Listen to my podcast on “The Maltese Falcon:”
Sometimes old movies can be really good. But without the correct background knowledge it’s sometimes hard to see the genius in a film for its day. I think a little of both was going on for me as I watched the classic “The Maltese Falcon.”
The Maltese Falcon (1941)
Not Rated | 1h 40min | Film-Noir, Mystery | 18 October 1941 (USA)
A private detective takes on a case that involves him with three eccentric criminals, a gorgeous liar, and their quest for a priceless statuette.
Director: John Huston
Writers: John Huston (screenplay), Dashiell Hammett (based upon the novel by)
Stars: Humphrey Bogart, Mary Astor, Gladys George
Humphrey Bogart is a talented actor, who can deny it? The strength of his vocal delivery and his calm, cool mannerisms like lighting a cigarette are what made him a star and kept him there in the public perception, even now.
You’ll notice the film poster highlights Bogart holding guns and reads “Explosive … Blazing.” Bogart was famous for guns as well as for romancing the ladies. Both of which were utilized in the content and advertising for this film. They’re his “gimmick” if you will. He was like a Bruce Willis in the gun aspect. I think marketing a known talent has been going on even to 1941.
Mary Astor is a beautiful actress with an innate talent for playing the “needy woman.” There is also a quiet strength to this character that Bogart’s character has a hard time reconciling. Perhaps he’s used to women whose minds he can control. It’s hard to tell in the beginning of the film who the least sincere is.
This is a story of a lost jeweled bird and a woman who hires a private detective to get it back. It’s a film Noir and definitely representative of its time. For old film fans, this film is a must. You get to see two amazing actors as well as the scenes and props from the day. For this audience I’d give it an 8/10.