I know that the first time I saw The Maltese Falcon, it was at my mother’s insistence and I didn’t truly understand it as well as I should have. I have since seen it multiple times and love it a bit more at each viewing. The Maltese Falcon set the standard for Film Noir detective films of the 40’s and many tried to recreate the tone, rhythm and suspense, but very few even came close. I wonder if I should start reading the novel? I know it seems like a movie that you have probably seen, but it is so worth another viewing, you will see parts that you didn’t remember and you will fall in love with it all over again. I promise. Ladies and gentlemen, The Maltese Falcon. Required viewing.
The Maltese Falcon (1941) is a Warner Bros. film noir based on the novel of the same name by Dashiell Hammett. Directed by John Huston, the film stars Humphrey Bogart as private investigator Sam Spade and Mary Astor as his “femme fatale” client. Gladys George, Peter Lorre, and Sydney Greenstreet co-star, with Greenstreet appearing in his film debut. The Maltese Falcon was Huston’s directorial debut and was nominated for three Academy Awards.
The story follows a San Francisco private detective and his dealings with three unscrupulous adventurers, all of whom are competing to obtain a jewel-encrusted falcon statuette.
The Maltese Falcon has been named as one of the greatest films of all time by Roger Ebert and Entertainment Weekly, and was cited by Panorama du Film Noir Américain as the first major film noir.
The film premiered on October 3, 1941 in New York City, and was selected for inclusion in the Library of Congress’ National Film Registry in 1989.