Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Wendy's Films of 2010 #103: The Maltese Falcon (1941)

When a dame walks into Sam Spade's detective office and says she's got a problem, he and his partner take interest and help her out. Unfortunately Spade's partner meets a dead end (get it?) that night and Spade has to go on without him, figuring out what several men, this dame and a statue called The Maltese Falcon have in common. It's a great detective picture and film noir - fit for its time and well worth your time. It has all you need: a beautiful woman, ugly men, Humphrey Bogart, intrigue and guns. As usual, Bogart gives a top notch performance, with the perfect mixture of charming potential lover and cynical, yet still honourable, detective. Bogart is at the epitome of his own persona in this film, along with Howard Hawks' The Big Sleep (another fantastic film.) Others in the cast include siren, dame and love interest Mary Astor, and Peter Lorre (originally László Löwenstein of Austria and Fritz Lang's M) plays his usual foreigner as Joel Cairo, who attempts to get his hands on the statue. How does the mystery resolve? Who dies and who lives? Will Spade end up with the woman or die the same way as his partner? Give this great classic a shot and find out for yourself. 

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