The Maltese Falcon [Movie Review]

We didn’t believe your story, Mrs. 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 alright.

Overview: This is a Bogey classic. I used to watch Looney Tunes as a kid (quite a lot), and the animators were always parodying Bogart movies — I never really “got” the parodies until I saw some of them. This movie kind of skirts the edge of film noir. It’s black and white, sure (out of necessity more than intention, I think…I don’t think they did many films in technicolor back then), but it’s not quite as raw and dark-mooded as other film noir movies were (Double Indemnity, for example). This is in spite of the fact it involves multiple homocides.
Two things I liked about this movie, specifically: (1) Sam Spade (Bogart) averts a gun-wielding baddie out of sheer awesomeness. No judo or anything, he just shows him who’s boss. (2) The hilarious scene that ensues when Bogart first meets Joel Cairo (Peter Lorre) after disarming and knocking him out. I don’t want to spoil the surprise.

Noteworthy Actors/Actresses: Humphrey Bogart (as Sam Spade), Mary Astor (as Brigid O’Shaughnessy), Peter Lorre (as Joel Cairo).

Verdict: Don’t be scared away by the fact that it’s an “old movie”. Filmmakers back then knew what they were doing and didn’t rely on special effects to make a film palatable — just good screen writing. It’s a classic detective movie; and it’s definitely worth seeing!

From IMDB: (1941) Sam Spade is a partner in a private-eye firm who finds himself hounded by police when his partner is killed whilst tailing a man. The girl who asked him to follow the man turns out not to be who she says she is, and is really involved in something to do with the `Maltese Falcon’, a gold-encrusted life-sized statue of a falcon, the only one of its kind.