12 Days Of Christmas: The Maltese Falcon

Detective Tom Polhaus: [picks up the falcon] “Heavy. What is it?”
Sam Spade: “The, uh, stuff that dreams are made of.”
Detective Tom Polhaus: “Huh?”

The dreams of riches and wealth beyond one’s wildest imagination are at the heart of this gritty crime drama. This John Huston film was actually the third remake of Dashiell Hammett’s novel. Humphrey Bogart stars as Sam Spade. He and his partner Miles Archer (Jerome Cowan) are hired by Mary Astor because she claims to be looking for her missing sister. Astor wants them to shadow a man named Thursby. Archer is on the job to tail Thursby and he turns up dead that night. Shortly after Thursby is killed too. Bogart looks like the main suspect to the cops so he starts investigating the crimes.

He shortly discovers that there are several parties involved and they all are looking for a black statuette of a falcon. The legend has it that the bird is actually a gold statue encrusted with rare jewels and was a gift to the king of Spain from the Templar Knights in 1539. The king never received the gift and people have been killing and stealing it ever since.

A classic piece of film noir – this movie made Humphrey Bogart a star. Rounding out the cast is Sidney Greenstreet (who literally rounds out the cast as the character Kasper Gutman), Elisha Cook, Jr. as Gutman’s gunman / boy – cough and Peter Lorre as another interested party. There is more double crosses, fist fights, femme fatales and strange drama to satisfy anybody who is craving a great crime mystery here. The stuff that dreams are made of indeed.

Author: Shane Hnetka

Shane Hnetka has spent most of his life watching movies and reading comic books. He has decided to use this vast knowledge for evil instead of good.