The Maltese Falcon (1941)



Critic Consensus: Suspenseful, labyrinthine, and brilliantly cast, The Maltese Falcon is one of the most influential noirs -- as well as a showcase for Humphrey Bogart at his finest.

Movie Info

After two previous film versions of Dashiell Hammett's detective classic The Maltese Falcon, Warner Bros. finally got it right in 1941--or, rather, John Huston, a long-established screenwriter making his directorial debut, got it right, simply by adhering as closely as possible to the original. Taking over from a recalcitrant George Raft, Humphrey Bogart achieved true stardom as Sam Spade, a hard-boiled San Francisco private eye who can be as unscrupulous as the next guy but also adheres to his … More

Rating: PG
Genre: Mystery & Suspense, Drama
Directed By:
Written By: John Huston
In Theaters:
On DVD: Feb 15, 2000
Warner Bros.


as Sam Spade

as Brigid O'Shaughnessy

as Joel Cairo

as Kasper Gutman

as Iva Archer

as Det. Lt. Dundy

as Effie Perine

as Det. Tom Polhaus

as Miles Archer

as Capt. Jacobi

as Frank Richman

as Mate of the La Palom...

as Stenographer

as Wilmer Cook

as Reporter

as Reporter

as Reporter

as Announcer
Show More Cast

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Critic Reviews for The Maltese Falcon

All Critics (47) | Top Critics (8)

The Maltese Falcon is the first crime melodrama with finish, speed and bang to come along in what seems ages.

Full Review… | August 29, 2012
The New Republic
Top Critic

Frighteningly good evidence that the British (Alfred Hitchcock, Carol Reed, et al.) have no monopoly on the technique of making mystery films.

Full Review… | April 23, 2009
TIME Magazine
Top Critic

The Maltese Falcon is among the most important and influential movies to emerge from the Hollywood system -- as significant in some ways as its contemporary, Citizen Kane.

Full Review… | June 10, 2008
Top Critic

This is one of the best examples of actionful and suspenseful melodramatic story telling in cinematic form.

Full Review… | April 8, 2008
Top Critic

Who can argue with Bogart's glower or Mary Astor in her ratty fur?

Full Review… | October 16, 2007
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

Filmed almost entirely in interiors, it presents a claustrophobic world animated by betrayal, perversion and pain.

Full Review… | June 24, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for The Maltese Falcon

It is uneven, and dips in energy mid-way through, however the mystery and well-delivered one-liners make The Maltese Falcon a mostly enjoyable watch.

Matthew Samuel Mirliani
Matthew Samuel Mirliani

Super Reviewer


Bogart is perfect and in his best shape as an arrogant detective who tries (along with us) to make heads and tails of an extremely intricate and dizzy affair, and the best of it is that it is an incredibly well constructed plot in which all of the pieces fit in the end, with no loose ends.

Carlos Magalh„es

Super Reviewer

A knockout dame walks into Sam Spade's office with what should be a simple job, but soon stiffs are turning up as an exotic cast of characters shows up, all looking for the fabulous Maltese Falcon. Quite possibly the greatest film noir movie; the principal cast is miraculously good, with Humphrey Bogart basically creating the cinematic private eye archetype out of cigarette smoke, whiskey, quick fists and quicker wits.

Greg S

Super Reviewer

The Maltese Falcon Quotes

– Submitted by Ted P (5 months ago)
– Submitted by George P (21 months ago)
– Submitted by John T (21 months ago)
– Submitted by John T (21 months ago)

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