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The Maltese Falcon (1941)  IMDB   Website
Genre Film-Noir/Mystery MPAA NR
Director John Huston Rating
Writer Dashiell Hammett Runtime 101 minutes
Producer Type Movie
Cinematographer Arthur Edeson Format DVD
Studio Warner Brothers Disk No. 1/1
Language English Edition
Country USA UPC
Color Black and White    
Plot Summary

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Sam Spade is a partner in a private-eye firm who finds himself hounded by police when his partner is killed whilst tailing a man. The girl who asked him to follow the man turns out not to be who she says she is, and is really involved in something to do with the `Maltese Falcon', a gold-encrusted life-sized statue of a falcon, the only one of its kind.

Summary written by: Graeme Roy {gsr@cbmamiga.demon.co.uk}
Actor / Character

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Humphrey Bogart ..... Sam Spade
Mary Astor ..... Brigid O'Shaughnessy/Miss Wonderly/Miss LaBlanc
Gladys George ..... Iva Archer
Peter Lorre ..... Joel Cairo
Barton MacLane ..... Detective Lieutenant Dundy
Lee Patrick ..... Effie Perine
Sydney Greenstreet ..... Kasper Gutman
Ward Bond ..... Detective Sergeant Tom Polhaus
Jerome Cowan ..... Miles Archer
Elisha Cook Jr. ..... Wilmer Cook
James Burke (I) ..... Luke, House Detective Hotel Belvedere
Murray Alper ..... Frank Richman, Driver
John Hamilton (I) ..... District Attorney Bryan
Awards

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(1941) Academy - Best Original Screenplay (nom) ..... John Huston
(1941) Academy - Best Picture (nom) .....
(1941) Academy - Best Supporting Actor (nom) ..... Sydney Greenstreet
(1941) National Board of Review of Motion Pict - 10 Best Films (win) .....
(1941) National Board of Review of Motion Pict - 10 Best Films (win) .....
(1989) Library of Congress - U.S. National Film Registry (win) .....
(1998) American Film Institute - 100 Greatest American Movies (win) .....
Review

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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. --- Lucia Bozzola

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