The Maltese Falcon

( 18 )

Overview

After two previous film versions of Dashiell Hammett's detective classic The Maltese Falcon, Warner Bros. finally got it right in 1941-- or, rather, John Huston, a long-established screenwriter making his directorial debut, got it right, simply by adhering as closely as possible to the original. Taking over from a recalcitrant George Raft, Humphrey Bogart achieved true stardom as Sam Spade, a hard-boiled San Francisco private eye who can be as unscrupulous as the next guy but also adheres to his own personal code...
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Overview

After two previous film versions of Dashiell Hammett's detective classic The Maltese Falcon, Warner Bros. finally got it right in 1941-- or, rather, John Huston, a long-established screenwriter making his directorial debut, got it right, simply by adhering as closely as possible to the original. Taking over from a recalcitrant George Raft, Humphrey Bogart achieved true stardom as Sam Spade, a hard-boiled San Francisco private eye who can be as unscrupulous as the next guy but also adheres to his own personal code of honor. Into the offices of the Spade & Archer detective agency sweeps a Miss Wonderly Mary Astor, who offers a large retainer to Sam and his partner Miles Archer Jerome Cowan if they'll protect her from someone named Floyd Thursby. The detectives believe neither Miss Wonderly nor her story, but they believe her money. Since Archer saw her first, he takes the case -- and later that evening he is shot to death, as is the mysterious Thursby. Miss Wonderly's real name turns out to be Brigid O'Shaughnessey, and, as the story continues, Sam is also introduced to the effeminate Joel Cairo Peter Lorre and the fat, erudite Kasper Gutman Sydney Greenstreet, in his film debut. It turns out that Brigid, Cairo and Gutman are all international scoundrels, all involved in the search for a foot-high, jewel-encrusted statuette in the shape of a falcon. Though both Cairo and Gutman offer Spade small fortunes to find the "black bird," they are obviously willing to commit mayhem and murder towards that goal: Gutman, for example, drugs Spade and allows his "gunsel" Wilmer Elisha Cook Jr. to kick and beat the unconscious detective. This classic film noir detective yarn gets better with each viewing, which is more than can be said for the first two Maltese Falcons and the ill-advised 1975 "sequel" The Black Bird.
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Special Features

Closed Caption; ; Commentary by Bogart Biographer Eric Lax; Warner Night at the Movies 1941 Short Subjects Gallery: ; Newsreel; Technicolor Musical Short The Gay Parisian ; 2 Classic Cartoons: Hiawatha's Rabbit Hunt and Meet John Doughboy; Plus Trailers of This Movie and 1941's Sergeant York
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Lucia Bozzola
Adapting Dashiell Hammett's novel -- and staying as close to the original story as the Production Code allowed -- first-time director John Huston turned The Maltese Falcon into a movie often considered the first film noir. In his star-making performance as Sam Spade, Humphrey Bogart embodied the coolly ruthless private eye who recognizes the dark side of humanity, in all its greedy perversity, and who feels its temptations, especially when they are embodied by a woman. While Huston's mostly straightforward visual approach renders The Maltese Falcon an instance of early noir more in its hardboiled attitude than in the chiaroscuro style common to other films noirs, the collection of venal characters, colorfully played by Sydney Greenstreet, Peter Lorre, and Elisha Cook, Jr.; Mary Astor's femme fatale; and Bogart's morally relativistic Spade pointed the way to the mid-1940s flowering of noir in Billy Wilder's Double Indemnity (1944), Otto Preminger's Laura (1944), and Howard Hawks's The Big Sleep (1946). A critical as well as popular success, The Maltese Falcon was nominated for three Oscars, including Best Picture and Best Screenplay, establishing Huston as a formidable dual talent and Bogart as the archetypal detective antihero.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 10/5/2010
  • UPC: 883929154296
  • Original Release: 1941
  • Rating:

  • Source: Warner Home Video
  • Region Code: 1
  • Time: 1:40:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 2,331

