Saturday, November 19, 2011

The Maltese Falcon

The Maltese Falcon (1941)

Currently #105 of Top 250 Films on IMDb
(As of this posting)

Directed by John Huston

Written by John Huston
Based on the novel by Dashiell Hammett

Stars: Humphrey Bogart, Mary Astor, Peter Lorre, Sydney Greenstreet and Elisha Cook Jr.

The Maltese Falcon is one of those staple movies that have been in the lexicon of film goers for seventy years since it came out. I just watched this three Academy Award for Best Picture, Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Supporting Actor for Greenstreet. For john Huston's directorial debut, I did not disappoint.

True to it's film noir roots the movies starts with the murder of private detective Sam Spade's (Bogart) partner, Miles Archer (Jerome Cowan) when he was trying to tail a prep. The woman that hired the team, Brigid O'Shaughnessy (Astor) is being exposed as being a part of a conspiracy that have innocent people killed  because of a priceless Maltese falcon statue made in the 16th century.

From the word go this movie have you going on a wild roller coaster ride that leads to the satisfying conclusion.

I was surprised  that "deer in the headlights" Peter Lorre was in the film as Joel Cairo. A lot skinner I might add. Bogart played spade like an anti-hero. he is not likable, but he is charming enough enough to make you forgive his transgressions. Mary Astor as the femme fatale was fine. I don't see why everyone wants to be with her. Greenstreet as the "antagonist" of the movie, Gutman was a little weird. He was nominated for an Oscar. I don't see it, but standards were different back then.

My favorite part of the movie was the dynamic between Spade and Gutman's young hitman, Wilmer Cook (Cook, Jr.) Spade treated Wilmer like a gnat that needed to be swatted. I loved the banter between them.

The movie was a delight to see the twists and turns, the anger and betrayal. Easy, breezy, beautiful, Cover Girl.

My Rating:

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