All the films from all the editions, including those subsequently removed, presently totalling 1177. An easy way of seeing how…
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'm 5 films into a 100 film Films Noir course and everyone reading will have seen this and know why it's great so I wont write much.
But it does remain great, beyond the fact that it has been parodied and reused so much that the parodies and spoofs of what it created are themselves decades dead through overuse.
And I guess that is because of the faces; the plot and the dialogue and the very nature of the falcon itself have become cliche and withered but there's a moment where huston cuts from close up to close up, on the faces of Bogart and Greenstreet and Lorre and Astor and Cook and none of the imitators was ever able…
I'm probably not the best person to talk to when it comes to Noir. The convoluted plots, dull aesthetic, overacted melodrama, I've never understood their popularity. Perhaps it's a genre stuck in the 1930's/40's. As a genre in general it's position is somewhat debated. So I visited this 'classic' and sadly it didn't do much to make me excited for the genre.
It's an intriguing premise and the story wastes no time in getting started, in fact it wastes no time at all, barraging the audience with a database worth of information and expects us to process all of it. This left me with a question mark over my head for pretty much the whole film until the climax when…
This review reportedly contains spoilers. I can handle the truth.
What this film nails is conversation. Compare this to (what else) The Big Sleep, where most characters talk one-on-one in oblique ways that don't help anyone and simply serve a general sense of PULP AESTHETIC.
Huston's conversations are all purposeful in this film. Characters all have motivations behind their words, their agreements- behind the questions they ask and the performances they give one another and the moments they consider crucial. One of my favorite moments in this film comes during the first meeting of Spade and Gutman during which Spade puts on a show of anger that is very uncharacteristic. He barges out of the room, and we see him grin. Now we see motivations underneath the actions. This is…
A classic of film noir that felt strangely flat to me. I never felt any sense of urgency or tension in the film. The acting is decent but uninspiring. Peter Lorre was a surprise, since this is the first film of his I've seen, and it was nice to see the person and mannerisms that so much of Hollywood later came to parody or adopt to varying degrees, but otherwise the film was decent without being stunning.
This review reportedly contains spoilers. I can handle the truth.
Bogart will not be fooled.
Boy is this a talked about movie. Started the mainstream film noir movie. Bogart at possibly his best. Great casting. Great cinematography. Great dialogue. Not too much bad to say about it. I just had one problem that stuck with me throughout the movie. Now, I love dialogue heavy movies just as much as the next guy, but this movie is just too dialogue based in my opinion. It lacks in action and the film suffers from it. Not too much else to complain about though. It just took away from the movie in my opinion.
Absolutely outstanding. The stuff that dreams are made of.
Brigid O'Shaughnessy is probably the type of girl that would make a false rape accusation while in college.
CLASSIC. There's literally nothing more I can say that hasn't already been said about this perfect noir specimen. Although the other day I read an article that pointed out some of the gay subtext - I knew about the whole Joel Cairo-and-his-cane thing, but apparently 'gunsel' was a slang term for 'rough trade' back in the day. Who knew?
'I couldn't be fonder of you if you were my own son. But, well, if you lose a son, it's possible to get another. There's only one Maltese Falcon.'
I had high expectations going into The Maltese Falcon, and, to put it bluntly, they weren't met. It is a classic noir, with a twisty story, a femme fatale and a no-nonsense detective at the centre. Except the story felt a little flat. And the femme fatale was very femme but fatale enough (at least on screen). At least Bogart got it right. The Maltese Falcon encapsulates the suspicious mood of the noir without quite finessing the plot to keep it lingering in the mind and engaging. If you came for…
Every film that has ever been nominated for an Academy Award in any category. Enjoy!