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8.1
/10
5,149 Ratings

The Maltese Falcon

Directed by John Huston
United States, 1941
Film noir

Synopsis

The most famous screen version of Dashiell Hammett’s 1930 novel of the same name is a quintessential Hollywood film noir as private detective Sam Spade gets wrapped up in a web of deception, all surrounding a gold-encrusted life-sized statue of a falcon.

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The Maltese Falcon Directed by John Huston

Awards & Festivals

Academy Awards

1942 | 3 nominations including: Best Picture

National Film Preservation Board

1989 | Winner: National Film Registry

I’ve seen The Maltese Falcon countless times, and had it not been for the relative paucity of juicy choices in the other Friday-morning time slots I might have decided on seeing something else. But as it turned out, experiencing the 1941 film with a packed house who knew every line, every story beat, every raised eyebrow among its stellar cast far better than I did, only magnified just how delightful, how straight-faced funny it really is.
April 12, 2017
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Huston employed a stylistic continuity rare in any genre; barring a few night scenes, he shot the rest in sequence. The story takes the viewer from Spade and Brigid’s initial meeting to a bleak finale that anticipates the amorality of future film noirs.
April 22, 2016
Made after he spent years working as a screenwriter, Huston’s sure-footed directorial debut, “The Maltese Falcon” (1941), etched with bitter clarity, brought out a compelling complexity in Humphrey Bogart and revitalized the detective genre.
December 17, 2014
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