Written by Joshua Winchester
Some of the best films ever made by Hollywood over the years have been tales of mystery and intrigue, often revolving around the protagonist and supporting cast dealing with an object of immense wealth and intrigue.
Warner Bros. 1941 classic The Maltese Falcon, directed by John Huston, is one of the seminal examples of classic detective films. Adapting the story written by celebrated mystery and crime author Dashiell Hammett (originally published in 1929), this films stands high and proud as of the great films of Hollywood’s Golden Age thanks to John Huston’s successful adaptation of the story (two prior adaptations from 1931 and 1936 were box office flops).
Maltese Falcon is a intriguing and compelling piece of detective cinema. With an in-depth plot beginning with the murder of Detective Sam Spade’s partner Miles Archer, the plot escalates into an adventure of blackmail, more murder and deception, all while various parties race to obtain the mysterious and valuable Maltese Falcon statue. But what else helps make the movie stand out from other detective stories is the cast, in particular Humphrey Bogart.
Bogart has often been hailed as one of the great serious actors of classic Hollywood. His role as Sam Spade in Maltese Falcon helped launch his fledgling career which was further cemented with his starring in the war-time drama/romance Casablanca (released the following year in 1942). After these two breakout films, he would go on to make many other fabulous movies including Dark Passage, Key Largo and The African Queen.
The movies supporting cast includes screen beauty Mary Astor, Peter Lorre, Sydney Greenstreet, Ward Bond, Gladys George and Lee Patrick.
Maltese Falcon is a movie that has continued to stand the test of time and hold its own alongside other great films over the years. It is an exciting and thrilling story that audiences of all ages will enjoy and continue to enjoy for generations to come.
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