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

Overview

User Rating:
8.2/10   90,853 votes »
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Down 4% 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:
Entertainment defined See more (304 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
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:
The now-famous seven-minute take - truly innovative in its day - took two days to rehearse.See more »
Goofs:
Continuity: When Dundy and Polhaus are in the Spade's house, Spade serves a drink to them. When he begins to serve, Dundy is standing and Polhaus sitting. Then Polhaus stands up in the right side of Spade. Next shot he is in front of Spade.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:

FAQ

What is a "gunsel"?
Elisha Cook Jr.---Did Hitchcock Want Him For A Film?
See more »
10 out of 15 people found the following review useful.
Entertainment defined, 25 October 2007
Author: ametaphysicalshark from prejudicemadeplausible.wordpress.com

"The Maltese Falcon" would be nothing without the muscular, cynical, and very entertaining lead performance from Humphrey Bogart. Well, 'nothing' maybe a bit of an overstatement- the film is inventive and interesting otherwise but Bogart's performance makes the film. This film established his career, helping him escape the dozens of cheap crime films he was in prior to this film. It's easy to see why audiences were impressed with his charismatic portrayal of no-nonsense tough guy Sam Spade. I wasn't overly impressed with Mary Astor's performance in the film; she wasn't a compelling love interest and failed to live up to the script's strong characterization. Sydney Greenstreet and Peter Lorre, however, completely make up for Astor's performance.

This film was John Huston's debut film, and it doesn't really feel like a debut film. It's quite accomplished, actually. The film is heavily stylized, perhaps more than any other film before it. It is also unflinching in its moral ambiguity (it was named the first film in the 'film-noir' genre by French critic Nino Frank, though I think other films qualify such as Howard Hawks' "Scarface") portraying harsh, cruel, cold individuals. Sam Spade is a realistic character, stylized perhaps, but realistic. He is not the perfect John Wayne all-American hero; he is harsh, cold, and even capable of murder. When his partner is killed Spade does not feel much of anything, reacting indifferently to the death and even kissing his widow during their first meeting after he hears the news. John Huston wanted this film to be more character-based and less plot-based than the two previous adaptations of the novel (which he called 'wretched pictures'). The care taken to provide good characterization in the script is clear to the audience. Indeed, "The Maltese Falcon" has a fairly complicated plot and it's easy to understand how a film can get bogged down in the plot and fail to entertain the audience or even tell a good story. Huston made a wise choice in reducing the plot to the background and focusing on the characters and dialogue.

Huston also pays close attention to visual composition of shots, painstakingly recreating the sleazy underbelly of San Francisco. San Francisco is traditionally used in film as a romantic setting, and it is remarkable how drastically different Huston's portrayal of the city is from the norm and how effective it is. Huston, after writing the very fun and smart script, storyboarded every scene in the film and the attention to detail is clear to those viewing the film. Often such meticulous planning carries over to the screen and interrupts the dramatic flow, but not in this case. The film flows exceptionally well and feels much shorter than its 100 minute running time. The result of all the care that went into the film is, by all accounts, excellent entertainment. It's smart, stylish, generally well-acted, and always captivating. "The Maltese Falcon" is surely one of the most promising debut films in history, promise and potential which Huston most certainly delivered on later in his career.

****/4

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Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for The Maltese Falcon (1941)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
Why is spade so indifferent when hearing his partner is killed? ronenfe
I have tried many times to watch this movie ruthlessroddy
Like the book barjo4
Bogart's incomparable screen presence jrl0726
Casablanca or The Maltese Falcon marhefka
plausibility problem brcanson-371-320454
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