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The Maltese Falcon
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The Maltese Falcon (1941) More at IMDbPro »

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The Maltese Falcon -- Sam Spade, a private detective, gets involved in a murderous hunt for a valuable statuette.

Overview

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8.2/10   88,946 votes »
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Director:
Writers:
John Huston (screenplay)
Dashiell Hammett (based upon the novel by)
Contact:
View company contact information for The Maltese Falcon on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
18 October 1941 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
It's thrilling . . . it's chilling . . . it's the most baffling mystery story in years ! See more »
Plot:
A private detective takes on a case that involves him with three eccentric criminals, a gorgeous liar, and their quest for a priceless statuette. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 1 win See more »
User Reviews:
"I Won't Play The Sap For You." See more (302 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)
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Directed by
John Huston 
 
Writing credits
John Huston (screenplay)

Dashiell Hammett (based upon the novel by)

Produced by
Henry Blanke .... associate producer
Hal B. Wallis .... executive producer
 
Original Music by
Adolph Deutsch 
 
Cinematography by
Arthur Edeson (director of photography)
 
Film Editing by
Thomas Richards (film editor)
 
Art Direction by
Robert M. Haas  (as Robert Haas)
 
Costume Design by
Orry-Kelly (gowns)
 
Makeup Department
Perc Westmore .... makeup artist
Frank McCoy .... makeup artist (uncredited)
Jean Udko .... hair (uncredited)
 
Production Management
Al Alleborn .... unit manager (uncredited)
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Claude Archer .... assistant director (uncredited)
John Prettyman .... second assistant director (uncredited)
Jack Sullivan .... assistant director (uncredited)
 
Art Department
John Gilbert Kissel .... props (uncredited)
Keefe Maley .... assistant props (uncredited)
William McConnell .... scenic artist (uncredited)
 
Sound Department
Oliver S. Garretson .... sound
 
Camera and Electrical Department
William Conger .... gaffer (uncredited)
E.F. Dexter .... grip (uncredited)
Mack Elliott .... still photographer (uncredited)
Mike Joyce .... camera operator (uncredited)
Wally Meinardus .... assistant camera (uncredited)
William Steudeman .... best boy (uncredited)
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Burrell Kring .... wardrobe man (uncredited)
Cora Lobb .... wardrobe woman (uncredited)
 
Music Department
Leo F. Forbstein .... musical director
Arthur Lange .... orchestrator (uncredited)
 
Other crew
Robert Foulk .... dialogue director
Meta Carpenter .... script clerk (uncredited)
 
Crew verified as complete


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Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
100 min
Country:
Language:
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (RCA Sound System)
Certification:
Argentina:13 | Australia:PG | Australia:G (TV rating) | Brazil:12 | Canada:PG (Manitoba/Ontario) | Canada:G (Nova Scotia/Quebec) | Finland:K-12 (1987) | Finland:K-16 (1946) | Germany:12 | Iceland:L | Netherlands:AL | New Zealand:PG | Norway:16 (1945) | South Korea:12 (2003) | Spain:T | Sweden:15 (re-rating) (1943) | Sweden:(Banned) (1942) | UK:A (original rating) | UK:PG (video rating) | USA:Not Rated | USA:TV-PG (TV rating) | USA:Approved (certificate #7457) | West Germany:16 (nf)

Did You Know?

