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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:

Czarny ptak 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

Director David Giler's only film as director though he has produced upwards of two dozen feature films including "Myra Breckinridge," "Alien" and "Alien vs. Predator." See more »

Connections

Spoofs The Maltese Falcon (1941) See more »

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User Reviews

 
To Spoof a Classic
30 September 2007 | by lemasqueSee all my reviews

The Black Bird is not the worst movie I have ever seen - that would be Matrix Revolutions. I must confess, I did not make it all the way through to the end. However, I was able to get farther than my first attempt when I walked out of the movie theater around 1976. If you are going to spoof a CLASSIC, and one of the best movies ever made, you have to do a first class job or else the film looks like a low-budget mess. Three movies immediately come to mind as examples of great spoofs: Young Frankenstein, Abbott & Costello Meet Frankenstein and Play It Again Sam. Each of these fine films are excellent spoofs that capture the magic of the originals. The Black Bird violates the most important rule of any film, including comedies and spoofs. A film must take itself seriously, no matter how ridiculous the subject matter. I am never able to take George Segal seriously in this film, or any other character for that matter, including Effie, who was splendid in her small and effective part in the original. Segal's hat and cigar are totally ridiculous and out of place then (1975) and now. The rest of the movie and supporting characters are not really worth discussing, except to say the quality wavers from low-budget bad to just unwatchale. If you're looking for a film spoof, rent anything other than this mess, such as Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid or many others.


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