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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

User Rating:
8.1/10   118,579 votes »
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Popularity: ?
Up 104% 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:
A Potpourri of Vestiges Review: Humphrey Bogart makes his highly deserved tryst with super-stardom in John Huston's directorial debut See more (353 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


Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

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 (re-rating) (2000s) | 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:TV-PG (TV rating) | USA:Approved (certificate #7457) | West Germany:16 (nf) (original rating)

Did You Know?

Trivia:
John Huston and company tickled themselves with a number of other on-set jokes. As Mary Astor recounted in her autobiography, the cast and crew had a system, whereby Huston would signal for a certain practical joke to be played for visitors to the set. For the benefit of visiting star-struck social clubwomen, the "No. 5" had Humphrey Bogart going into a prepared act with Sydney Greenstreet. He'd start yelling and cursing at him, calling him a fat old fool. "Who the hell do you think you are? You upstaged me, and I'm telling you I'm not having any--," at which point Huston would jump into the act, holding back Bogart's mock rage. Very quickly, the embarrassed and disillusioned ladies would shuffle towards the nearest exit. Meanwhile, the "No. 10" had Peter Lorre coming out of Astor's dressing room at the appropriate moment, adjusting his fly and saying, "See you later Mary."See more »
Goofs:
Factual errors: (at around 8 mins) When Spade is discussing the murder of Archer with Tom Polhaus, Polhaus says the murder weapon is a "Webley." Spade then goes on to describe the weapon as a "Webley-Forsby (sic), .45 Automatic, 8-shot." The manufacturer was Webley-Fosbery, though Sam may have just mis-pronounced it, but the similarity to "Thursby" is striking. What is most definitely wrong is the Webley-Fosbery Automatic Revolver was chambered in two calibers, .455 Webley MK II (not .45, a minor discrepancy) and .38 ACP. The .455 had only a six shot capacity and the .38 caliber was the 8-shot variant. The .455 Webley MK II was an unusual cartridge and would have been quite hard to find after 1915, the end of production for the pistol. The .38 ACP was more common and is still available today. In the Dashiell Hammett book, the weapon is correctly referred to as a .38 caliber, 8-shot.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:Customer?
Effie Perine:I guess so. You'll want to see her anyway. She's a knockout.
Sam Spade:Shoo her in, Effie darling, shoo her in.
See more »

FAQ

How much sex, violence, and profanity are in this movie?
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30 out of 35 people found the following review useful.
A Potpourri of Vestiges Review: Humphrey Bogart makes his highly deserved tryst with super-stardom in John Huston's directorial debut, 25 July 2011
Author: Murtaza Ali from India

Seven decades have passed but the suspense and thrill of The Maltese Falcon still reign supreme. The movie, despite being in black & white, appears strikingly refreshing both to the eyes and the intellect. Primarily remembered as John Huston's directorial debut, the movie played a decisive role in giving Film-Noire its true identity as a genre. The Maltese Falcon also gave Humphrey Bogart his highly deserved super-stardom that had hitherto eluded him. Huston creates an environment of suspicion, doubt and uncertainty that is so convoluted that even Hitchcock would be proud of it. The movie has multiple layers of mystery and suspense that keeps the viewer engaged throughout.

Sam Spade is a private detective who runs an agency with his partner Miles Archer. An ostensibly naive lady, Miss Wanderly offers them a task to pursue a man, Floyd Thursby, who has allegedly run off with her younger sister. The over-simplicity of task arouses Spade's suspicion, but Wanderly's lucrative offer makes the duo overlook it initially. Miles is killed during the pursuit and the police inform Spade of the mishap. Spade only discreetly tells the police that Miles was after a man named Thursby without disclosing anything about Miss Wandely. The police soon find Thursby dead as well and suspect Spade for killing him in an act of revenge. Soon Miles Archer's widow shows up at Spade's office and insinuates of her romantic involvement with Spade, who shuns her away after she tries to incriminate him for the murder. The police come across an anonymous lead and begin suspecting Spade for killing his partner, Miles. The plot thickens with the entry a couple of obscure characters including Joel Cairo, who happens be an acquaintance of Miss Wanderly. He is in pursuit of a highly precious, antique, gold statuette of Maltese Falcon and offers Spade five grands to help him find it. A game of cat and mouse soon ensues, between the various stake holders, which becomes deadlier as the stakes are raised.

Humphrey Bogart perfectly fits into the shoes of Spade—a sleek and sharp sleuth—and makes it his own in a manner that only someone of his grit and caliber could. Bogart is in top form right from the inception to the finale, stealing the spotlight in almost every scene that is he is part of. Bogart could only demonstrate his prodigious talent and acting prowess in short bursts during his long "B movie" stint in which he was mostly type-casted as a gangster. The Maltese Falcon was Bogart's big break after years of anticipation and he didn't leave a single stone unturned to prove his mettle. Bogart shows his class and stamps his authority as a performer during the portrayal of Spade: he is ever so quick-witted thanks to his sublime articulacy and his prowess at repartee seems unparalleled; the inherent cynicism in Spade and the perspicacity with which he operates soon became Bogart's trademark and catapulted him to super-stardom. Many regard Bogart's performance in Casablanca as his absolute best, but I rate his portrayal of Spade second only to his supernal portrayal of Dobbs in The Treasure of Sierre Madre, where he took acting to hitherto unattainable and unforeseeable heights.

John Huston uses the Midas touch he had as a screenwriter to strike all the right cords in his directorial debut. Almost everyone in the supporting cast gives a memorable performance with special mention of Peter Lorre as the deceptive Joel Cairo, Sydney Greenstreet as the witty yet dangerous Kasper Gutman and Mary Astor as the scheming Brigid O' Shaughnessy. The taut plot of the movie, which is masterfully adapted from the novel of the same name by Huston himself, is well complemented by the impressively written dialogs that are delivered with an equal prowess. Amidst the everlasting suspense the movie has an obvious undertone of dark humor that adds great value to the movie. The cinematography undoubtedly features amongst the best works of the time.

The Maltese Falcon is not merely a Noire masterpiece but also a testament to the true spirit of cinema that has kept itself alive despite decades of relentless mutilation and sabotage in the name of commercial movie-making. Despite being devoid of modern-day gimmicks the movie is incredibly high on suspense and holds the viewer in a vice-like grip throughout its runtime. It's a real shame that movies like these are seldom made these days. The tone of the movie is such that it makes suspense thrillers of today appear like kids cartoon.

PS. The movie is an ode to Bogart, Huston and all those who made it a reality. It's suspense cinema at its absolute best with a completely different treatment to themes propagated by the likes of Hitchcock. It's a must for all the Bogart fans worldwide, and absolutely essential for all those who have a penchant for Film-Noire as a genre. 10/10

http://www.apotpourriofvestiges.com/

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