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The Maltese Falcon

  • Drama
  • 1941
  • John Huston
  • 96 mins
  • PG

Summary

Classic film noir starring Humphrey Bogart, Mary Astor, Peter Lorre and Sydney Greenstreet. After his partner is murdered, private detective Sam Spade finds himself involved with a nefarious bunch of characters who will stop at nothing to get their hands on a priceless black statuette.

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Review

A star rating of 5 out of 5.

This third version of Dashiell Hammett's hard-boiled crime drama is superb cinematic entertainment. It completely obliterated memories of the two perfectly fine earlier versions and created a brand-new movie icon in Humphrey Bogart's cynical private detective, Sam Spade, a role that brought Bogart a richly deserved stardom after years of toil in supporting parts. It was also the beginning of a beautiful friendship between Bogie and John Huston, who was then a screenwriter making his feature debut as director, and whose tart screenplay retains most of the sharp dialogue and sleazy amorality of Hammett's original. The supporting cast is an extraordinary combination that couldn't be bettered - stage actor Sydney Greenstreet made his screen debut as Gutman, lusting after the Black Bird; Peter Lorre is the whiny, effeminate Joel Cairo; Mary Astor is cast against type as femme fatale supreme Brigid O'Shaughnessy. Watch, too, for Huston's distinguished father Walter as a ship's officer who delivers the Falcon, and admire the pace and panache generated by the Warner Bros production team.

How to watch

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Credits

Cast

rolename
Samuel SpadeHumphrey Bogart
Brigid O'Shaughnessy / Miss WonderlyMary Astor
Iva ArcherGladys George
Joel CairoPeter Lorre
Lt of Detectives DundyBarton MacLane
Effie PerineLee Patrick
Kasper GutmanSydney Greenstreet
Det Tom PolhausWard Bond
Miles ArcherJerome Cowan
Wilmer CookElisha Cook Jr
LukeJames Burke
Frank RichmanMurray Alper
BryanJohn Hamilton
Captain JacobyWalter Huston

Crew

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DirectorJohn Huston

Details

Available on
video, DVD and Blu-ray
Formats
Black and white
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