The Maltese Falcon 1941 detective movie

The Maltese Falcon 1941 detective story

The Maltese Falcon (1941, United States)

San Francisco private investigators Sam Spade meets in his office a prospective client, Ruth Wonderly, who looks for her missing sister. She provides the detective and his partner, Miles Archer, with the name of a man that most like knows something about the missing woman, Floyd Thursby. Spade and Archer agree to help and find the sister, but the case soon goes awry when police informs Sam that Miles was found dead. Spade tries to contact the client in her hotel, but is informed that she checked out. To make things worse the police detectives tell him that Floyd Thursby was also killed that night and they begin to suspect that Sam Spade had something to do with those two murders.

Classic detective film noir that more or less created the stereotype of a private investigator of the 1940s - tough, slick and always with a sharp remark ready at hand. Based on a novel by Dashiell Hammett, who used to work as a private detective for the Pinkerton Detective Agency in San Francisco, The Maltese Falcon is a idealized look at the work of a private investigator, who takes a small, everyday case and end up tangled in a story involving an artefact that is hundreds years old.

Considered a classic of the genre, the film is filled with colourful characters, memorable quotes and intrigue that changes with every scene and none of the characters is crystal clear in the world of Sam Spade.

Can you solve a mystery like this one?

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Creators of The Maltese Falcon

John Huston detective films


John Huston detective films


Dashiell Hammett detective films


Cast of The Maltese Falcon

Humphrey Bogart films

as Sam Spade

Mary Astor films

as Ruth Wonderly

Peter Lorre films

as Joel Cairo

Sydney Greenstreet films

as Kasper Gutman

Gladys George films

as Iva Archer

Barton MacLane films

as Lieutenant Dundy

Lee Patrick films

as Effie Perine

Elisha Cook Jr films

as Wilmer Cook

Jerome Cowan films

as Miles Archer

The Maltese Falcon quotes

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

Ruth Wonderly:
I haven’t lived a good life. I’ve been bad, worse than you could know.
Sam Spade:
You know, that’s good, because if you actually were as innocent as you pretend to be, we’d never get anywhere.

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