BOGART,MARY ASTOR,SYDNEY GREENSTREET,PETER LORRE,ELISHA COOK.JR,LEE
PATRICK,BARTON MACLANE,WARD BOND, GLADYS GEORGE
ON THE NOVEL WRITTEN BY DASHIELL HAMMETT
BY JOHN HUSTON
BY JOHN HUSTON
Huston's directorial debut, The Maltese Falcon, stars Humphrey
Bogart as Sam Spade, an emotionally detached private detective who
becomes embroiled in the search for the elusive Maltese Falcon after
his partner is killed during a routine stakeout.
In the process the film twists itself into a tightly wound mystery,
packed with dizzying double crosses, treachery, and deceit at every
This version of The Maltese Falcon is the third (and most popular)
attempt by Hollywood in trying to adapt Dashiell Hammett's novel.
The first attempt was in 1931 with Richard Cortez and Bebe Daniels;
and the second was a 1936 light hearted comedy entitled Satan
Met a Lady, which starred Bette Davis and Warren William.
By not straying far away from its source material (in fact most say
it has been adapted word by word), Huston has created a picture which
is driven by fast paced and always informative dialogue which is spoken
by tough talking hard men and loud mouth dames. In turn concentration
is needed during these rapid fire exchanges, as crucial plot points
are contained in every line uttered leaving viewers out of the loop
if caught off guard.
Huston also went all out with his directorial debut, storyboarding
all of his scenes and drawing great performances from his cast, which
includes Humphrey Bogart who is in top form in his breakthrough role
as a hard as nails private eye; Mary Astor as Brigid O'Shaughnessy,
the damsel in distress who may not be so innocent; Peter Lorre as
the "fancy" weasel Joel Cairo; and Sydney Greenstreet who
shines in his debut role as Kasper "Fat man" Gutman.
A hard boiled, old school crime/mystery which brought upon the film-noir
genre, The Maltese Falcon is for those who love their cinema
black and white, dialogue driven, and unashamedly bad ass.