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The Black Bird (1975)

The son of famous detective Sam Spade carries on the family tradition of getting involved with the Maltese Falcon - and with the people who will stop at nothing, including murder, to get it.

Director:

David Giler

Writers:

Dashiell Hammett (characters), David Giler (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Credited cast:
George Segal ... Sam Spade Jr.
Stéphane Audran ... Anna Kemidov
Lionel Stander ... Gordon Immerman
Lee Patrick ... Effie
Elisha Cook Jr. ... Wilmer Cook
Felix Silla ... Litvak
Signe Hasso ... Dr. Crippen
John Abbott ... DuQuai
Connie Kreski Connie Kreski ... Decoy Girl
Titus Napoleon Titus Napoleon ... Hawaiian Thug
Harry Kenoi Harry Kenoi ... Hawaiian Thug
Howard Jeffrey Howard Jeffrey ... Kerkorian
Ken Swofford ... Brad McCormack
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
John Alderman ... Patron in Ballroom
Eumenio Blanco ... Hernadez
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Storyline

After the death of private detective Sam Spade, his son, Sam Spade Jr. (who only knew his father very briefly) is forced to inherit his San Francisco detective agency, much to his chagrin. He also must keep his father's sarcastic secretary, Effie Perrine ("Godzilla"), and must continue his father's tradition of "serving minorities". One day, an obese man named Caspar Gutman is killed just outside Spade's building, his last words being "It's black and as long as your arm". Later on, Spade is given an offer by a member of the Order of St. John's Hospital to purchase his father's useless copy of the Maltese Falcon. A right-wing thug named Gordon Immerman (Spade calls him "Andrew Jackson" after he gave Spade his "calling card", a bill), has been hired to make sure Spade delivers the bird, but he quickly warms to the detective, although the feeling is not mutual. Later on, he gets an offer from a Wilmer Cook, but before they can negotiate, he is killed. Shortly thereafter, he encounters a ... Written by Joel Cairo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Why is everyone after George Segal's bird? See more »


Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

15 April 1976 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Tail of the Maltese Falcon See more »

Filming Locations:

San Francisco, California, USA See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (VHS release)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Cameo performance: director David Giler as the man printing a sign on Sam Spade Jr.'s door. See more »

Connections

Spun-off from The Maltese Falcon (1941) See more »

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User Reviews

uncoventional comedy, confusing and politically incorrect
30 March 2003 | by vchimpanzeeSee all my reviews

In 1975 San Francisco, Sam Spade Jr. has taken over his father's private investigation business, but he does not like the work, or his father's obnoxious secretary. One of the father's big cases comes back to haunt the young Spade. A man offers a lot of money for a statue which may or may not be the Maltese Falcon. In fact, there are several large offers for the bird, and it might be worth millions if it is the genuine article. A European woman who has some trouble with English claims to want the bird to help a children's hospital. And Spade gets unwanted help from a crazy character (one of the movie's funniest) who he calls 'Andrew Jackson' after the man offers a $20 bill for Spade's time. Whatever the significance of the bird, someone must want it badly because people start dying.

The movie started out really funny and showed promise, but later it lost something. The second half proved much funnier than the first. The jokes were not always obvious, and sometimes you had to pay close attention to realize why something was funny. Sometimes the jokes came at a rapid-fire pace, but other times I felt unsatisfied. One running gag was a rental car with a mind of its own. The last gag involving the car was hilarious. Overall, the movie proved to be worthwhile, but not quite in a league with similar style comedies such as 'Airplane!'

People offended by political incorrectness should probably stay away, but to me politically incorrect humor was the best part. Such as the time Spade was in a room with black men and when his name was called, all the black men got up. The funniest character was a midget (Spade's word) in a Nazi uniform with a group of large Hawaiian guards protecting him, and the hilarious jokes about or from him were anything but sensitive. Spade also referred several time to the children in the hospital as 'cripples' or an even worse variation of the word.


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