copyright © Jedo Dre 2011

Maltese Falcon is a detective story with Humphrey Bogart in the lead role. It is competently shot and has the proper period music, which as was usual at that time has something to be desired of its recording quality, but is otherwise perfectly acceptable. What is rough however is the story. The plot is interesting but there are a number of flaws, mostly centering around how this films deals with its characters and their dialogue.

As the movie progresses, the conversation between the main male character and one of the ladies indicates a romantic relationship between them, but this comes as a surprise because the movie had not built up their relationship in that way so the romanticism comes out of nowhere, and ignores another relationship introduced at the beginning of the movie.

At one point a new character suddenly shows up more than half way into the movie for a few seconds and from then on his name becomes an important part of the plot even though we was never properly introduced, so you start wondering if you missed a scene or something.

It also has that really convenient bit where the bad guy decides to explain the events because...let's be honest, because the plot calls for it, which is not that bad other than being a movie cliché.

There are several times when a character talks on the phone and talks in a manner that explains what is being said on the other side. Monologues are nice and all, but it also looks cheap and lazy, especially when it happens ten or fifteen times as it does.

It is a shame because the acting itself is quite good and the dialogue can be smart. Humphrey Bogart has a specific style of delivering sentences, which does not sit comfortable with me, but he is acting well and he plays a fairly interesting character, a bit of a scoundrel in a way that you cannot quite read what his plan is. Something happens to his colleague and he shows no sorrow, which seemed like poor directing at first, but then his situation justifies such a reaction.

One of the bad guys is played by Sydney Greenstreet. This old round fellow is adorable and speaks in the most amusing British manner. The movie could stand to lose Humphery Bogart, but not this guy.

Another minor complaint is about the missed opportunity of an adventure. If you look at the poster which used for this movie, it shows the main character holding two pistols, a woman and the line "a story as explosive as his blazing automatics". Throughout the entire film only one shot is fired. The story is supposed to be about a golden falcon but the movie does not mention or show it nearly often enough. This could have been a much more exciting treasure hunt than what it ended up being – a straight detective story, which is fine. This is the choice they are going with.

Overall, an OK movie but the story has flaws.

The Maltese Falcon