Case in point: "The Maltese Falcon". Arguably the greatest detective film ever made, Warners at least releases it with a decent video transfer. Unfortunately, the audio synchronizing is off during the last 15 minutes of the movie (by a second but it's still noticable) and I wasn't able to access all the people on the "Cast and Crew" menu (no, it wasn't a machine error, as I tested on several discs thereafter). Moreover, although I enjoyed the "Trailers of Humphrey Bogart" section, it would have been nice if Warners spent the money to create a documentary history of the film the way they did on Universal's "Casablanca" release.
Much ink has been spilt praising "The Maltese Falcon" so I won't go into any panegyrics here. It's just a shame that Warners doesn't take this market seriously enough to put more care into the DVD releases of their finest films.
Director: John Huston
Format: Black & White
Studio: Warner Studios
Video Release Date: February 1, 2000
Humphrey Bogart ... Private Detective Sam Spade
Mary Astor ... Brigid O'Shaughnessy
Gladys George ... Iva Archer
Peter Lorre ... Joel Cairo
Barton MacLane ... Det. Lt. Dundy
Lee Patrick ... Effie Perine
Sydney Greenstreet ... Kasper Gutman
Ward Bond ... Det. Tom Polhaus
Jerome Cowan ... Miles Archer
Elisha Cook Jr. ... Wilmer Cook
James Burke ... Luke
Murray Alper ... Frank Richman
John Hamilton ... Bryan
Charles Drake ... Reporter
Chester Gan ... Bit part
Creighton Hale ... Stenographer
Robert Homans ... Policeman
William Hopper ... Reporter
Walter Huston ... Capt. Jacobi
Hank Mann ... Reporter
Jack Mower ... Announcer
Emory Parnell ... Ship's mate
This is a cult classic Sam Spade (Humphrey Bogart) film. The cast included all-time greats Peter Lorre, Sidney Greestreet, Walter Huston, Ward Bond, and other veterans like Mary Astor and Jerome Cowan.
John Huston directed, and kept the tension high throughout.
This is a story about a statue of a falcon that the Knights Templar had made as a gift for the King of Spain in gratitude. It was lost in transit to the king. Crusted with jewels of immense value, but covered with black lacquer to disguise its worth, it was lost for centuries. This story is about the struggle between factions of villains to get the bird.
If you have never see Bogart in this movie, you have missed one which is partly responsible for his fame.
Joseph (Joe) Pierre
Well crafted, but a bit loose on plot developement, The Maltese Falcon is what too many mystery/suspense movies trying to live up to an assumed description of what a "noir" film is supposed to be about, pledge their loyalties.
Entertaining more than a fine film, The Maltese Falcon is a tour de force performance for Bogart. If you are a fan, then this is a must see. The camera work is also a good source for cameramen wannabes.