan until November 18, before moving to the Palms-State on November 19. It screened at the Palms-State until November 27, before being replaced the next day by Birth of the Blues (Bing Crosby, Mary Martin).

The Maltese Falcon began its Detroit suburban and neighborhood run on December 31, 1941 when it opened at the Bloomfield. It played at the Redford from Friday, February 27, 1942 to Monday, March 2, 1942 on a double bill with The Big Store (The Marx Brothers, Tony Martin).

Ann Arbor audiences were treated to the opening of The Maltese Falcon at the Majestic on the historic date of Sunday, December 7, 1941, after a run of Smilin' Through (Jeanette MacDonald). The Maltese Falcon and the Warner Bros. cartoon The Trial of Mr. Wolf screened for four days at the Majestic, succeeded on December 11 by Dr. Kildare's Wedding Day (Lew Ayres, Lionel Barrymore, Laraine Day, Red Skelton).

Also playing in Ann Arbor on December 7, 1941 were Birth of the Blues (Bing Crosby, Mary Martin) at the Michigan; Secrets of the Lone Wolf (Warren William) at the Whitney; In the Navy (Abbott and Costello, Dick Powell, The Andrews Sisters) at the Wuerth; and The Great Dictator (Charlie Chaplin, Paulette Goddard) and Singapore Woman (Brenda Marshall) at the Orpheum.

PDF of newspaper images relating to the opening of The Maltese Falcon.


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Website copyright © 2017 by Robert Hollberg Smith, Jr.

Launched November 25, 2005.

Last updated August 20, 2017.

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