The Maltese Falcon [Blu-ray]
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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. It's an action movie of sorts, at least by implication: the characters always seem keyed up, right on the verge of erupting into violence. This is a turning-point picture in several respects: John Huston (The African Queen) made his directorial debut here in 1941, and Bogart, who had mostly played bad guys, was a last-minute substitution for George Raft, who must have been kicking himself for years afterward. This is the role that made Bogart a star and established his trend-setting (and still influential) antihero persona. --David Chute --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
This special edition contains trailers and a 45-minute documentary look at Bogart's Warner Bros. career. Becoming Attractions: The Trailers of Humphrey Bogart is hosted by Robert Osborne. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
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
Director John Huston, who also wrote the screenplay based on Dashiell Hammett's novel, a crafted one of the finest examples of film noir to hit the screen. Humphrey Bogart's star-making turn as Detective Sam Spade is full of sharp-tongued intelligence as he plays each of the characters against themselves to get to the truth. Peter Lorre is devious as the nervous Joel Cairo, determined to locate the Maltese Falcon for his employer, Kaspar Gutman, played with finesse by Sydney Greenstreet. Mary Astor does a fine job as Brigid, but to me, she comes across as a bit too melodramatic. I found it hard to take her seriously in the role of a woman out to use whatever it takes to get the statue. The script is fast paced with excellent dialogue, especially the scenes between Spade and Gutman.
The DVD transfer has some satisfactory extras, such as movie trailers and a history of the film. I'm a bit surprised at the picture quality. Many grainy spots, noise lines, and other imperfections. I hope they release a restored version of this in the near future.
"The Maltese Falcon" is a marvelous film and is a must for any cinephile.
Most recent customer reviews
What can I say? It is "The Maltese Falcon" and true to the book.Published 14 months ago by Jean Shaw