This file was generated 2002-10-20 15:36 GMT. This movie's information hasn't changed since 2002-10-15.

Scott Ventura >> Movie Commentary >> May 2002 >> The Maltese Falcon

The Maltese Falcon

Movie Commentary by Scott Ventura


Scott's Rating:
3 / 5
Times Seen:
Viewing Date:
May 2002
IMDB Name:
Maltese Falcon, The (1941)
John Huston
crime, mystery
MPAA Rating:
Unrated (predates MPAA ratings)

Hard Boiled

I like to think I'm a sophisticated connoisseur of films, but some of the classics leave me scratching my head as to why I'm not more excited about them once I've seen them. There's a certain pleasure to watching Humphrey Bogart in action as a hard-boiled detective. His performance in The Maltese Falcon became the standard to which all others were compared. He has the perfect, world-weary look, the snide delivery, and the quick moves that suggest a man used to triumphing over all of the low-lifes around him. The John Huston adaptation of the Dashiell Hammett novel gives him great dialogue and a decent mystery, but the rest of the movie is a little less thrilling. I was hoping for scintillating visuals on the level of Notorious or The Lost Weekend, but there is only one inspired sequence: moodily-lit still lifes of the main cast as seen by someone they've betrayed. The exposition is a touch on the slow side, and not in a particularly gripping way, as I never thought anyone of significance was in for it. As for the supposed romance between Spade and O'Shaughnessy, I didn't really buy into it. I guess I'm just not tuned in to the cues that worked so well sixty years ago.

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Copyright 2002 by Scott Ventura. All rights reserved.