This is what happens when your car breaks down on a Sunday morning and you have nothing else to do…
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…
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.…
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…
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…
I've seen The Maltese Falcon before, and despite that I still don't really follow all of the intricacies of the plot. It doesn't really matter, though - the movie is about a real jerk with no true loyalty to anyone but himself and the idea of solving the case. Humphrey Bogart is incredible in that role, as is the supporting cast.
Am I the only one who doesn't 'get' Humphrey Bogart? He is always the SAME guy in every movie right? Is it the voice? The expressionless head? I will keep watching
What do you want me to do, learn to stutter?
2/25 of Classic movie month
First of all, the portayal of Sam Spade by Humphrey Bogart is exquisite here. He truly is the drive for the viewer to unravel the story with all its details. With his smooth talking and witty lines, you can't resist going along with the story, adding every new piece of information to the puzzle and simultaneously questioning the truthfulness of everything the characters say, because early on it becomes quite clear that every statement is better to be questioned than immediately thought of as true.
Every character is a substantial piece to the story and different from each other in every way. Getting to know all of these characters through the investing dialogue and figuring…
As to be expected the umpteenth viewing is as or more enjoyable than the umpteenth-minus-one viewing.
35mm print at Music Box Theatre.
The best that can be desired from a gumshoe yarn as it is both refined and light on its feet. Newcomer Huston's young hunger shows, but also his innate genius as a dynamic storyteller. Moreover, this finds Bogart at perhaps his most electric and charismatic; not to mention the added pleasure of never better supporting players Astor, Lorre, and Greenstreet chewing up the screen with relish. Rarely is an adaptation so true to the source and so damn fun to boot.
The reason to skip is all the dull plot machinations and puzzle solving. The reasons to watch are Bogie's delivery of Hammett's dialogue when it's vicious and the chemistry between Bogie and Mary Astor. Most of the best stuff is in the beginning and at the very ending when everyone is holed up together.
While Phillip Marlowe was always the Private Detective with the heart of gold, Sam Spade was a cold, detached, violent counterpart. It is easy to confuse the two, considering Humphrey Bogart played them both expertly, but he captures enough of the difference to reflect their original creators. Hammett had none of Chandler's fraught melancholy, while Chandler could never quite convince as a tough-guy in print. Both wrote expert novels, but my tastes always run to Raymond Chandler, in the end.
Regarding The Maltese Falcon, John Huston crafted one of the all-time great scripts. It is so spry and funny, that you almost miss the expert timing of the reveals and double-crosses. The Maltese Falcon was an incredible debut from the…
All the films from all the editions, including those subsequently removed, presently totalling 1177. An easy way of seeing how…