Zach on Film: The Maltese Falcon (1941)

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This week, Zach learns what the terms Film Noir and McGuffin mean, as he gets dark and gritty in John Huston’s 1941 classic, The Maltese Falcon.


The Maltese Falcon (1941) is a Warner Bros. film noir based on the novel of the same name by Dashiell Hammett.Directed by John Huston, the film stars Humphrey Bogart as private investigator Sam Spade and Mary Astor as his “femme fatale” client. Gladys George, Peter Lorre, and Sydney Greenstreet co-star, with Greenstreet appearing in his film debut. The Maltese Falcon was Huston’s directorial debut and was nominated for three Academy Awards.

The story follows a San Francisco private detective and his dealings with three unscrupulous adventurers, all of whom are competing to obtain a jewel-encrusted falcon statuette.

The Maltese Falcon has been named as one of the greatest films of all time by Roger Ebert and Entertainment Weekly, and was cited by Panorama du Film Noir Américain as the first major film noir.

 

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