Every film from Roger Ebert's "Great Movies" essays.
The Maltese Falcon
A story as EXPLOSIVE as his BLAZING automatics!
The Maltese Falcon is a mystery thriller detective film from John Huston starring Humphrey Bogart. The film is regarded as a landmark in the film-noir movement.
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 an idea that stood out from the others. The script is practically a direct translation of Hammett's novel. While…
I totally do not get the hype for this. What I watched was a poorly-paced, narratively boring and consistently dull anti-climax of a film. There is no creativity when there could be tons. It's a straight-forward narrative that's too messy to comprehend. Efforts to tighten it via conveying all the information through dialogue fall horribly flat. In the same year as Citizen Kane, one of the most innovatively structured and cleverly plotted films of all time, this pales in comparison.
While Bogart is average at best, everyone else is appalling. From the camp to the crazy, not a single performance can be passed off as good. There is no excitement in the dialogue, just a relentlessly monotone recital of clumsy…
**Part of the Best Picture Project**
It don't get any better than Bogie himself as Sam Spade. The Maltese Falcon is headed by a great screenplay that is thrilling every minute, and a great atmosphere set by Director John Huston, but it's Humphrey Bogart's Sam Spade that makes the film be as awesome as it is. He's cold, brash, and just an asshole. But Bogart is so likable in the role, he sticks out, and we root for him.
The Maltese Falcon is brilliantly paced. There's always something happening, and you're always on the edge of your seat as you watch this mystery slowly unravel before your eyes. It's a testament to both the screenplay (adapted from Dashiell Hammett's novel)…
A NOTE TO BE LEFT ON THE MALTESE FALCON'S FRIDGE AFTER WE HAD A BIT OF A TIFF
"Here's to plain speaking and clear understanding." - Kasper Gutman
I was harsh. I was unfair. I'm sorry, The Maltese Falcon: I was mean first time round. However, you are still a bit of a mess. I've tried, babe, I really have. To understand why Bogart doesn't bother slowing the hell down when speaking your actually-quite-brilliant dialogue, to get to grips with the occasionally-painful melodrama of Sydney Greenstreet and Peter Lorre. And I think I've done pretty well, honey.
Your story becomes more sound when I watch you again, and your protagonist is a highly-compelling bad-ass that isn't the shining knight you…
Sydney Greenstreet could narrate a tour through Heaven (or Hell, for that matter). He has a tremendous yet elusive power of speech and he commands the screen against Bogart, who also simply demands attention from the camera, so when the two are together, you better believe fireworks in the form of words are flying. Bogart bitch slapping Lorre takes the cake, though.
Good lord, how did I live 35 years as a "film buff" and never see this amazing piece of work? Nothing beats finally catching up on a classic you'd always meant to watch and it instantly becoming one of your favorite movies!
A hugely entertaining, influential film noir milestone, THE MALTESE FALCON stars Humphrey Bogart as whip-smart, poker-faced private eye Sam Spade. One day, a nervous, beautiful young woman (Mary Astor) comes into the office he shares with his partner, Miles Archer (Jerome Cowan), asking them to help find her missing sister. Archer takes the case, winds up murdered, and suspicion is cast on Spade, who now must get involved not only to find out what happened to Archer, but…
Great cast. Landmark cinematography.
As the first major film noir, this is a great example of the genre, though not the best. The plot is fairly middle-of-the-road for a detective picture, but the dialogue is witty and tightly-written.
What really makes this film special is Humphrey Bogart's iconic performance as Sam Spade. He is so awesome it's impossible to imagine anyone else in the role.
"explosive as his blazing automatic" it is not.
A much-celebrated early noir that for all its witty repartee and brilliantly charismatic performances, especially by Bogart who was coming very much into his own as a leading man, often feels too stagey, and even slightly stilted. The fiendish plotting is not nearly as interesting as Sam Spade himself, and Bogart asserts himself with his customary laconic charm, dominating the screen in every scene. Sydney Greenstreet, Mary Astor and Peter Lorre round out the notable supporting players, but the film ultimately lacks both the intrigue and the sexiness of the genre's finest.
This review reportedly contains spoilers. I can handle the truth.
It's a great film! Huston does a great job at adapting Hammetts novel. Bogart is great as Sam Spade. Some say this is where the genre "Noir" started and I wouldn't be surprised if they are correct. It's sniffing on that fifth star.
Maybe my expectations were too high and maybe it's because I've already seen a number of films from the noir genre but The Maltese Falcon, although being one of the first classics of the genre, felt pretty tired and uninteresting to me. I can certainly appreciate it as it helped jumpstart the genre and what it has done for Humphrey Bogart as well as film noir itself is undeniable as one of the many foundations of the genre but I can't seem to love it as much as everyone else does. That being said this is still a pretty, maybe even very good film, a mostly solid noir that has a lot going for it and it encompasses plenty regarding…
The greatest film noir
Ever made. That says a lot.
This lives up to it.
I have yet to see a bad Bogart movie.
- 12 Angry Men
- 2001: A Space Odyssey
- 25th Hour
- 3 Women
- A Trip to the Moon
- The Great Train Robbery
- The Birth of a Nation
- Les Vampires
All the films from all the editions, including those subsequently removed, presently totalling 1154. An easy way of seeing how…
- The Racket
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Every film that has ever been nominated for an Academy Award in any category. Enjoy!