The Maltese Falcon (1941)

Director: John Huston

Writers: John Huston, based on the novel by Dashiell Hammett

Stars: Humphrey Bogart, Sidney Greenstreet, Peter Lorre, Mary Astor, Gladys George, Barton MacLane

Private eye Sam Spade (Humphrey Bogart), a hard, cold misanthrope who nevertheless follows his own code of honor, gets involved in the intrigue surrounding a valuable statuette while investigating the death of his partner.

The plot is secondary to style and attitude in this depiction of hard men with hard ways who are not afraid to kill while grasping for money in the interlude between a brutal depression and a world war. 

The ambitions and greed of the eccentric characters are focused like a laser beam on the title object and it's up to Sam Spade to sort out both the players and their Machiavellian plots and to dispense justice.


Bogart's Spade stands on the outside, observing and evaluating, probably nursing his own crushed hopes and broken dreams, uniquely suited to negotiate this terrain of treachery and violence. 

Bogart, Sidney Greenstreet, and Peter Lorre form a powerful nucleus for this masterpiece. 

Great dialogue and one tense confrontation after another make this a real winner.


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