Watch The Maltese Falcon putlocker
||IMDB Rating: 7.4/10 from N/A votes
||Release: 13 Jun 1931 /
||Genre: Crime, Drama, Film-Noir
||Director: Roy Del Ruth,
||Stars: Crime, Drama, Film-Noir
||Synopsis: A lovely dame with dangerous lies employs the services of a private detective, who is quickly caught up in the mystery and intrigue of a statuette known as the Maltese Falcon.
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Watch The Maltese Falcon - Alternative Versions.
In 1931 Roy Del Ruth became the first director to bring Dashiell
Hammett's THE MALTESE FALCON to the screen. Although it received
favorable reviews and did a brisk business at the box office, like many
early talkies it was soon eclipsed by ever-advancing technology and
forgotten--until television, with its endless demands for late-late
show material, knocked on Hollywood's door. Retitled DANGEROUS FEMALE
in order to avoid confusion with the highly celebrated 1941 version, it
has haunted the airwaves ever since.
DANGEROUS FEMALE is interesting in several ways, and perhaps most
deeply so as an example of the struggle that ensued when sound first
roared. What had proved effective on the silent screen suddenly seemed
highly mannered when voices were added, and both directors and stars
struggled to find new techniques--and DANGEROUS FEMALE offers a very
vision of the issues involved.
It is a myth that the advent of sound forced directors to lock down the
camera, but it is true that many directors preferred simple camera
set-ups in early sound films; it gave them one less thing to worry
about. And with this film, Roy Del Ruth is no exception: in a visual
sense, DANGEROUS FEMALE is fairly static. The performing decisions made
by the various actors are also illustrative and informative,
particularly re leads Ricardo Cortez and Bebe Daniels. Cortez is still
clearly performing in the "silent mode," and he reads as visually loud;
Daniels, however, has elected to underplay, and while she is stiff by
current standards, her performance must have seemed startlingly
innovative at the time. And then there are two performers who are very
much of the technology: Una Merkle as Spade's secretary and Thelma Todd
as Iva Archer, both of whom seem considerably more comfortable with the
new style than either Cortez or Daniels.
The film is also interesting as a "Pre-Code" picture, for it is
sexually explicit in ways most viewers will not expect from a 1930s
film, and indeed it is surprisingly explicit even in comparison to
other pre-code films. Hero Sam Spade is a womanizer who seduces every
attractive female who crosses his path--and the film opens with a shot
of just such a woman pausing to straighten her stockings before leaving
his office. Still later, the dubious Miss Wonderly tempts Spade with
her cleavage, lolls in his bed after a thick night, splashes in his
bathtub, and finally winds up stripped naked in his kitchen! It is also
interesting, of course, to compare DANGEROUS FEMALE to its two remakes.
Directed by William Dieterle and starring Warren William and Bette
Davis, the 1936 Satan MET A LADY would put Hammett's plot through the
wringer--and prove a critical disaster and a box office thud. But then
there is the justly celebrated 1941 version starring Humphrey Bogart
and Mary Astor under the direction of John Huston.
Both the 1931 and 1941 films lifted great chunks of dialogue from
Hammett's novel, and very often the dialogue is line-for-line the same.
But two more completely different films could scarcely be imagined.
Where the 1931 film strives for an urbane quality, the 1941 film is
memorably gritty--and in spite of being hampered by the production,
considerably more sexually suggestive as well, implying the
homosexuality of several characters much more effectively than the 1931
In the final analysis, the 1931 THE MALTESE FALCON (aka DANGEROUS
FEMALE) will appeal most to those interested in films that illustrate
the transition between silent film and sound, to collectors of
"pre-code" movies, and to hardcore FALCON fans who want everything
associated with Hammett, his novel, and the various film versions. But
I hesitate to recommend it generally; if you don't fall into one of
those categories, you're likely to be unimpressed.
Gary F. Taylor, aka GFT, Amazon reviewer
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