Acorn TV's 'Monsieur Spade' Looks Très Très Mystérieux

Clive Owen as Sam Spade in full Sam Spade regalia leaning on a total Sam Spade car on a hill in 'Monsieur Spade'

Clive Owen as Sam Spade in 'Monsieur Spade'

Jean-Claude Lother/AMC

Acorn TV is known for its British series like Bloodlands, Steeltown Murders, and Mrs. Sidhu Investigates. It also has quite a few popular French series as well, like Candice Renoir, Balthazar, and Missing Angel. But its most recent hits seem to combine the two, with Cannes Confidential, The Madame Blanc Mysteries, and now the upcoming Monsieur Spade. Starring Clive Owen (A Murder at the End of the World), the new series takes the iconic Dashiell Hammett hard-boiled private detective Sam Spade, famously played by Humphrey Bogart, and brings him back for a new generation.

Like so many reimaginings, this new six-part series is set decades after the events of the original film, though not in the present day, as that would be a little too far in the future for Spade, who was in his 30s in The Maltese Falcon. Instead, the show moves up twenty-five years to the 1960s, so it's still a period piece, where the now retired Spade has decamped to France, where he is known as M. Spade, and lives a quiet life. At least until murders find their way to his door once more, and he can't help but take up the case.

The series, the brainchild of The Queen's Gambit creator Scott Frank, was taken to market after Netflix turned his Walter Tevis novel adaptation into a surprise hit, but didn't sell until 2022 when AMC Networks picked it up. It was first set to stream just on AMC+ and air on AMC's linear channel, but that quickly expanded to include sister network Acorn TV. All three will now air and stream the series simultaneously.

Here's the new series' synopsis:

Monsieur Spade centers around the infamous protagonist of American writer Dashiell Hammett’s 1930 classic novel The Maltese Falcon. The year is 1963, and the legendary Detective Sam Spade is enjoying his retirement in the South of France. By contrast to his days as a private eye in San Francisco, Spade's life in Bozouls is peaceful and quiet. But the rumored return of his old adversary will change everything. Six beloved nuns have been brutally murdered at the local convent. As the town grieves, secrets emerge, and new leads are established. Spade learns that the murders are somehow connected to a mysterious child who is believed to possess great powers.

Rebecca Root as Cynthia Fitzsimmons and Matthew Beard as George Fitzsimmons cock their heads to the side in matching confusion in 'Monsieur Spade' Season 1

Rebecca Root as Cynthia Fitzsimmons and Matthew Beard as George Fitzsimmons in 'Monsieur Spade' Season 1

Jean-Claude Lother/AMC

Owens stars as the titular Sam Spade, now known as Monsieur Spade, co-starring with up-and-coming teen actress Cara Bossom (Radioactive) as Teresa. The rest of the ensemble cast includes an international group of stars from French actors Denis Ménochet (Inglourious Basterds), Louise Bourgoin (The Romanoffs), Chiara Mastroianni (On a Magical Night), to the Belgian Jonathan Zaccaï (Downton Abbey: A New Era) to U.K. stars like Stanley Weber (Outlander), Matthew Beard (Vienna Blood), and Rebecca Root (Heartstopper). Guest stars include American actors Alfre Woodard (The Book of Clarence) and Dean Winters (Life on Mars).

Monsieur Spade is co-created, written, and executive-produced by Scott Frank and Tom Fontana (Borgia). Frank also directed all six episodes. Barry Levinson, Teddy Schwarzman, Michael Heimler, Clive Owen, Caroline Benjo, Barbara Letellier, Simon Arnal, Carole Scotta, Carlo Martinelli, and David Helpern also serve as executive producers. The series is produced by Black Bear and co-produced by Haut et Court TV in conjunction with the Dashiell Hammett Estate. 

Acorn TV and AMC+ will stream the premiere of Monsieur Spade starting Sunday, January 14, with the episode airing on AMC’s linear cable channel that evening. All three will release the series on a one-episode-per-week schedule to follow through February 18, 2024.


Ani Bundel has been blogging professionally since 2010. A DC native, Hufflepuff, and Keyboard Khaleesi, she spends all her non-writing time taking pictures of her cats. Regular bylines also found on MSNBC, Paste, Primetimer, and others. 

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