The Maltese Falcon (1941)

Directed by John Huston, written by John Huston (screenplay), Dashiell Hammett (novel)

“I certainly wish you would have invented a more reasonable story. I felt distinctly like an idiot repeating it.”

Often regarded as the very first of the film noirs, the film that inspired the rest, The Maltese Falcon is a very complicated but coherent mystery with P.I. Sam Spade (Bogart) bringing a series of rare smiles to the role of a man beset on all sides. His partner is killed right off the bat and everyone else in the film is working angles he’s got to uncover before he goes down for the everything. At the center of the plot is the search for an artifact lost to history.

The mystery, the murder and the darkness in the fact that all the players are working their own agendas and against each other adds up to a fantastic film. It’s as good as they’ve always said and lives up to the hype.

“If they hang you, I’ll always remember you.”

5- stars

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