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The Maltese Falcon (2 Disc Special Edition) [DVD]

Humphrey Bogart , Sydney Greenstreet , John Huston    Parental Guidance   DVD
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (92 customer reviews)
Price: £16.98
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Frequently Bought Together

The Maltese Falcon (2 Disc Special Edition) [DVD] + The Big Sleep [1946] [DVD]
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Product details

  • Actors: Humphrey Bogart, Sydney Greenstreet, Peter Lorre, Mary Astor, Gladys George
  • Directors: John Huston
  • Producers: Henry Blanke
  • Format: PAL
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Classification: PG
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: 5 Feb 2007
  • Run Time: 99 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (92 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 21,346 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)



The Maltese Falcon is still the tightest, sharpest, and most cynical of Hollywood's official deathless classics, bracingly tough even by post-Tarantino standards. Humphrey Bogart is Dashiell Hammett's definitive private eye, Sam Spade, struggling to keep his hard-boiled cool as the double-crosses pile up around his ankles. The plot, which dances all around the stolen Middle Eastern statuette of the title, is too baroque to try to follow, and it doesn't make a bit of difference. The dialogue, much of it lifted straight from Hammett, is delivered with whip-crack speed and sneering ferocity, as Bogie faces off against Peter Lorre and Sidney Greenstreet, fends off the duplicitous advances of Mary Astor, and roughs up a cringing "gunsel" played by Elisha Cook Jr. It's an action movie of sorts, at least by implication: the characters always seem keyed up, right on the verge of erupting into violence. This is a turning-point picture in several respects: John Huston (The African Queen) made his directorial debut here in 1941, and Bogart, who had mostly played bad guys, was a last-minute substitution for George Raft, who must have been kicking himself for years afterward. This is the role that made Bogart a star and established his trend-setting (and still influential) antihero persona. --David Chute

Product Description

I love this film even though it does not taste of Maltese biscuits. The Bogie Man is getting shit from his friend and client Mary Astor and then there's Peter Lorre who plays a small pixie and does a dance of the devil and Sydney Greenstreet as Wilson Fisk, the Kingpin of Crime. Everyone is looking for a bird and a big pile of newspapers and it's got some behind the scenes documentaries.

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
50 of 51 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Stuff That Dreams Are Made Of 28 Dec 2002
Seldom has any novel been so successfully interpreted on screen: in approaching Dashiell Hammett's seminal private-eye novel, director John Huston not only stayed meticulously true to the plot, he also lifted great chunks on the novel's dialogue directly into the script--and then styled the pace, cinematography, and performances to reflect Hammett's stripped-for-action tone. And the result, to borrow a phrase from the film, is "the stuff that dreams are made of." THE MALTESE FALCON is a iconographic landmark in twentieth century cinema.
The story is well known. San Francisco Private eyes Sam Spade and Miles Archer are employed by an attractive but decidedly questionable Brigid O'Shaughnessy to track down a man named Thursby--but within hours of taking the case both Miles Archer and Thursby are shot dead, and Spade finds himself embroiled in a search for a legendary lost treasure: the figure of a falcon, encrusted with jewels.
The cast is remarkable. Humphrey Bogart made a name for himself first on the stage and then in films with a series of memorable gangster roles, and was fresh from his great success in HIGH SIERRA; Sam Spade, which offered a new twist on his already established persona, was an inspired bit of casting. Mary Astor had been a great star in silent film, but the late twenties and early thirties found her dogged by scandal; perhaps deliberately playing on those memories, she brought a remarkable mixture of toughness, tarnish, and absolute believability to the role of the very, very dangerous Brigid. And the chemistry between Bogart and Astor is a remarkable thing, a simmering sexuality that more glossy casting could have never achieved.
The supporting cast is equally fine.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Like few other actors, Humphrey Bogart ruled the Hollywood of the 1940s and 1950s - epitome of the handsome, cynical and oh-so lonesome wolf and looking unbeatably cool in his fedora and trenchcoat, a cigarette dangling from the corner of his mouth; endowed with a legendary aura several times larger than his real life stature, and still admired by scores of women wishing they had been born 50+ years earlier, preferably somewhere in California and to parents connected with the movie business, so as to have at least a marginal chance of meeting him. The American Film Institute recently elected him the No. 1 film legend of the 20th century; and looking back, indeed no other actor seems to have been surrounded by the same kind of darkly magical aura as the one surrounding Bogart.
"The Maltese Falcon" (1941), directed by John Huston, based on Dashiell Hammett's 1930 like-named novel and itself also ranking in the top quarter of the AFI's list of the 100 best 20th century movies, laid the groundwork for Bogart's lasting image, by transforming his on-screen persona from the tough, often two-dimensional gangsters he had portrayed before; beginning with the 1936 adaptation of Robert Sherwood's "Petrified Forest" where, like in its 1934 stage production, Bogart had starred opposite Leslie Howard, with Bette Davis as the female lead. Now imbuing his tough guy shell with a softer core, in "The Maltese Falcon" Bogart became not only Hammett's Sam Spade but, moreover, the film noir anti-hero per se; a role that stayed with him throughout the rest of his career, and in which he still remains virtually unparalleled.
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48 of 50 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the falcon flies high... 31 Aug 2007
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
At least for two reasons, "The Maltese Falcon" is a milestone in the evolution of American genre cinema. First, this is one of the very first pictures that ushered the era of classic film noir. Its bizarre characterizations, twisty plot and cliché-drenched events serve as a perfect template that has been utilized in countless films through six decades after its making. Second, this is the movie that catapulted Humphrey Bogart's career into stardom. He had been a strong supporting character, mostly playing villains (as in "High Sierra" & "The Petrified Forest"). After his performance as hard-boiled private eye Sam Spade, he became a major star.

The movie represents a complex study of human psyche, especially taking a dismal look at human greed and pursuit of self-interest at whatever cost. All characters are well-drawn and well-acted. From cynical, quick-thinking and fast-talking Spade to prissy, gardenia-scented but psychopathic Cairo, there are no righteous, clean or likeable character. Everyone is either honestly abhorrent or has numerous ulterior motives hidden behind their masks, but all converge at haunt for wealth.

Even the "good guy" Spade's morality is questionable. Although he has a strong sense of idealism; his morality shakes wildly when things go awry. Spade might be considered as just crafty as other villains, but he adheres strictly to some kind of robust moral code and old-fashioned common sense that he tries to find the way out in the dark maze of confusion, deception and lies. At the end, he overcomes all obstacles and defeats bad guys, even at the cost of losing a love affair.
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