Mary Astor is perhaps best remembered today for her role as femme fatale Brigid O’Shaughnessy in the third — and, of course, by far best known — version of Dashiell Hammett‘s The Maltese Falcon, John Huston‘s 941 remake in which Astor starred opposite Humphrey Bogart, Peter Lorre, and Sydney Greenstreet.
But Astor was a veteran actress by then, having already made 97 movies, more than 40 of them silent pictures, starting with 1921’s Bullets or Ballots.
If you’re not familiar with Astor’s rich and varied career, now’s your chance to get caught up just a bit. Turner Classic Movies is celebrating Astor’s 104 birthday by airing some of her pre-Falcon movies all day tomorrow — Monday, May 3.
Here’s the line-up:
6:15 a.m. — Beau Brummel (1924)
In this silent film, the legendary dandy takes on British society to court a lady above his station. Cast: John Barrymore, Mary Astor, Willard Louis. Dir: Harry Beaumont. BW-128 mins
8:30 a.m. — The Runaway Bride (1930)
A criminal gang goes after the jewels their dying leader stashed in a woman’s handbag. Cast: Mary Astor, Lloyd Hughes, David Newell. Dir: Donald Crisp. BW-66 mins
9:45 a.m. — The Sin Ship (1931)
A ship’s captain fights to protect a female passenger from his crew. Cast: Louis Wolheim, Mary Astor, Ian Keith. Dir: Louis Wolheim. BW-65 mins
11:00 a.m. — Smart Women (1931)
A woman plots to make her cheating husband jealous. Cast: Mary Astor, Robert Ames, Edward Everett Horton. Dir: Gregory La Cava. BW-68 mins
12:15 p.m. — Dinky (1935)
A military school cadet’s mother is framed and sent to prison. Cast: Jackie Cooper, Mary Astor, Roger Pryor. Dir: D. Ross Lederman. BW-65 mins
1:30 p.m. — Woman Against Woman (1938)
A divorcee decides she wants her husband back after he’s re-married. Cast: Mary Astor, Herbert Marshall, Virginia Bruce. Dir: Robert Sinclair. BW-61 mins
2:45 p.m. — There’s Always a Woman (1938)
While working on a simple case, married private eyes uncover a murder. Cast: Joan Blondell, Melvyn Douglas, Mary Astor. Dir: Alexander Hall. BW-81 mins
4:15 p.m. — Midnight (1939)
An unemployed showgirl poses as Hungarian royalty to infiltrate Parisian society. Cast: Claudette Colbert, Don Ameche, John Barrymore, Mary Astor. Dir: Mitchell Leisen. BW-94 mins
6:00 p.m. — The Great Lie (1941)
Believing her husband to be dead, a flyer’s wife bargains with his former love to adopt the woman’s baby. Cast: Bette Davis, Mary Astor, George Brent. Dir: Edmund Goulding. BW-108 mins
Warm up those DVRs, pronto!