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…
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…
3rd time seeing this and I always enjoy it, but while I understand its historical importance, I can't say its ever been much more to me than a cheeky old curiosity.
The definitive MacGuffin tale, this intriguing and excellently told murder mystery is one of the widest imaginable appeal thanks to it's combination of a stellar script, indelible performances and suspenseful melodrama.
Something sinister lives in Bogey's mouth. His hardboiled facial tics and venomy cadence are visceral. His mug embodies film noir.
-"How'd I kill him? I forget."
It worth it just for Bogart. Believe me.
I don't know, it didn't really do it for me... Really good character work and performances. The story unfolded in a way that made it less interesting than I'd hoped.
I'm going to start trying something new. I am sick of trying to decide how to discuss who is in every film I watch. So I am going to start beginning my blogs with a quick rundown of the major players. From then on I can refer to them in my actual review however I want.
Humphrey Bogart - Sam Spade
Mary Astor - Brigid O'Shaughnessy
Peter Lorre - Joel Cairo
Sydney Greenstreet - Mr. Gutman
Elisha Cook Jr - Wilmer Cook
The Maltese Falcon is an iconic movie about the gumshoe detective Sam Spade. A role Bogey made famous. This is a Raymond Chandler-esque story based on the book by Dashell Hammett. The film is directed by the great…
This review reportedly contains spoilers. I can handle the truth.
I like how Bogey is shown wielding two pistols on the poster, even though he never actually fires a shot in the film. Despite the tagline, his automatics don't blaze. Instead, his Sam Spade is a talker. I actually thought of both the long running DC/Vertigo comics character John Constantine and Saul Goodman from Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul while watching The Maltese Falcon this time. Like those characters, Sam Spade's power lies in his ability to endlessly bullshit his way into and out of anything. He's also cynical enough to assume everyone else is always doing the same (which they usually are, just not as well as him).
John Huston's direction is really sharp here and he keeps…
Cairo, Carlos V y Mary Astor
Humphrey Bogart, Humphrey Bogart, Humphrey Bogart, Humphrey Bogart, and one for Mary Astor.
Every film that has ever been nominated for an Academy Award in any category. Enjoy!