The winning team from “The Maltese Falcon” is reunited for “Across the Pacific,” also directed by John Huston. This crisply written wartime thriller reunites three Falcon leads: Humphrey Bogart, Mary Astor, and Sydney Greenstreet.
The “Maltese Falcon” John Huston directs this reunion, and once again, the combination of stars and director is a winner. Like The Maltese Falcon, the film has the same irresistible mixture of darkness, double-cross and quirky humor.
Produced by Jerry wald and Jack Sapper, the film is penned by Richard Macaulay, based on Robert Carson’s serial, “Aloha Means Goodbye,” which appeared in the saturday Evening Post.
Bogart plays counterspy Rick Leland, a man introduced as a former Army man, who’s been court-martialed for selling military secrets. He boards a japanese ship bound for the Pacific, where he meets and trades romantic barbs with Alberta (Mary Astor).
Predictably, Rick matches wits with sly Lorenz (Sydney Greenstreet), a mysterious sociologist returning to his position in Manila.
Of course, Rick’s traitorious begavior is just a cover for his trule mission as an undercover agent; he has been placed on board to establish contact with Japanese agents. As in “Maltese Falcon,” Rick is humiliated, beaten, and tortured, but in the ned, he swaps bullets with saboteurs of the Panama Canal.
Critics of later generations saw “Across the Pacific” as a deconstructive film, a bright satire of the spy genre.
Running time: 97 Minutes.