The Maltese Falcon (Three-Disc Special Edition)

The Maltese Falcon (Three-Disc Special Edition)


Bogart plays Sam Spade, the detective in search of the man who killed his partner.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 Sydney 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

Rating: (out of 197 reviews)

List Price: $ 29.98

Price: $ 13.95

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4 thoughts on “The Maltese Falcon (Three-Disc Special Edition)

  1. Review by Robert James for The Maltese Falcon (Three-Disc Special Edition)
    John Huston’s directorial debut nails every single possible angle for a great movie: a great hero in Humphrey Bogart’s Sam Spade, here making a major transition from the gangster roles that made him famous; a great set of villains, from Sydney Greenstreet’s ponderous Gutman to Peter Lorre’s effeminate Joel Cairo to Elisha Cook’s almost cartoonish gunman Wilmer; a great femme fatale in Mary Astor’s Brigid O’Shaunessy; a great hunt, in the quest for the fabled Maltese Falcon. Shot scene for scene out of the novel (with some notable cuts of extraneous material, such as a long story Sam tells Brigid while they’re waiting, and Gutman’s daughter!), “The Maltese Falcon” is utterly clean, economical film-making with no fat whatsoever (except for Gutman, of course). The movie creates a tense atmosphere from its opening shots, with ironic humor simply acting as counterpoint throughout. The final scenes of revelation, where Sam explains to Brigid his personal code of honor, are as emotionally devastating today as they were fifty years ago. The last shots of the movie, as Brigid descends in the elevator quickly to her fate, while Sam takes the stairs, suggests each character is heading to their own private hell, even if at different speeds. A brilliant movie!

  2. Review by Erik Rupp for The Maltese Falcon (Three-Disc Special Edition)
    Sometimes with a movie everything turns out right. That was the case with this 1941 classic. John Huston’s driectorial debut is a masterpiece of film noir, featuring a great performance by Humphrey Bogart as Sam Spade. Actually, the entire cast is fantastic from top to bottom, with standout performances from Sydney Greenstreet and Peter Lorre. The story is a classic tale of greed, murder, and manipulation with some surprising plot twists (surprising if you haven’t seen it already). THE MALTESE FALCON is one of those movies that you can watch over and over and find something new each time. The picture and sound quality are actually quite good for a film from 1941 as any flaws are minor and inconsequential. The DVD also features the original theatrical trailer, plus a special feature on trailers from Humphrey Bogart movies. This truly is a must-have! Add this DVD to your collection; you will be glad that you did!

  3. Review by Mark Devey for The Maltese Falcon (Three-Disc Special Edition)
    “The Maltese Falcon” is perhaps the greatest detective film ever made. It certainly one of the best films ever made. It is populated by great characters-Sam Spade (Humphrey Bogart), “The Fat Man” (Sidney Greenstreet) and on and on. This is also one of the best written films of all time. The dialogue is snappy, cynical, and funny all at the same time. This movie has not aged at all. Unfortunately, while this is a 5 star movie, the quality of the DVD leaves a lot to be desired. There are so many blips, lines and changes in picture quality from scene to scene (and edit to edit!) that it is very distracting. Frankly, this movie deserves a restoration similar that done on Hitchcock’s “Vertigo” and the Criterion Collection’s, “The Third Man.” I’m afraid, that similar to the CD market, we are going to see poor quality transfers to DVD, followed by new re-mastering and restoration processes that will necessitate the re-release of catalog movies on DVD. Therefore, the customer will have to purchase the same DVD twice to get the picture quality great films, such as this, deserve.

  4. Review by K. Garner for The Maltese Falcon (Three-Disc Special Edition)
    Warner Brothers has one of the greatest film catalogs of any studio; yet they don’t appear to take their DVD issues very seriously. Who on earth would put “Goodfellas” on two sides of a disc? or not release the “Director’s Cut” version of “Eyes Wide Shut” (imagine the added revenue if they had)? or release a slapdash collection of Kubrick’s films? or almost never digitally enhance the audio or visual transfer or provide any significant extras? Compared to the deluxe packages that Universal, Criterion, and, even, Paramount has mustered, Warners’ issues – all released in cheap and easily breakable snap cases – are a peculiar desecration of a vaunted film legacy.Case in point: “The Maltese Falcon”. Arguably the greatest detective film ever made, Warners at least releases it with a decent video transfer. Unfortunately, the audio synchronizing is off during the last 15 minutes of the movie (by a second but it’s still noticable) and I wasn’t able to access all the people on the “Cast and Crew” menu (no, it wasn’t a machine error, as I tested on several discs thereafter). Moreover, although I enjoyed the “Trailers of Humphrey Bogart” section, it would have been nice if Warners spent the money to create a documentary history of the film the way they did on Universal’s “Casablanca” release. Much ink has been spilt praising “The Maltese Falcon” so I won’t go into any panegyrics here. It’s just a shame that Warners doesn’t take this market seriously enough to put more care into the DVD releases of their finest films.

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