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The Maltese Falcon (1931)

A lovely dame with dangerous lies employs the services of a private detective, who is quickly caught up in the mystery and intrigue of a statuette known as the Maltese Falcon.

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(based on the novel by), (screen play & dialogue) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

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Otto Matieson ...
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Storyline

Sam Spade is quite the womanizer. When his secretary tells him the new customer waiting outside his office is a knockout, he wastes no time before seeing her. It turns out she's a knockout with money. And she wants to spend it on his services as a private detective. She has some story about wanting to protect her sister. Neither he nor his partner, Miles Archer, believes it. But with the money she's paying, who cares? The job proves to be more dangerous than either of them expected. It involves not just the lovely dame with the dangerous lies, but also the sweaty Casper Gutman, the fey Joel Cairo, and the thuggish young Wilmer Cook. Three crooks, and all of them are looking for the statuette of a black bird they call the Maltese Falcon. Written by J. Spurlin

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Release Date:

13 June 1931 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Dangerous Female  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Vitaphone production reels #4808-4816 and #4781 (trailer) See more »

Goofs

In Spade's apartment, Ruth opens a wound on Cairo's forehead. Shortly afterward, when Cairo goes to see Gutman, there is no sign of the wound. See more »

Quotes

Casper Gutman: You're a close-mouthed man, sir.
Sam Spade: No, I like to talk.
Casper Gutman: We'll talk if you like. And I'll tell you right now that I'm a man who likes to talk to a man who likes to talk.
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Connections

Referenced in Footsteps in the Dark (1941) See more »

Soundtracks

Golden Gate
(uncredited)
Written by James Brockman and James Kendis
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User Reviews

Wilmer is played by Renfield!
31 May 2001 | by (Vancouver, Canada) – See all my reviews

DWIGHT FRYE plays Wilmer Cook in this version! Imagine my amazement at finding this out. Don't get me wrong, Elisha Cook Jnr. was extremely good in the later version and Dwight's role is considerably smaller but if you asked me to pick which one was the deffinitive Wilmer I would have a very hard time. The role does not call for subtlety; Wilmer is a psychotic who enjoys his work a little too much. Both men do an admirable job playing a role that is more complex than appears on the surface. The audiences first impression is to laugh at the baby faced kid waving his big .45 automatics around and talking tough but as soon as we find out that not only is he not shy about using his weapons he is darn good with them too he becomes a frightening image because his young, fresh faced looks hide a true monster beneath the surface. Well done, Dwight. I have a new respect for this hard-to-find early version of the famous novel now and it's all thanks to you.


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