Sunday, March 2, 2008

The Maltese Falcon (1941)


John Huston's The Maltese Falcon is one of the greatest film noirs of all time. The legendary Humphrey Bogart stars as Sam Spade, a private detective who has just been hired by Brigid O'Shaughnessy (Mary Astor), under the false name Wonderly, to tail a man named Floyd Thursby who she claims is running away with her sister. Spade's partner Miles Archer goes on the job, and is murdered, presumably by Thursby. Spade is informed of his partner’s death, and goes down to see the body and shortly afterwards Thursby turns up dead. Spade is obviously the top suspect in the case, so he has detectives showing up at his place at all hours throughout the film. Not long after this, a man named Joel Cairo (played by Peter Lorre) comes into the picture. Cairo is willing to pay Spade $5,000 if he is to come up with an enamel falcon which Cairo claims Miss O'Shaughnessy is in possession of. The film continues on with a lot of great twists and turns in one of the most classic stories of all time. Huston's direction is superb, and I don't think I need to tell you how great Bogart and Lorre are as that is a given, but the rest of the cast is quite good as well. The script is absolutely fantastic and has given us such classic lines as "When you're slapped you'll take it and like it", and "The stuff dreams are made of". Definitely one of the best film noirs, a must see for any film fan. Overall 4.0/4 Stars Grade = A

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