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The Maltese Falcon
A story as EXPLOSIVE as his BLAZING automatics!
Spade and Archer is the name of a San Francisco detective agency. That's for Sam Spade and Miles Archer. The two men are partners, but Sam doesn't like Miles much. A knockout, who goes by the name of Miss Wanderly, walks into their office; and by that night everything's changed. Miles is dead. And so is a man named Floyd Thursby. It seems Miss Wanderly is surrounded by dangerous men. There's Joel Cairo, who uses gardenia-scented calling cards. There's Kasper Gutman, with his enormous girth and feigned civility. Her only hope of protection comes from Sam, who is suspected by the police of one or the other murder. More murders are yet to come.
Here's what I love about film noir: nobody gets to be an angel. No sentimentality, no melodrama, just tough characters who quip their way in and out of unsavory situations. Needless to say, The Maltese Falcon ticks every box on my list. And it isn't just a film noir; it's the first major film to be recognized as such, and therefore one of the most influential films in the genre. And boy, does it live up to expectations.
Being both a cinephile and a bibliophile, I felt obliged to read the The Maltese Falcon before watching the film adaptation. Dashiell Hammett's novel was a perfect candidate for the big screen: minute descriptions, unique characters, and colorful dialogue that was just…
John Huston's 1941 adaptation of Dashiell Hammett's The Maltese Falcon opens with a text scroll detailing the history of an ancient treasure. This short introduction could not have been more prophetic, because The Maltese Falcon is a true treasure. This is the quintessential film noir, a movie I don't mind calling perfect, as it tells the story of a slick private investigator who gets tangled up in the convoluted quest to obtain a legendary falcon statue. Whenever I get around to making my all time favorites list, I'll be surprised if this doesn't perch near the pinnacle of it. If you are like me, and haven't before seen this classic, then stop reading now, because the less you know going…
I don't mind a reasonable amount of trouble.
Some films are credited with defining a particular genre. The Maltese Falcon didn't define a genre, but it helped create one. It was film-noir before the term film-noir existed. While it's arguably not the first to be considered noir, it is still regarded as the first by a major studio. It isn't however the first adaptation of Dashiell Hammett's novel, but actually the third.
For John Huston's directorial debut it seems odd that he would attempt a third adaptation of a novel that was barely over 10 years old, but he had an idea that stood out from the others. The script is practically a direct translation of Hammett's novel.…
Jam-packed with twists n turns from start to finish, presenting Humphrey Bogart in one of his most impressive roles, and also marking the feature film debut for esteemed filmmaker John Huston, The Maltese Falcon is regarded by many as one of the first examples of film noir and although its plot is always on the move, I wasn't entirely enthralled by it.
Based on the novel of the same name, The Maltese Falcon tells the story of Sam Spade; a private investigator in San Francisco who takes on a case that results in his partner's death on the very first night, and involves not only his beautiful client who's very manipulative but three more eccentric criminals, who are on a…
It was Louise that highlighted my ignorance of movies from pre-1960 a few weeks ago, and although I'm still pretty much a novice when it comes to thirties and forties films, I'm slowly but surely enlightening myself with some classics. Following the likes of the Errol Flynn and Olivia De Havilland starring swashbucklers, it was time to check back in with Mr Humphrey Bogart.
The Maltese Falcon has another of those casts that made the likes of Casablanca so good. Reuniting Humphrey Bogart, Peter Lorre, and Sydney Greenstreet, this movie is unofficially the first of a genre. A film noir of the highest order, this requires concentration with all the twists and turns and has a level of mystery to…
None of the characters embroiled in the ever more mysterious saga of the falcon are likeable yet they are so utterly compelling to watch. Each one has their vested interests to protect and none of them are willing to reveal exactly what they are. Cards are clamped closely to their chest and the most stringent poker faces assumed.
The Mcguffin at the centre of it all almost makes a brief appearance whilst in reality the genuine bird probably doesn't exist at all. It's the perfect symbol of money and power, sought after by men who place its significance above any financial burden it may cause. To hold and possess the statue puts you at the top of the pile, the…
Didn't know the anniversary was coming up, but re-watching because I love this.
This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
The dialogue. The double-crosses. Watching Bogey talk his way into any room and out of any tough situation.
Hadn't seen this since I was probably a teenager, and I always struggled with Sam Spade saying he did it all for his partner. What I didn't understand was that everything about that moment is Spade trying - and failing - to come up with a reason for why he did what he did. A partner's honor sounds good, but it's pretty hollow, and it sounds that way coming from Spade.
The key moment there seems to be that he can't trust Brigid O'Shaughnessy. And for someone whose life depends on being two steps ahead, she's too much of a liability. So love, no love, doesn't really matter. He'll live.
Hard boiled and delicious.
Great Bogart film. Still one of my favs.
Sam Spade is rock solid and no-nonsense. Great character.
I still never see the sparks between Bogart and Astor, but the story moves me past that.
"Let’s talk about the black bird, by all means." Hammett’s albatross, from the Knights Templar of Malta to the shamus’ Frisco agency, the fabulous "dingus" at the center of John Huston’s first whirlpool of seekers and patsies. The murder early on is compressed into abstraction, close-up of street sign dissolving to gun firing dissolving to close-up of phone ringing; Sam Spade (Humphrey Bogart) briefly ponders his dead partner’s vacant desk and orders it removed, he has a case to solve. The continuous flow of malice is drawn so tight as to abut on fatalistic farce, and there’s the perfumed sprite Joel Cairo (Peter Lorre) and the mountainous collector Kasper Gutman (Sydney Greenstreet) as the underworld’s Laurel and Hardy. The steadiest…
This movie is the stuff that dreams are made of.
I haven't seen too many film noirs in my time (not my genre), but this is probably among the most non-visual.
Bogart is the coolest dude!
The last half hour manages to throw so much drama at the audience's face that you wonder where it was for the rest of the film. However, the rest of the film is still pretty good with a great Humphrey Bogart performance.
Une interprétation vraiment délicieuse de Humphrey Bogart explique surement en grande partie la réputation de ce classique. Par contre, je trouve que l'intrigue, tous de même assez finement menée et intelligente, est plus ou mons enlevante, et il y a un certain ralentissement vers la fin du film. De plus, je ne suis pas certain qu'il y ait assez de chimie entre les deux stars, ni assez de scènes intimes entre leurs deux personnages pour rendre la fin du film vraiment efficace. Mais bon, ca s'écoute facilement, et c'est tout de même pas mauvais du tout, on s'entend!
All the films from all the editions, including those subsequently removed, presently totalling 1177. An easy way of seeing how…
Every film that has ever been nominated for an Academy Award in any category. Enjoy!