The Maltese Falcon
What's it About
Bogart is private detective Sam Spade, playing opposite Mary Astor as the shifty and cunning femme fatale, Brigid O'Shaughnessy. She needs help finding a jewel-encrusted statue of a bird that goes back centuries. A host of other nefarious types, including The Fat Man (Greenstreet), is after the same thing. Spade is locked in tight since the case has also resulted in his partner's murder. But who can Sam trust? Precisely nobody.
Why We Love It
After years of playing villains for Warner Brothers, this picture demonstrated once and for all Bogart's star quality. A shifty Astor, Greenstreet and Lorre (as the effeminate but deadly Joel Cairo) also score. "Falcon" is the definitive private eye film, where we see crooked human beings grabbing for their imagined pot of gold in a treacherous urban jungle. An impressive debut feature for director Huston, this film holds you in its grip throughout. And just wait for that immortal ending!