Every film from Roger Ebert's "Great Movies" essays.
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.…
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 don't really see much point in registering an opinion on this well-tread classic, so here are some questions instead:
1. Is there any 21st century leading male actor that plays cool like Bogart plays cool? Only one I can think of is Michael K. Williams as Omar on The Wire.
2. Why doesn't "Peter Lorre fellating the end of his cane" ever turn up on any of those "Sexiest Moments in Movie History" listicles?
Fast talk and double dealing.
Writer John Huston convinced Warner studios to let him try his hand at directing. He picked a story that had already been filmed twice (1931 and 1936), wrote the script (with Dashiell Hammett), planned the shooting meticulously, cast it exquisitely, and made a masterpiece. And made a star of Humphrey Bogart. And character stars of Sydney Greenstreet and Peter Lorre. And set the tone of an entire new genre of movie.
And its all fast talk and double dealing ... and completely gripping.
Very good noir film. Innovative directing and cinematography and really got Hollywood into a new area of lurid life. Classic.
"I distrust a man who says "when." If he's got to be careful not to drink too much, it's because he's not to be trusted when he does."
Grimy and pulpy, this is one of the prototypical film noirs. The characters come sordid, the dialogue happens tense and quick, and the atmosphere's burdened with cigarette smoke and equivocation.
They don't make 'em like they used to.
I really need to watch other movies starring Humphrey Bogart. The Maltese Falcon is a engaging cerebral noir film and definitely worth seeing as one of the touchstone movies of the genre.
John Huston, and Humphrey Bogart, what could you expect from such forces. Humphrey Bogart has played great role with such wonderful performance, that the film received a boost from him. It was work of wisdom and direction, that film like The Maltese Falcon came out, to entertain us for the rest of generations to come.
Humphrey Bogart actúa como si tuviese prisa por terminar el guión, pero el juego de giros y trampas de la trama ha sido suficiente para mantener mi atención.
I watched The Maltese Falcon as a part of the film appreciation class that I co-teach. Great performances, complex plotting, a real classic. While I found the twists and turns to be quite enjoyable, I was even more fascinated by how difficult it was for the students to keep up. Guess they'll have to watch it again.
I fell asleep when there was about 15 minutes left so I am not going to rate or totally review it but the least I can say is that I was not very entertained with the rest of the film.
This film is the stuff dreams are made of. I'm going to be quite blunt, I think there are something I love about this film in particular how this was shot and the terrific acting especially in the scene right near the end of the film, by Bogart, Peter Lorrie and Sydney Greenstreet.
I don't know if this is just anyone else's experience but I think it's very hard for someone at least my age which is twenty-six to really like movies before 1960, there are a couple 50's films I like but it's just the film making styles are so much different then they are today or at least when they started making more contemporary film style around the…
- 12 Angry Men
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- 25th Hour
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- A Trip to the Moon
- The Great Train Robbery
- The Birth of a Nation
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All the films from all the editions, including those subsequently removed, presently totalling 1167. An easy way of seeing how…
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Every film that has ever been nominated for an Academy Award in any category. Enjoy!