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Humphrey Bogart Samuel Spade
Mary Astor Brigid O'Shaughnessy
Peter Lorre Joel Cairo
Sydney Greenstreet Kasper Gutman the Fat Man
Ward Bond Detective Tom Polhaus
Barton MacLane Detective Lt. Dundy
Gladys George Iva Archer
Lee Patrick Effie Perine
Jerome Cowan Miles Archer
Murray Alper Frank Richman
James Burke Luke
Elisha Cook Jr. Wilmer Cook
Charles Drake Reporter
Creighton Hale Stenographer
John Hamilton Attorney Bryan
Robert E. Homans Policeman
William Hopper Reporter
Walter Huston Capt. Jacobi, the Ship's Officer
Hank Mann Reporter
Jack Mower Announcer
Emory Parnell Ship's Mate
Technical Credits
John Huston Director, Screenwriter
Robert M. Haas Art Director
Arthur Edeson Cinematographer
Orry-Kelly Costumes/Costume Designer
Perc Westmore Makeup
Hal B. Wallis Production Designer
Adolph Deutsch Score Composer
Dashiell Hammett Source Author
Henry Blanke Associate Producer
Tom Richards Editor
Leo F. Forbstein Musical Direction/Supervision
Oliver S. Garretson Sound/Sound Designer
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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Maltese Falcon
1. Credits and Foreword [1:21]
2. Sweet New Client [4:41]
3. Killed in Action [4:02]
4. Where Spade Stands [3:12]
5. Grieving Widow [3:41]
6. Dangerous Lady? [5:34]
7. Joel Cairo [6:13]
8. Losing a Shadow [1:21]
9. A Little Trust [3:32]
10. Take It and Like It [3:05]
11. Strong-Arm of the Law [4:38]
12. Lies About the Bird [2:47]
13. Evicting a Cheap Gunman [3:06]
14. Stashing Brigid [3:32]
15. Plain Speaking [5:40]
16. Falcon Lore [7:25]
17. Off the Boat [2:40]
18. Dead Man's Delivery [5:18]
19. We're All Here [1:45]
20. Fall-Guy Candidates [5:04]
21. The Details [3:56]
22. A Joke and Advice [3:24]
23. The Maltese Falcon [3:30]
24. Gutman's Adieu [1:57]
25. Taking the Fall [4:28]
26. Bad vs. Good Business [2:13]
27. The Stuff That Dreams Are [1:22]
28. Cast List [:43]
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Menu

Disc #1 -- Maltese Falcon
   Warner Night at the Movies
      Play All
         Sergeant York Theatrical Trailer
         Newsreel
         The Gay Parisian
         Hiwatha's Rabbit Hunt
         Meet John Doughboy
         The Maltese Falcon
   Play Movie
   Scene Selections
   Special Features
      Commentary By Eric Lax
      Warner Night at the Movies
         Play All
            Sergeant York Theatrical Trailer
            Newsreel
            The Gay Parisian
            Hiawatha's Rabbit Hunt
            Meet John Doughboy
            The Maltese Falcon
      Theatrical Trailer
   Languages
      Spoken Languages
         English
      Subtitles
         English
         Français
         Español
         Subtitles: Off
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 18 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(15)

4 Star

(2)

3 Star

(1)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

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Sort by: Showing all of 18 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    An old classic worth watching

    An old classic, but slight flaw in story line, but most people probably will not notice it.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Theis is a masterpiece mystery.

    This is a movie masterpiece of all time. I enjoy watching this movie time after time. I have the three disk set and two more movie versions, the 1931 verision and Satan Met A Lady. This is a must have movie.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Maltese Falcon

    I saw this movie when a very young boy when it was first released. I can remember going home that day and telling my father all about this movie. Well each time I see this movie, I never get tired of watching it. As you can see this was a very low budget film with almost all of the scenes taking place in an office or a room.

    I have seen this movie several times on TCM. The last time I watched it was a week ago on April 18, 2009. It was just as thrilling to see it then as it was when I first saw it in 1942.

    A film such as this would make a fine addtion to anyone's collection. All of the actors leave the audience with a memory of fine performances without flubbing their lines. This cast is full of professionals. What really makes this film outstanding is there is no profanity in any of the dialog nor any sex scenes to disgust the viewer.

    VEETZ...

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Thriller

    Sam Spade is given a case to solve for a woman named o'shaunesy.
    He is told to tail a man by the name Thursby His partner Archer gets killed in the process and later the same night Thursby is killed on Bush street.
    Sam Spade is pinned for the killings and love association with Archer's wife,Ida. But Sam Spade will get to the end of all this madness ending up with the woman he falls in love with killed Archer and well, the rest is history........

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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    Posted April 26, 2009

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    Posted October 8, 2008

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Sort by: Showing all of 18 Customer Reviews