Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|The Maltese Falcon - with BONUS FEATURES|
Director: John Huston
Genres: Mystery & Suspense
THIS DVD IS DISC ONE FROM THE SPECIAL EDITION THAT WAS A THREE DISC SET. IT CONTAINS THE MALTESE FALCON (1941) and THESE SPECIAL FEATURES LISTED: New digital transfer of 1941 movie from restored elements, Commentary by Bog... more »
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The best copy of this classic
Douglas M | 10/23/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This DVD issue of the famous classic is the one to get. The print has been digitally restored and looks absolutely great.
The film's merits have been extensively documented - the superb screenplay lifted straight from the riveting novel, a perfect cast matching the novel's characters magnetically, the tight direction and moody lighting and the famous low slung camera angles making so many of the characters larger than life, particularly Sydney Greenstreet. This is a story to revisit regularly as you notice more nuances in the riveting characters. Of particular note is the outstanding way in which Huston has circumvented the censorship e.g the soundtrack when Peter Lorre enters the film with the scented calling card, cleverly informing the audience that he is gay.
There is a lot more to enjoy in this package. Eric Lax provides a detailed commentary but he speaks too quickly cramming in too much biographical information about the cast and crew and not enough on the superb filming techniques. Also included is a "Warners' Night at the Movies" program which includes a fascinating newsreel about Roosevelt and Churchill's famous meeting at sea during the war, an excellent Bugs Bunny cartoon where you can see Bugs's personality developing into the Bugs we all know even if, in 1941, he still does not quite look himself and, best of all, a technicolour short film in good condition of the Ballet Russe. Warner Brothers were pioneers here and the film captures the witty choreography of the ensemble even though it was clearly a great challenge to edit the performance. There are also trailers for the film itself and one for "Sergeant York", Gary Cooper's Oscar winning film from the same year.
All in all, this is a great package of a classic film."
Bogart's Signature Role...
D. S. Thurlow | Alaska | 09/15/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"1941's "The Maltese Falcon", Director John Huston's classic film noire adaption of Dashiel Hammett's superb detective novel, was the movie that provided Humphrey Bogart with his signature screen personna, the world-weary, cynical anti-hero with a personal code of honor.
Bogart stars as private detective Sam Spade, whose partner is murdered while on assignment. Spade's investigation leads to his partner's client, the beautiful, mysterious and duplicitious Brigid O'Shaugnessy (played by Mary Astor), and entangles him in the search for a rare, jeweled statue called the Maltese Falcon. O'Shaughnessy is competing for the stature with a shifty gang of foreigners led by Kasper Gutman (played with panache and menance by Sidney Greenstreet).
Against his better judgement, Spade gets romantically involved with O'Shaugnessy and with the dangerous hunt for "the black bird." As a trail of bodies brings in the police, Spade will find himself on a battleground of rapidly shifting loyalties, trying to find the black bird and solve the mystery of his partner's death. The ending is a tense, well-staged drama with a surprising ending entirely in keeping with Bogart's character as anti-hero.
The movie features crisp black and white cinematography. The dialogue, often lifted whole from the novel, is tough in tone and rapid-fire delivery. The plot itself is sometimes difficult to follow; Bogart's explanation to the police at the end of the movie only partially resolves the mysteries.
This movie is very highly recommended to fans of Humphrey Bogart and of the film noire genre."
The birth of Hollywood's original noir anti-hero.
Themis-Athena | from somewhere between California and Germany | 06/08/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"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.
The movie's long-famous story centers around the mysterious statute of a falcon made from solid gold, diamonds and other precious stones; the 16th century Maltese Knights' immeasurably precious gift of thanks to Emperor Charles V for the protection he had granted them. Stolen by pirates, blackened on the outside in order to conceal its true value and passed on through the centuries by a number of unsuspecting possessors, it finally attracts the attention of two rivaling pairs of equally cunning, ruthless and high-flying scoundrels, who chase each other and the statue halfway around the world and finally end up in Sam Spade's San Francisco office - not without getting both Spade's partner Miles Archer (Jerome Cowan) and one of their own killed in the process; thus also causing additional grief for Spade, whom the police soon suspect of being behind the murders himself - or at least behind that of Archer - in order to make off with Archer's widow Iva (Gladys George). And of course, it doesn't exactly help that he has had his office sign changed from "Spade & Archer" to "Samuel Spade" within mere hours of his partner's death.
Looking at the movie and its stars' almost mythical fame, it is difficult to imagine that, produced at the height of the studio system era, this was originally just one of the roughly 50 films released by Warner Brothers over the course of one year. But mass production didn't equal low quality; on the contrary, the great care given to all production values, from script-writing to camera work, editing, score and the stars' presentation in the movie itself and in its trailer, was as responsible for its lasting success as were Humphrey Bogart and his outstanding costars; first and foremost Mary Astor as the double-crossing and now partner-less Brigid O'Shaughnessy, Peter Lorre and Sydney Greenstreet (in their first of several appearances opposite Bogart) as Joel Cairo and Kaspar Guttman, O'Shaughnessy/Astor's competitors for possession of the precious statue, and Elisha Cook, Jr., as Guttman's rough but inept bodyguard Wilmer Cook. Genre-defining and the first truly giant highlight of Bogart's career, "The Maltese Falcon" is an unmissable piece of Hollywood history, captivating you from the first moment you spend in Sam Spade's office all the way to its cynical conclusion, and a thrill to watch over and over again.
Humphrey Bogart - The Signature Collection, Vol. 1 (Casablanca Two-Disc Special Edition / The Treasure of the Sierra Madre Two-Disc Special Edition / They Drive by Night / High Sierra)
Humphrey Bogart - The Signature Collection, Vol. 2 (The Maltese Falcon Three-Disc Special Edition / Across the Pacific / Action in the North Atlantic / All Through the Night / Passage to Marseille)
Bogie and Bacall - The Signature Collection (The Big Sleep / Dark Passage / Key Largo / To Have and Have Not)
Complete Novels: Red Harvest, The Dain Curse, The Maltese Falcon, The Glass Key, and The Thin Man (Library of America #110)
Raymond Chandler: Stories and Early Novels: Pulp Stories / The Big Sleep / Farewell, My Lovely / The High Window (Library of America)
Bullets or Ballots
The Postman Always Rings Twice
Double Indemnity (Universal Legacy Series)
Chinatown (Special Collector's Edition)"