The Maltese Falcon

The Maltese Falcon

Director: John Huston Cast: Humphrey Bogart, Mary Astor, Peter Lorre

Blu-ray (Full Frame)

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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.

Product Details

Release Date: 10/05/2010
UPC: 0883929118250
Original Release: 1941
Rating: NR
Source: Warner Home Video
Presentation: [Full Frame]
Time: 1:40:00
Sales rank: 787

Special Features

Commentary by Bogart Biographer Eric Lax; Featurette The Maltese Falcon: One Magnificent Bird Breakdowns of 1941: Studio Blooper Reel; Makeup Tests; Becoming Attractions: The Trailers of Humphrey Bogart ; Warner Night at the Movies 1941 Short Subjects Gallery:; Newsreel ; Musical Short The Gay Parisian; 2 Classic Cartoons: Hiawatha's Rabbit Hunt and Meet John Doughboy; Trailers of This Movie, 1941's Sergeant York and 1936's Previous Falcon Movie Adaptation, Satan Met a Lady; ; Audio-Only Bonus: 3 Radio Show Adaptations; 2 Featuring the Movie's Original Stars, Plus Another Starring Edward G. Robinson

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 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

Customer Reviews

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The Maltese Falcon 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 18 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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NeverStopsReading More than 1 year ago
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........
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Veetz More than 1 year ago
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...
BobbyJink More than 1 year ago
An old classic, but slight flaw in story line, but most people probably will not notice it.
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