Trivia:
There is an inordinate amount of smoking done by the main actors in this film. According to then-studio employee (and future screenwriter) Stuart Jerome, this resulted in a feud between stars Humphrey Bogart and Peter Lorre, and studio head Jack L. Warner. Warner hated to see actors smoking on the screen, fearing it would prompt smokers in the movie audience to step out into the lobby for a cigarette. During the filming of The Maltese Falcon (1941), Warner told director John Huston that smoking in the film should be kept to a minimum. Bogart and Lorre thought it would be fun to annoy Warner by smoking as often as possible, and got their co-stars, Mary Astor and Sydney Greenstreet to go along with the joke. During the initial filming of the climactic confrontation, all four actors smoked heavily. After seeing the rushes, Warner furiously called Huston to his office and threatened to fire him from the picture if he didn't tell Bogart and Lorre to knock it off. Realizing their prank had backfired, Bogart and Lorre agreed to stop smoking on camera. However, when the next series of rushes came back, it was obvious that the *lack* of smoking by the actors was taking away from the sinister mood of the scene. Huston went back to Jack Warner, and convinced him that the smoking added the right amount of atmospheric tension to the story, arguing that the characters *would* smoke cigarettes while waiting nervously for the Maltese Falcon to arrive.See more »
Goofs:
Incorrectly regarded as goofs: Spade refers to the gun as an automatic, yet he is shown a revolver. The gun shown is a Webley-Fosbery automatic. This was a revolver that used the recoil of the shot to turn the cylinder and re-cock the weapon. It was very well made, but susceptible to dirt and fouling and so, as Spade said, "They don't make 'em anymore". However, it was made in two versions, a six-shot .455 and an eight-shot .38 ACP, so it can't actually be an eight-shot .45 as Spade says it is.See more »
Quotes:
[first lines]
Sam Spade:Yes, sweetheart?
Effie Perine:There's a girl wants to see you. Her name's Wonderly.
Sam Spade:A customer?
Effie Perine:I guess so. You'll want to see her anyway. She's a knockout.
See more »

FAQ

What is a "gunsel"?
Elisha Cook Jr.---Did Hitchcock Want Him For A Film?
See more »
60 out of 83 people found the following review useful.
"I Won't Play The Sap For You.", 20 January 2006
Author: bkoganbing from Buffalo, New York

The Maltese Falcon has a totally atypical Hollywood history. After two previous filmings of Dashiell Hammett's novel, the third time a classic film was achieved. Usually the original is best and the remakes are the inferior product.

These characters that John Huston wrote and breathed life into with his direction are so vital and alive even 65 years after the premiere of The Maltese Falcon. You can watch this one fifty times and still be entertained by it.

I'm not sure how the code let this one slip through. Humphrey Bogart as Sam Spade is partners with Jerome Cowan in a detective agency Spade and Archer. Client Mary Astor comes into their office requesting help in getting rid of a man who's intruding in on her life. Jerome Cowan as Miles Archer eagerly takes the assignment and gets himself bumped off for his troubles.

Cowan is quite the skirt chaser and he certainly isn't the first or the last man to think with his hormones. That's OK because Bogart's been fooling around with his wife, Gladys George. That gives the police, Barton MacLane and Ward Bond, motive enough to suspect Bogart might have had a hand in Cowan's death.

As fans of The Maltese Falcon are well aware, there's quite a bit more to the story than that. Bogart's investigation leads him to a crew of adventurous crooks, Sydney Greenstreet, Peter Lorre, and Elisha Cook, Jr. who are in pursuit of a statue of a Falcon that is said to be encrusted in gold and precious jewels.

The Maltese Falcon is a milestone film role for Humphrey Bogart. It is the first time that Bogey was ever first billed in an A picture while he was at Warner Brothers. In fact this is also John Huston's first film as a director. He had previously just been a screenwriter and in fact got an Oscar nomination for the screenplay he wrote here. There are some who will argue that this first film is Huston's best work and I'd be hard up to dispute that.

After a long career on stage The Maltese Falcon was the screen debut of Sydney Greenstreet. Greenstreet may be orally flatulent here, but there's no doubt to the menace he exudes while he's on screen. Greenstreet got an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor, but lost to Donald Crisp for How Green Was My Valley. Greenstreet created quite a gallery of characters for the next ten years, mostly for Warner Brothers.

A favorite character of mine in The Maltese Falcon has always been Lee Patrick as Effie, the secretary at Spade&Archer. She's loyal, efficient and crushing out on Bogey big time. This and the part of Mrs. Topper in the television series Topper are Lee Patrick's career roles. I never watch The Maltese Falcon without hoping that Bogey will recognize how really "precious" Effie is.

The Maltese Falcon will be entertaining people hundreds of years from now. And please no more remakes of this one.

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The 'romance' between O'Shaughnessy and Sam FilmKoala
Does watching noir influence your ideas on the causes of crime? Homer_Mandrill
YOU STUPID FAT-HEAD, YOU!! TheHighVoltageMessiah
Humphrey Bogart Question thomaswilliamboner
Casablanca or The Maltese Falcon marhefka
I have tried many times to watch this movie ruthlessroddy
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