Edit
The Maltese Falcon (1941) Poster

Quotes

Sam Spade: When you're slapped, you'll take it and like it.

[last lines]

Detective Tom Polhaus: [picks up the falcon] Heavy. What is it?

Sam Spade: The, uh, stuff that dreams are made of.

Detective Tom Polhaus: Huh?

Kasper Gutman: I couldn't be fonder of you if you were my own son. But, well, if you lose a son, it's possible to get another. There's only one Maltese Falcon.

Joel Cairo: You... you bungled it. You and your stupid attempt to buy it. Kemedov found out how valuable it was, no wonder we had such an easy time stealing it. You... you imbecile. You bloated idiot. You stupid fat-head you.

[cries]

Sam Spade: [to Effie] You're a good man, sister.

Kasper Gutman: You're a close-mouthed man?

Sam Spade: Nah, I like to talk.

Kasper Gutman: Better and better. I distrust a close-mouthed man. He generally picks the wrong time to talk and says the wrong things. Talking's something you can't do judiciously, unless you keep in practice.

[sits back]

Kasper Gutman: Now, sir. We'll talk, if you like. I'll tell you right out, I am a man who likes talking to a man who likes to talk.

Sam Spade: Swell. Will we talk about the black bird?

Wilmer Cook: Keep on riding me and they're gonna be picking iron out of your liver.

Sam Spade: The cheaper the crook, the gaudier the patter.

7 of 7 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink

Sam Spade: Haven't you tried to buy my loyalty with money and nothing else?

Brigid O'Shaughnessy: What else is there I can buy you with?

7 of 7 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink

Sam Spade: I hope they don't hang you, precious, by that sweet neck. Yes, angel, I'm gonna send you over. The chances are you'll get off with life. That means if you're a good girl, you'll be out in 20 years. I'll be waiting for you. If they hang you, I'll always remember you.

9 of 10 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink

Spade: When a man's partner is killed, he's supposed to do something about it. It doesn't make any difference what you thought of him. He was your partner and you're supposed to do something about it. And it happens we're in the detective business. Well, when one of your organization gets killed, it's-it's bad business to let the killer get away with it, bad all around, bad for every detective everywhere.

5 of 5 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink

Spade: We didn't exactly believe your story, Miss O'Shaughnessy. We believed your 200 dollars. I mean, you paid us more than if you had been telling us the truth, and enough more to make it all right.

5 of 5 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink

Brigid O'Shaughnessy: I haven't lived a good life. I've been bad, worse than you could know.

Sam Spade: You know, that's good, because if you actually were as innocent as you pretend to be, we'd never get anywhere.

4 of 4 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink

Spade: I hope you're not letting yourself be influenced by the guns these pocket-edition desperadoes are waving around, because I've practiced taking guns from these boys before; so we'll have no trouble there.

4 of 4 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink

Brigid O'Shaughnessy: Mr. Archer was so alive yesterday, so solid and hearty...

Sam Spade: Stop it. He knew what he was doing. Those are the chances we take.

Brigid O'Shaughnessy: Was he married?

Sam Spade: Yeah, with ten thousand insurance, no children, and a wife that didn't like him.

4 of 4 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink

Joel Cairo: Might I remind you Mr. Spade that you may have the falcon, but we certainly have you.

4 of 4 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink

Kasper Gutman: Well, sir, what do you suggest? We stand here and shed tears and call each other names... or shall we go to Istanbul?

Joel Cairo: Are you going?

Kasper Gutman: Seventeen years I've wanted that little item and I've been trying to get it. If we must spend another year on the quest... well, sir, it will be an additional expenditure in time of only... five and fifteen seventeenths percent.

4 of 4 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink

[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.

4 of 4 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink

Kasper Gutman: Here's to plain speaking and clear understanding.

3 of 3 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink

Sam Spade: [impatiently] Now, let's *talk* about the black bird.

Kasper Gutman: Let's. Mr. Spade, have you any conception of how much money can be got for that black bird?

Sam Spade: No.

