ByLacy Hollin, writer at
Just another film student with big dreams.

There is much hype for the film The Maltese Falcon (1941) by John Hutson.

It is about Sam Spade and Miles Archer who own a detective agency together in San Francisco. These two men are partners in business, but that’s about it. Sam doesn't like Miles much and is having a fling with his wife. One day a knockout babe by the name of Miss Wanderly comes into their office and by that night everything's changed. Miles is dead and so is a man named Floyd Thursby. Miss Wanderly seems to be surrounded by dangerous men like Joel Cairo and Kasper Gutman. Her only hope of protection comes from Sam, who is suspected by the police for committing at least of one of the murders. Then they go on the hunt to find this mysterious bird.

This film is packed with constant action. It is filled with twists and turns from start to finish. If you weren’t paying close attention to, the story line could be a little confusing. With so much going on with all the different characters it was difficult to keep up sometimes. That being said, the characters were really nicely brought together by their actors/actresses. The Maltese Falcon has quite the dependable cast. Not only do they have Humphrey Bogart but, Mary Astor, Gladys George, Peter Lorre, and Sydney Greenstreet. Bogart really stole the show with his usual confidence and strong performance as Sam. He was a big part of why people find this movie to be so great.

The Maltese Falcon was written and directed by the esteemed filmmaker John Huston. He crafted this mystery. The story was hard to follow due to the fast pacing. To me it also stayed on the same level from beginning to end, creating no escalation or real climax in the story. Many rave over the quality of the film noir. It was decent. It did feature some impressive camerawork and tight editing. That made the story go along a little easier, like the acting. However, its noir did not match that of Citizen Kane which was made in the same year. At times tough, I still felt lost in all the action and everything that was going on.

However, The Maltese Falcon is regarded by many as one of the first examples of film noir and although its plot is always on the move, I wasn't all that impressed with it. That being said it is worth the watch for studying noir and acting. The story was a little messy and not well directed in my eyes. I’ll give it another watch to see if I grasp the story better and will make my final decision about how I feel about this film then.


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