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The Maltese Falcon

The Stuff of which Dreams Are Made!

This is the role that made Bogart a star and established his trend-setting (and still influential) antihero persona.

The Maltese Falcon  by John Huston and starring Humphrey Bogart and Mary Astor

After his partner's death, private eye Sam Spade becomes involved in a search for a priceless statuette. Based on Dashiell Hammett's classic novel.

Review

Still the tightest, sharpest, and most cynical of Hollywood's official deathless classics, bracingly tough even by post-Tarantino standards. Humphrey Bogart is Dashiell Hammett's definitive private eye, Sam Spade, struggling to keep his hard-boiled cool as the double-crosses pile up around his ankles. The plot, which dances all around the stolen Middle Eastern statuette of the title, is too baroque to try to follow, and it doesn't make a bit of difference. The dialogue, much of it lifted straight from Hammett, is delivered with whip-crack speed and sneering ferocity, as Bogie faces off against Peter Lorre and Sidney Greenstreet, fends off the duplicitous advances of Mary Astor, and roughs up a cringing "gunsel" played by Elisha Cook Jr.

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