Kasper Gutman: Well, sir, if I told you... If I told you *half*... you'd call me a liar.

Sam Spade: No, not even if I thought so.

3 of 3 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink

Joel Cairo: You always have a very smooth explanation ready.

Sam Spade: What do you want me to do, learn to stutter?

3 of 3 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink

Kasper Gutman: I distrust a man who says "when." If he's got to be careful not to drink too much, it's because he's not to be trusted when he does.

3 of 3 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink

Sam Spade: You're good. You're very good.

3 of 3 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink

Brigid O'Shaughnessy: He has a wife and three children in England.

Sam Spade: They usually do, though not always in England.

3 of 3 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink

Brigid O'Shaughnessy: Help me.

Sam Spade: You won't need much of anybody's help. You're good. Chiefly your eyes, I think, and that throb you get in your voice when you say things like 'Be generous, Mr. Spade.'

Brigid O'Shaughnessy: I deserve that. But the lie was in the way I said it, not at all in what I said. It's my own fault if you can't believe me now.

Sam Spade: Ah, now you are dangerous.

3 of 3 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink

Sam Spade: You're a good man, sister.

3 of 3 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink

Sam Spade: [after disarming Wilmer] This'll put you in solid with your boss.

3 of 3 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink

Sam Spade: Don't be too sure I'm as crooked as I'm supposed to be.

3 of 3 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink

[first title card]

Title Card: In 1539, the Knight Templars of Malta, paid tribute to Charles V of Spain, by sending him a Golden Falcon encrusted from beak to claw with rarest jewels ~~~~~ but pirates seized the galley carrying this priceless token and the fate of the Maltese Falcon remains a mystery to this day ~~~

3 of 3 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink

Sam Spade: Ten thousand? We were talking about a lot more money than this.

Kasper Gutman: Yes, sir, we were, but this is genuine coin of the realm. With a dollar of this, you can buy ten dollars of talk.

2 of 2 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink

Bryan: Who killed Thursby?

Sam Spade: I don't know.

Bryan: Perhaps you don't, but you could make an excellent guess.

Sam Spade: My guess might be excellent or it might be crummy, but Mrs. Spade didn't raise any children dippy enough to make guesses in front of a district attorney, and an assistant district attorney and a stenographer.

Bryan: Why shouldn't you, if you have nothing to conceal?

Sam Spade: Everybody has something to conceal.

Bryan: I'm a sworn officer of the law, 24 hours a day, and neither formality nor informality justifies you withholding evidence of crime from me. Except, of course, on constitutional grounds.

Sam Spade: [ranting] Now, both you and the police have as much as accused me of being mixed up in the other night's murders. Well, I've had trouble with both of you before. And as far as I can see my best chance of clearing myself of the trouble you're trying to make for me, is by bringing in the murderers all tied up. And the only chance I've got of catching them, and tying them up, and bringing them in, is by staying as far away as possible from you and the police, because you'd only gum up the works.

[turns to stenographer]

Sam Spade: You getting this all right, son, or am I goin' too fast for ya?

Stenographer: No, sir, I'm getting it all right.

Sam Spade: Good work.

2 of 2 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink

Sam Spade: If you kill me, how are you gonna get the bird? And if I know you can't afford to kill me, how are you gonna scare me into giving it to you?

2 of 2 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink

Sam Spade: You killed Miles and you're going over for it.

2 of 2 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink

Kasper Gutman: The best goodbyes are short. Adieu.

2 of 2 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink

Kasper Gutman: By Gad, sir, you are a character. There's never any telling what you'll say or do next, except that it's bound to be something astonishing.

2 of 2 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink

Brigid O'Shaughnessy: I do know he always went heavily armed, and that he never went to sleep without covering the floor around his bed with crumpled newspapers, so that nobody could come silently into his room.

Sam Spade: You picked a nice sort of a playmate.

Brigid O'Shaughnessy: Only that sort could have helped me, if he'd been loyal.

