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

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The Maltese Falcon -- Cinematic masterpiece stars screen-legend Humphrey Bogart as private detective Sam Spade, a no-nonsense loner whose partner is killed while pursuing a case.
The Maltese Falcon -- Sam Spade, a private detective, gets involved in a murderous hunt for a valuable statuette.

Overview

User Rating:
8.2/10   101,517 votes »
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Up 18% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
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 2 wins See more »
User Reviews:
The Fat Man Cometh See more (328 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

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
Louis Kaufman .... musician: violin (uncredited)
Arthur Lange .... orchestrator (uncredited)
 
Other crew
Robert Foulk .... dialogue director
Meta Carpenter .... script clerk (uncredited)
Natacha Nahon .... french adaptation: original version with subtitles (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:
Mary Astor's off-screen notoriety was instrumental in her casting. She had been in several scandals concerning affairs she had been involved in during her marriage. When she first came to Hollywood had an affair with the much older John Barrymore, her husband had been killed in a plane crash, had been married multiple times--which was considered scandalous behavior in those times--and was an alcoholic. During a bitter custody hearing, a diary she had kept recounting her various sexual exploits was made public--her former secretary had stolen it and sold it to a newspaper--and the salacious details were splashed across the front pages of most newspapers in the country for the duration of the trial.See more »
Goofs:
Factual errors: The opening crawl begins, "In 1539, the Knight Templars[sic] of Malta, paid tribute to Charles V of Spain, by sending him a Golden Falcon..." This confuses two different religious orders of knights, both founded in Jerusalem. The Knights Hospitallers of the Order of St. John of Jerusalem, known as the Order of St. John for short, have existed since 1048; they were in fact based in Malta from 1530 to 1798 and hence were also called the Knights of Malta. On the other hand, the Knights of the Temple of Solomon, also called the Knights Templar or just Templars, were founded in 1119 and became the sworn enemies of the first order; this latter group was disbanded by 1312, after King Philip IV of France had declared them heretics so that he could confiscate their wealth.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 »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in Flushed Away (2006)See more »

FAQ

How much sex, violence, and profanity are in this movie?
What is a "gunsel"?
See more »
30 out of 35 people found the following review useful.
The Fat Man Cometh, 4 November 2007
Author: Lechuguilla from Dallas, Texas

Considered by many film historians as the very first noir film, "The Maltese Falcon" is cinematically important also for making Humphrey Bogart into a Hollywood star, and for being the debut of John Huston as film Director.

The film's story is complex and convoluted, typical of detective films of that era, and involves a valuable statuette. The plot stalls and meanders throughout most of the film, as we encounter an assortment of strange characters and side issues. But this is not a plot-driven film. It is character-driven.

And the main character, of course, is PI Sam Spade (Bogart). He's not a particularly nice guy. He comes across as overconfident and egotistic. He smirks a lot. But he's tough as nails. And he knows how to nail the bad guys. A big part of the film is Spade's relationship to femme fatale Brigid (Mary Astor). They engage each other in a battle of wits. And there's more than a hint of romantic involvement between the two. But Brigid is the one who propels Spade into the deceiving and double-crossing world of bad guys who yearn with greed for the priceless Maltese Falcon.

Enter Kasper Gutman, that thoroughly rotund and intimidating (in a gentlemanly sort of way) king of greed, portrayed with verve and panache by the inimitable Sydney Greenstreet. Gutman, AKA the "Fat Man", is nothing if not erudite and self-assured. In one scene, Sam Spade makes a bold offer. Gutman responds articulately: "That's an attitude sir that calls for the most delicate judgment on both sides, because as you know sir, in the heat of action, men are likely to forget where their best interests lie ...".

And Peter Lorre is a hoot as Gutman's mischievous elf, Joel Cairo, who tries, without success, to threaten Sam Spade, but only succeeds at getting on Sam's nerves.

The film's high contrast B&W lighting renders an effective noir look and feel, one that would be copied in films for years to come. Acting varies from very good to overly melodramatic. The script is very talky. For the most part, the film is just a series of conversations that take place in interior sets.

Stylistic and cinematically innovative, "The Maltese Falcon" has endured as a film classic. I suspect the main reason for its continued popularity is the continued popularity of Bogart. But I personally prefer the performance of Sydney Greenstreet, the enticing fat man. Yet, together they would reappear in later films, one of which would follow, in 1942, as the classic of all classics.

Was the above review useful to you?
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