6.8/10
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The Maltese Falcon (1931)

Passed | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | 13 June 1931 (USA)
A lovely dame with dangerous lies employs the services of a private detective, who is quickly caught up in the mystery and intrigue of a statuette known as the Maltese Falcon.

Director:

Roy Del Ruth

Writers:

Dashiell Hammett (based on the novel by), Maude Fulton (screen play & dialogue) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Bebe Daniels ... Ruth Wonderly
Ricardo Cortez ... Sam Spade
Dudley Digges ... Casper Gutman
Una Merkel ... Effie Perine
Robert Elliott ... Detective Lt. Dundy
Thelma Todd ... Iva Archer
Otto Matieson ... Dr. Joel Cairo
Walter Long ... Miles Archer
Dwight Frye ... Wilmer Cook
J. Farrell MacDonald ... Det. Sgt. Tom Polhouse
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Storyline

Sam Spade is quite the womanizer. When his secretary tells him the new customer waiting outside his office is a knockout, he wastes no time before seeing her. It turns out she's a knockout with money. And she wants to spend it on his services as a private detective. She has some story about wanting to protect her sister. Neither he nor his partner, Miles Archer, believes it. But with the money she's paying, who cares? The job proves to be more dangerous than either of them expected. It involves not just the lovely dame with the dangerous lies, but also the sweaty Casper Gutman, the fey Joel Cairo, and the thuggish young Wilmer Cook. Three crooks, and all of them are looking for the statuette of a black bird they call the Maltese Falcon. Written by J. Spurlin

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

when WOMAN'S WEAPONS FAIL-SHE USES MAN'S! (Print Ad- Utica Observer-Dispatch, ((Utica, NY)) 7 June 1931) See more »


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

When originally sold to television in the 1950s, the title was changed to "Dangerous Female" in order to avoid confusion with its illustrious remake, The Maltese Falcon (1941). Fifty years later, Turner Classic Movies restored its original title card. However, as recently as April 27, 2017, the service used by cable companies to provide data for their viewing guides used the "Dangerous Female" title for TCM's showing of the movie on that date. See more »

Goofs

In the second-to-last scene, as Spade identifies killers to the police, his robe goes from being relatively neat to sloppy. See more »

Quotes

Ruth Wonderly: Oh, I'm so tired, Sam. Tired of everything, of myself, of lying, of thinking up lies, until I don't know a lie from the truth.
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Connections

Referenced in The Cinema Snob: The Babe Ruth Story (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

Golden Gate
(uncredited)
Written by James Brockman and James Kendis
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User Reviews

Wilmer is played by Renfield!
31 May 2001 | by reptilicusSee all my reviews

DWIGHT FRYE plays Wilmer Cook in this version! Imagine my amazement at finding this out. Don't get me wrong, Elisha Cook Jnr. was extremely good in the later version and Dwight's role is considerably smaller but if you asked me to pick which one was the deffinitive Wilmer I would have a very hard time. The role does not call for subtlety; Wilmer is a psychotic who enjoys his work a little too much. Both men do an admirable job playing a role that is more complex than appears on the surface. The audiences first impression is to laugh at the baby faced kid waving his big .45 automatics around and talking tough but as soon as we find out that not only is he not shy about using his weapons he is darn good with them too he becomes a frightening image because his young, fresh faced looks hide a true monster beneath the surface. Well done, Dwight. I have a new respect for this hard-to-find early version of the famous novel now and it's all thanks to you.


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Chinese

Release Date:

13 June 1931 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Dangerous Female See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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