The Maltese Falcon (1941)

2016 #142
John Huston | 96 mins | DVD | 1.33:1 | USA / English | PG

The Maltese Falcon

Humphrey Bogart is private dick and consummate bullshitter Sam Spade in this (re-)adaptation of Dashiell Hammett’s novel, considered the first major film noir.

The twisty plot of murder and thievery is enlivened by duplicitous performances from femme fatale Mary Astor, an effeminate Peter Lorre, the always welcome Elisha Cook Jr., and the humungous presence of Sydney Greenstreet, making his film debut at 60 and stealing every scene.

It’s also the directorial debut of John Huston, whose work alongside cinematographer Arthur Edeson is the greatest star: the low-key lighting and dramatic angles are (like the rest of the film) archetypal noir.

4 out of 5

The Maltese Falcon was viewed as part of my What Do You Mean You Haven’t Seen…? 2016 project, which you can read more about here.

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6 thoughts on “The Maltese Falcon (1941)

  1. Close to being quintessential Noir – racing plot, Bogart looking in good shape, greats like Lorre and Greenstreet padding out the cast, a sense of duplicity about all the characters. Nothing to dislike about this one. We showed it to The Boy recently, thinking he’d want nothing to do with such an old movie. He loved it.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Only got around to watching this for the first time last year -you may remember my post- but like quite a few classics I’ve caught up with, it thoroughly lived up to its reputation (I won’t call it hype, its never hype in the case of films such as these). You can’t beat the golden oldies. Since you liked this, don’t forget to catch up with In ‘A Lonely Place’. Its even better.

    Liked by 1 person

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