The Maltese Falcon 1941

The Maltese Falcon

Critics 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.

100%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 56

91%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 57,852

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Movie Info

In this noir classic, detective Sam Spade (Humphrey Bogart) gets more than he bargained for when he takes a case brought to him by a beautiful but secretive woman (Mary Astor). As soon as Miss Wonderly shows up, trouble follows as Sam's partner is murdered and Sam is accosted by a man (Peter Lorre) demanding he locate a valuable statuette. Sam, entangled in a dangerous web of crime and intrigue, soon realizes he must find the one thing they all seem to want: the bejeweled Maltese falcon.

Cast & Crew

Mary Astor
Brigid O'Shaughnessy
Peter Lorre
Joel Cairo
Barton MacLane
Det. Lt. Dundy
Lee Patrick
Effie Perine
Ward Bond
Det. Tom Polhaus
Jerome Cowan
Miles Archer
Hal B. Wallis
Executive Producer
Adolph Deutsch
Original Music
Arthur Edeson
Cinematographer
Robert M. Haas
Art Direction
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Critic Reviews for The Maltese Falcon

All Critics (56) | Top Critics (9) | Fresh (56)

  • On a number of accounts it is distinguished celluloid entertainment, but it is of great interest to the trade because it reveals, in startling terms, the unheralded talent of topflight scenarist, John Huston.

    October 3, 2018 | Full Review…
  • The Maltese Falcon is the first crime melodrama with finish, speed and bang to come along in what seems ages.

    August 29, 2012 | Full Review…
  • Frighteningly good evidence that the British (Alfred Hitchcock, Carol Reed, et al.) have no monopoly on the technique of making mystery films.

    April 23, 2009 | Full Review…
    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.

    June 10, 2008 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…
  • This is one of the best examples of actionful and suspenseful melodramatic story telling in cinematic form.

    April 8, 2008 | Full Review…

    Variety Staff

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

    October 16, 2007 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Maltese Falcon

  • Jul 19, 2020
    John Huston is on that short list of directors whose first effort resulted in an iconic film. If you're a movie lover this is one you must watch because it's the stuff that dreams a made of.
    Aldo G Super Reviewer
  • Apr 06, 2016
    Tough and gritty, the film noir classic The Maltese Falcon from 1941 has a fantastic cast, led by Humphrey Bogart in the role of hardboiled detective Sam Spade. A dame played by, whoops, a woman played by Mary Astor shows up in his office looking for a guy, but for reasons she's not being truthful about. A couple of murders later, Bogart comes to understand she and others are searching for a priceless antique, a statue of a falcon (from Malta, naturally). Bogart must navigate the waters between the police, who suspect him, the various tough guys, one of whom is the fantastic Peter Lorrie, and Mary Astor's character, who he's attracted to, but knows he cannot trust. Along the way, he'll blow smoke in a guy's face, take and give punches, and deliver several good lines, my favorites of which were "When I slap you, you'll take it and like it", and of course, the last one, in response to being asked what the falcon statue was, saying it's "the stuff dreams are made of". It's regarded as a classic, but for me it's good-not-great. I think one of the issues is the connection to Astor, I didn't see any real chemistry between the two of them, rendering a couple of the scenes false. It's certainly worth watching though.
    Antonius B Super Reviewer
  • Nov 13, 2014
    Great film. Good performance by Bogart -- actually, good performances all around -- along with great direction and lighting, as well as the music. Bogart really fits the detective role here, with an ending that really is hard-hitting. Might grow on me if I see it again -- between a 4 and a 4.5 for me.
    Kyle M Super Reviewer
  • Jul 13, 2014
    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 M Super Reviewer

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