Sydney Greenstreet

Sydney Greenstreet

Highest Rated: 100% The Mask of Dimitrios (1944)

Lowest Rated: 82% They Died With Their Boots On (1941)

Birthday: Invalid date

Birthplace: Not Available

Sydney Greenstreet ranked among Hollywood's consummate character actors, a classic rogue whose villainous turns in motion pictures like Casablanca and The Maltese Falcon remain among the most memorable and enigmatic depictions of evil ever captured on film. Born December 27, 1879, in Sandwich, England, Greenstreet's initial ambition was to make his fortune as a tea planter, and toward that aim he moved to Sri Lanka at the age of 18. A drought left him penniless, however, and he soon returned to England, where he worked a variety of odd jobs while studying acting in the evening under Ben Greet. In 1902, he made his theatrical debut portraying a murderer in Sherlock Holmes, and two years later he traveled with Greet to the United States. After making his Broadway debut in Everyman, Greenstreet's American residency continued for the rest of his life.Greenstreet remained exclusively a theatrical performer for over three decades. He shifted easily from musical comedy to Shakespeare, and in 1933 he joined the Lunts in Idiot's Delight, performing with their Theatre Guild for the duration of the decade. While appearing in Los Angeles in a touring production of There Shall Be No Night in 1940, Greenstreet met John Huston, who requested he play the ruthless Guttman in his 1941 film adaptation of Dashiell Hammett's The Maltese Falcon. A heavy, imposing man, Greenstreet was perfectly cast as the massive yet strangely effete Guttman, a dignified dandy who was in truth the very essence of malevolence. Making his film debut at the age of 62, he appeared alongside the two actors with whom he would be forever connected, star Humphrey Bogart and fellow character actor Peter Lorre. The acclaim afforded Greenstreet for The Maltese Falcon earned him a long-term contract with Warner Bros., where, after appearing in They Died With Their Boots On, he again played opposite Bogart in 1942's Across the Pacific. In 1942, he appeared briefly in Casablanca, another reunion with Bogart as well as Lorre. When Greenstreet and Lorre again reteamed in 1943's Background in Danger, their fate was sealed, and they appeared together numerous other times including 1944's Passage to Marseilles (again with Bogart), The Mask of Dimitrios, The Conspirators, and Hollywood Canteen, in which they portrayed themselves. Yearning to play comedy, Greenstreet got his wish in 1945's Pillow to Post, which cast him alongside Ida Lupino. He also appeared opposite Bogart again in the drama Conflict and with Barbara Stanwyck in Christmas in Connecticut. In 1952, he announced his retirement, and died two years later on January 18, 1954.

Highest Rated Movies



No Score Yet It's a Great Feeling Himself 1949
No Score Yet Malaya Dutchman 1949
No Score Yet Flamingo Road Titus Semple 1949
No Score Yet The Velvet Touch Capt. Danbury 1948
No Score Yet The Woman in White Count Fosco 1948
No Score Yet Ruthless Buck Mansfield 1948
No Score Yet That Way with Women James P. Alden 1947
No Score Yet The Hucksters Evan Llewellyn Evans 1947
No Score Yet The Verdict Supt. George Edward Grodman 1946
No Score Yet Devotion Thackeray 1946
No Score Yet Three Strangers Jerome K. Arbutny 1946
No Score Yet Conflict Dr. Mark Hamilton 1945
No Score Yet Pillow to Post Col. Michael Otley 1945
88% Christmas in Connecticut Alexander Yardley 1945
100% The Mask of Dimitrios Mr. Peters 1944
No Score Yet Between Two Worlds Rev. Tim Thompson 1944
No Score Yet Passage to Marseille Maj. Duval 1944
No Score Yet Hollywood Canteen Himself 1944
No Score Yet The Conspirators Ricardo Quintanilla 1944
No Score Yet Background to Danger Colonel Robinson 1943
99% Casablanca Senor Ferrari Ferrari 1942
No Score Yet Across the Pacific Dr. Lorenz 1942
100% The Maltese Falcon Kasper Gutman 1941
82% They Died With Their Boots On Gen. Winfield Scott 1941


Kasper Gutman the Fat Man says: I couldn't be fonder of you if you were my own son. But, well, if you lose a son, it's possible to get another. There's only one Maltese Falcon.

Cornelius Latimer Leyden says: Goodbye Mr. Peters. Au revoir. Sorry you won't be able to go to the Indies now.

Mr. Peters says: You see, there's not enough kindness in the world.

Sam Spade says: If you kill, me how you going to get the bird? And if I know you can't afford to kill me, how you going to scare me into giving it to you?

Kasper Gutman the Fat Man says: Well, sir, there are other means of persuasion besides killing and threatening to kill.

Sam Spade says: Yes, that's . . . That's true. But, there're none of them any good unless the threat of death is behind them. You see what I mean? If you start something, I'll make it a matter of your having to kill me or call it off.

Kasper Gutman the Fat Man says: That's an attitude, sir, that calls for the most delicate judgement on both sides. Because, as you know, sir, in the heat of action men are likely to forget where their best interests lie and let their emotions carry them away.

Sam Spade says: Then the trick from my angle is to make my play strong enough to tie you up, but not to make you mad enough to bump me off against your better judgement.

Kasper Gutman the Fat Man says: By gad, sir, you are a character.