7.3/10
2,372
38 user 17 critic

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.

Director:

Writers:

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

People who liked this also liked... 

Drama | Film-Noir | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Sardonic detective Shane, thrown out of one town for bringing trouble, heads for home and his ex-partner's detective agency. The business is in a sad way, and Shane, who has had the ... See full summary »

Director: William Dieterle
Stars: Bette Davis, Warren William, Alison Skipworth
Film-Noir | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

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
Stars: Humphrey Bogart, Mary Astor, Gladys George
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A con man on the run from the police falls for a librarian.

Director: Wesley Ruggles
Stars: Clark Gable, Carole Lombard, Dorothy Mackaill
Certificate: Passed Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

The career of a waitress takes off when she meets an amiable drunken Hollywood producer.

Director: George Cukor
Stars: Constance Bennett, Lowell Sherman, Neil Hamilton
Midnight Mary (1933)
Certificate: Passed Crime | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

An abused orphan sinks into a life of crime.

Director: William A. Wellman
Stars: Loretta Young, Franchot Tone, Ricardo Cortez
Certificate: Passed Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A famous female flier and a member of Parliament drift into a potentially disastrous affair.

Director: Dorothy Arzner
Stars: Katharine Hepburn, Colin Clive, Billie Burke
Crime | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Attractive Nan, member of a bank-robbery gang, goes to prison thanks to evangelist Dave Slade...who loves her.

Directors: Howard Bretherton, William Keighley
Stars: Barbara Stanwyck, Preston Foster, Lyle Talbot
Crime | Film-Noir | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

The lady editor of a crime magazine hires Philip Marlowe to find the wife of her boss. The private detective soon finds himself involved in murder.

Director: Robert Montgomery
Stars: Robert Montgomery, Audrey Totter, Lloyd Nolan
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Two young women find their friendship strained when one wins a role in a Broadway show, and the other's boyfriend begins to fall for her.

Director: Edmund Goulding
Stars: Marion Davies, Robert Montgomery, Billie Dove
Possessed (1931)
Certificate: Passed Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

An ambitious factory girl meets a handsome, wealthy lawyer, but he's interested in her as a mistress, not a wife.

Director: Clarence Brown
Stars: Joan Crawford, Clark Gable, Wallace Ford
Crime | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Five members of a teen-age gang, including leader Jimmy Smith, are sent to the State Reformatory, presided over by the melodramatically callous Thompson. Soon, Patsy Gargan, a former ... See full summary »

Directors: Archie Mayo, Michael Curtiz
Stars: James Cagney, Madge Evans, Arthur Byron
Drama | Film-Noir | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A naive small-town girl comes to New York City to meet her husband, and discovers that he may be a murderer.

Director: William Castle
Stars: Robert Mitchum, Kim Hunter, Dean Jagger
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
...
...
...
Otto Matieson ...
...
Miles Archer
...
...
Det. Sgt. Tom Polhouse
Edit

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

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

13 June 1931 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Dangerous Female  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show more on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Art director Robert M. Haas performed the same function on The Maltese Falcon (1941). See more »

Goofs

The same prop is used for the suitcase that Spade finds in Miss Wonderly's room and the suitcase which contains the falcon. The travel stickers are identical on each one. See more »

Quotes

Sam Spade: He'd have gone up that alley with you, honey.
Ruth Wonderly: Sam, don't talk to me like that!
Sam Spade: And if you had asked him to go up that alley with you and he, you knew no one else was there, he would have gone. And then you could have stood with your body up close against his and he would have grinned from ear to ear.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Cinema Snob: The Babe Ruth Story (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

For You
(uncredited)
Written by Joseph A. Burke and Al Dubin
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
I Liked It Better
15 December 2012 | by See all my reviews

Despite the silent-to-talkie transition style, I liked this one better than the Bogart one. In fact, I think it exposes Bogart's counterfeit toughness (among other things, he was too short). Ricardo Cortez was a great choice. Perhaps George Raft might have been a better Sam Spade in the 1941 version. The similarity in dialogue between the two movies begs the issue of insufficient originality in the later version.

Comparing 1931 v 1941 characters, I think only Sydney Greenstreet provides a more interesting product. As the same (or similar) character, Alison Skipworth, as Madame Barabbas in Satan Met a Lady 1936, finishes second. From that same movie, Marie Wilson finishes second to Una Merkel as Effie, with 1941's Lee Patrick a distant third.

I like them all. I like the structure of the mystery. It reminds me (it's just me) a little of John Le Carre mysteries where, as in Tinker Tailor, the investigator knows the answer from the beginning.


3 of 3 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?
Review this title | See all 38 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Watch the Latest Episode of "The IMDb Show"

Katee Sackhoff talks about her characters on "Battlestar Galactica," "Star Wars: Rebels," and "The Flash." Plus, "The IMDb Show" learns what it takes to wield a lightsaber.

Watch the show