All the films from all the editions, including those subsequently removed, presently totalling 1167. 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…
My second favorite Falcon, after the Millennium. It may not make the Kessel Run in less than twelve parsecs, but it only needed twelve seconds to win my attention.
The king of the noir genre. Definitely.
And.. Humphrey Bogart is the coolest.
The movie is heavy on the dialogue, but because of the interesting characters I didn't mind it at all. Definitely worth a watch.
Pretty cool daddio.
that camera movement.
Peter Lorre and his tiny gun are the best thing about this movie.
How much credit can a film be given for its historical merits? Because if the answer is plenty then giving the The Maltese Falcon five stars should be mandatory, however in terms of merits as a piece of cinema I found it to be undoubtedly well made in pretty much every regard but ultimately hollow.
There just isn't a whole lot to The Maltese Falcon the characters are largely uninteresting or one note and the mystery at the heart of the film just isn't all that elusive. You feel like the resolution is just around the corner from the off, there's no tension or build up.
Even digging below the simplistic narrative there isn't really much here, it may have…
Perhaps the poster is a bit of a red herring. 'The Maltese Falcon' is not exactly explosive, quite the opposite. It is a slow burner, with an intensity that is a credit to the cast, script and direction. It also share a lot of the same cast as one of my favourites of all time; 'Casablanca'.
With a lot of dialogue, it could be forgiven for someone losing pace with the film (Andrea is case and point, snoring away next of me), but if you can hang on until the last half an hour, everything starts to come together. All of the characters are on edge, no one is showing their full hand, there are secrets around every twist. Most deliciously of all, the final twist with the statue.
'The stuff that dreams are made of...'
Maltese Falcon is a straightforward noir-mystery, filled with too much convoluted dialogue to be interesting. It's all narrative driven and failed to keep me interested. Bogart is fine as the lead man, but he feels emotionally distant from the chaos around him. The supporting cast is utterly forgettable. The mystery was honestly pretty simple, but it was just so bogged down. The tagline is "As Explosive as his Blazing Automatics", yet he never even fires his gun. Just to tell you how "Explosive" it really is.
I was expecting something more like James Bond. This movie was not like James Bond. This was just a really slow crime drama. It's got a semi-interesing mystery, but it's not exciting to watch. Disappointing.
Every film that has ever been nominated for an Academy Award in any category. Enjoy!