2 of 2 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink

Joel Cairo: I certainly wish you would have invented a more reasonable story. I felt distinctly like an idiot repeating it.

Sam Spade: Don't worry about the story's goofiness. A sensible one would have had us all in the cooler.

2 of 2 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink

Sam Spade: All we've got is that maybe you love me and maybe I love you.

Brigid O'Shaughnessy: You know whether you love me or not.

Sam Spade: Maybe I do. I'll have some rotten nights after I've sent you over, but that'll pass.

2 of 2 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink

Sam Spade: Haven't you anything better to do than to keep popping in here early every morning and asking a lot of fool questions?

Lt. Dundy: And gettin' a lot of lyin' answers!

Sam Spade: Take it easy.

2 of 2 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink

Sam Spade: Here.

[hands him Wilmer's guns]

Sam Spade: You shouldn't let him go around with these on him, he might get himself hurt.

Kasper Gutman: Well, well, what's this?

Sam Spade: A crippled newsie took 'em away from him. I made him give 'em back.

2 of 2 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink

Kasper Gutman: That's an attitude, sir, that calls for the most delicate judgment on both sides. 'Cause as you know, sir, in the heat of action men are likely to forget where their best interests lie and let their emotions carry them away.

2 of 2 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink

Brigid O'Shaughnessy: What would you do if I didn't tell you? Something wild and unpredictable?

Spade: I might.

2 of 2 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink

Sam Spade: If you kill me, how are you going get the bird? And if I know you can't afford to kill me, how are you going to scare me into giving it to you?

Kasper Gutman: Well, sir, there are other means of persuasion besides killing and threatening to kill.

Sam Spade: Yes, that's... That's true. But, there're none of them any good unless the threat of death is behind them. You see what I mean? If you start something, I'll make it a matter of your having to kill me or call it off.

Kasper Gutman: 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 let their emotions carry them away.

Sam Spade: Then the trick from my angle is to make my play strong enough to tie you up, but not make you mad enough to bump me off against your better judgment.

Kasper Gutman: By gad, sir, you are a character.

2 of 2 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink

Sam Spade: I don't mind a reasonable amount of trouble.

4 of 6 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink

Kasper Gutman: These are facts, historical facts, not schoolbook history, not Mr. Wells' history, but history nevertheless.

1 of 1 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink

Joel Cairo: I am prepared to pay five thousand dollars for the figure's return. Do you have it?

Sam Spade: No.

Joel Cairo: But if it isn't here, why did you risk serious injury to prevent my searching for it?

Sam Spade: Why should I sit around here and let people come in and stick me up?

Joel Cairo: But certainly it is only natural that I try to save the owner such a considerable expense if possible.

1 of 1 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink

Sam Spade: People lose teeth talking like that. If you want to hang around, you'll be polite.

1 of 1 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink

[to Spade]

Joel Cairo: No, no. Our private conversations have not been such that I am anxious to continue them. Forgive me for speaking so bluntly, but it is the truth.

1 of 1 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink

Sam Spade: You gotta convince me that you know what this is all about, that you aren't just fiddling around hoping it'll all... come out right in the end!

1 of 1 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink

Effie Perine: Look at me, Sam. You worry me. You always think you know what you're doing, but you're too slick for your own good. Some day you're going to find it out.

1 of 1 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink

Sam Spade: You don't have to trust me as long as you can persuade me to trust you.

1 of 1 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink

Wilmer Cook: Keep askin' for it and you're gonna get it... plenty. I told you to shove off... shove off.

Sam Spade: People lose teeth talkin' like that. You wanna hang around, you'll be polite.

1 of 1 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink

Joel Cairo: Look what you did to my shirt.

1 of 2 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink

Lt. Dundy: Well you know me Spade, if you did it or if you didn't, you'll get a square deal from me and most of the breaks. Don't know as I'd blame you much - man that killed your partner. But that won't stop me from nailing ya.

Sam Spade: Fair enough

Is this interesting? Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink

See also

Trivia | Goofs | Crazy Credits | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

Contribute to This Page