This is Hollywood's third attempt to capture Hammett's novel on the big screen. The first two, The Maltese Falcon with Ricardo Cortez as Sam Spade and Satan Met A Lady (starring Bette Davis) bombed, but this one made Huston and Bogart, who only got the part because George Raft had a clause in his contract which ment he didn't have to appear in remakes. Bogart is substantially different to Hammett's deciption of his hero in the book (Spade is, at one point, compared to a "blond Satan") but his version had the courage to pursue Hammett's original ending where Spade hands over Brigid, the femme fatale (Astor), to the cops. The film's dark cinematography anticipates film noir although it disguised the paucity of the sets at Warners, a studio known then as "San Quentin" for the luxuriant facilities provided for cast and crew. Spade isn't as moral as Marlowe (he admits he might not have turned Brigid in if the falcon had been real) but in his refusal to "play the sap" he sums up the creed of many of his succesors.
Director:John Huston Cast:Humphrey Bogart, Mary Astor, Peter Lorre, Sydney Greenstreet


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