The next entry in the Ultimate Decades Blogathon comes from MovieRob, a blogger with an amazing repertoire of reviewed movies to check out and also the host of his monthly segment Genre Grandeur plus a regular on this blogathon with always fantastic picks. This year, he dug deep and went way back to 1931 to look at the original film, The Maltese Falcon. Check out his review of The Maltese Falcon and remember to check out his blog.
“Good day, sir. I deeply regret that you are left without a fall guy. ” – Casper Gutman
Number of Times Seen – 1 (14 Feb 2021)
Brief Synopsis – A private detective is hired to find a valuable statue of a bird that is worth millions, but he gets in over his head when he finds out how many others are seeking the same prize.
My Take on it –When Drew and Kim announced this blogathon, I liked the challenge that they presented us to try and find films from the early years of film to watch and review.
This is a film that I came across in my research and was intrigued to watch since it is based on the same Dashiell Hammett story featuring Sam Spade that would eventually become a household name just a decade later.
I have always been an advocate that remakes are usually unnecessary, but this is among the few occasions where that is not true.
The 1941 version of this film which famously features Humphrey Bogart and Mary Astor is so much better and more engaging than this film is despite following the same story.
This is further proof at how much the director and actors add to a particular film since John Huston’s version is so much grittier to look at, yet still works even better than the story does in this film.
The film stars Ricardo Cortez in the Bogart role and Bebe Daniels in the Astor role, yet neither helps find a way to make us care even more about their characters as the story unfolds.
Roy Del Ruth directs this film, but he is no Huston.
Yes, this film was made prior to the code and has some very intriguing references that were banned a decade later, but they don’t add enough to help make tings more intriguing to watch unfold.
The story itself is still told quite well, despite the fact that the cast and directing drag things down a bit along the way.
The noir atmosphere seems missing here and that might have helped make things more thrilling than the way it is all presented here.
MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – When originally sold to television in the 1950s, the title was changed to “Dangerous Female” in order to avoid confusion with its illustrious remake, The Maltese Falcon (1941). Fifty years later, Turner Classic Movies restored its original title card. However, as recently as April 27, 2017, the service used by cable companies to provide data for their viewing guides used the “Dangerous Female” title for TCM’s showing of the movie on that date. (From IMDB)
Rating – BAFTA Worthy (6/10)
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Thanks to MovieRob for his fantastic post on The Maltese Falcon! You can check out the full list of entries updated daily HERE.