Black Hills State University (BHSU) continues The Big Read celebration of Dashiell Hammett’s, “The Maltese Falcon,” by hosting their American film noir series, Feb. 4, 11, and 25, Thursdays, at 6:30 p.m. each evening. The film series is free and open to the public.

They will be held at BHSU, 1200 University St., Spearfish, in the Jonas Science Building, room 305.

The films are classics from the 1940s and 50s film noir movement. The movies scheduled are:

  • Feb. 4, “D.0.A.” (1950)
  • Feb. 11, “Kansas City Confidential” (1952)
  • Feb. 25, “The Stranger” (1946)

Amy Fuqua, Dean of the College of Liberal Arts, remarks, “The BHSU College of Liberal Arts is delighted to have the opportunity to work with the Matthews Opera House and Arts Center in support of The Big Read. Film noir is such an interesting part of American culture both historically and artistically. It appeals right away to anyone who likes mystery or crime stories, black-and-white photography, and even twentieth-century fashion. The dialogue is always full of irony and hidden implications, and every character—no matter how dark the soul—looks marvelous in the silver Hollywood light. This film series is an excellent opportunity for our campus and community.

“The film noir movement of the 1940s and 50s has had a huge influence on modern art, even beyond filmmaking. We are excited to share this piece of history with the people of our community and we are grateful to BHSU for helping make this event possible. The Big Read in Spearfish is a big collaboration. We are pleased to be working with with so many outstanding groups.” says Ava Sauter, community outreach manager for The Matthews.

DOAFilm details

D.O.A. (1950)
Director: Rudolph Maté
Writers: Russell Rouse (story), Clarence Greene (story)
Stars: Edmond O’Brien, Pamela Britton, Luther Adler
83 min | Not rated

Frank Bigelow goes off to San Francisco for a week’s holiday. He’s a self-employed accountant and is engaged to his assistant Paula Gibson. He checks into the St. Francis hotel and is soon partying with a group of salesmen who are having a party. He ends up at a dive bar where a mysterious stranger switches drinks with him. He awakens the next morning feeling unwell and after having some medical tests is told that he’s been poisoned and there is no cure. He has one week to live. When Paula tells him that a man in San Francisco had been trying to reach him, he sets off to learn if there might be any connection to his current situation. Unfortunately, the man committed suicide by jumping off his high-rise apartment balcony not long after trying to contact him. He soon learns that some very shady characters are involved–but why they might be interested in him is what he really wants to know.

kansascityKansas City Confidential (1952)

Director: Phil Karlson
Writers: George Bruce (screenplay), Harry Essex (screenplay)
Stars: John Payne, Coleen Gray, Preston Foster
99 min | Not rated

A down-on-his-luck ex-GI finds himself framed for an armored car robbery. When he’s finally released for lack of evidence–after having been beaten up and tortured by the police–he sets out to discover who set him up, and why.  The trail leads him into Mexico and a web of hired killers and corrupt cops. 




The Stranger (1946)
TheStrangerDirector: Orson Welles
Writers: Anthony Veiller (screenplay), Victor Trivas (adaptation)
Stars: Orson Welles, Edward G. Robinson, Loretta Young
95 min | Not rated

Charles Rankin is a professor in a respectable Connecticut town about to marry the daughter of a U.S. Supreme Court justice. But his name is fake and his past is filthy. An earnest convert to Christianity, who once ran a Nazi concentration camp, is capable of exposing him. So “Rankin” kills this little old man and buries his body in the forest. But he isn’t safe because an investigator from the War Crimes Commission is on his tail. Rankin will need his own wife to help him elude capture. But his fascination with the local clock tower may prove his undoing.





TBR-Logo-PartnersThe Big Read is a program of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest. 


Sponsored by…

Thank you to the sponsors that help us bring art shows, plays, concerts, and other live entertainment acts to The Matthews.  We couldn’t do it without you.  

KEVN Black Hills Fox, Modern Woodmen, South Dakota Arts Council, Great Western Bank, Killian’s Tavern, Black Hills Pioneer, Century 21, Bay Leaf Cafe, Clark Printing, City of Spearfish, Wolff’s Plumbing & Heating, Inc., Lucky’s 13 Pub, Spearfish Holiday Inn, Zonta Club of Spearfish, Optimist Club of Spearfish, The Matthews’ family, The Kelley family — CLICK HERE to visit these sponsors’ business websites.

Would your business like to become a sponsor?  CLICK HERE to learn more.