Satan Met a Lady - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Satan Met a Lady Reviews

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½ September 29, 2014
first version of this-the maltese falcon
½ July 17, 2014
Meh version of Dashiell Hammett's "The Maltese Falcon". This was the second film version, but did precede John Huston's classic Humphrey Bogart version of the hard-boiled detective novel. In this version, private detective Ted Shane (the Sam Spade character) and his partner are hired by femme fetal Bette Davis to trail someone, but when his partner gets murdered while shadowing the mark, Shane learns that Davis is not who she seems and runs into a cast of characters all trying to get a priceless ram's horn (the Maltese Falcon MacGuffin here). What's so striking about this film is how badly it compares to Huston's far superior third retelling of the Hammett story. This version tries to be light and breezy and almost has more of a screwball comedy tone to it than a hard-boiled mystery. Warren William as the Sam Spade figure just seems ridiculous compared to Bogart, especially given his very silly looking wide brimmed hat (looking almost like The Shadow). If anything, this film made me appreciate how much Huston got right with his film.
July 9, 2014
It is no Maltese Falcon, but it was entertaining enough. Could have done without the offensive racial stereotypes toward the end though. Although movies of this era are inherently rife with these.
Super Reviewer
½ June 10, 2014
The comic version of The Maltese Falcon. Fairly clever the way the story is twisted for comic purposes. Spade becomes Shane (Warren William), Ruth né Brigid becomes Valerie Purvis (Bette Davis), and the "Fatman" Gutman becomes a woman (Skipworth). Everyone's trying to get their hands on a Medieval horn filled with jewels rather than a golden bird encrusted with jewels. William portrays Shane as having many of the characteristics of Spade, just exaggerated for comedic effect. Bette Davis, however, doesn't seem very invested in her character.
June 23, 2012
A decent looking film.
January 16, 2012
non of the jokes are funny. it's boring and at times anoying. the director problably knew that none of it was funny because the actors laugh at all the jokes in an atempt to make the audience laugh. of the three adaptations this is most certanlly the worst.
December 3, 2011
This was Hollywood's second attempt to adapt Dashiell Hammett's "The Maltese Falcon", just right before John Huston's version. The plot is the same except for the fact that instead of a falcon, it's a horn filled with jewels and it's all played for laughs. This attempt at blending film noir and comedy has some good lines here and there and features an interesting performance by a young Bette Davis but it's ultimately a failure. An interesting failure but still a failure.
October 9, 2011
Since the 1931 "Maltese Falcon" had to be shelved due to its immoral content, 1936 gave a remake that made it heavier in comedy, made it more of a vehicle for Bette Davis more than the detective played by Warren William. Big mistake in that? I don't necessarily think so. Davis can carry things on her own, but ones expecting a Falcon will be absolutely surprised that it is not even a Falcon everyone is going for in this version!
March 9, 2011
Take "The Maltese Falcon" and make a farce out of it. This is the movie you'd get.
February 9, 2011
Warren William is much more interesting and funny to watch then Humphrey Bogart, but the rest of the cast and script isn't as well as the remake. Kind of all piles on at the very end.
½ September 13, 2009
Makes you really appreciate Bogey.
jjnxn
Super Reviewer
½ August 27, 2009
Light version of Maltese Falcon, really not much of worth here. Legend has it that Bette fought tooth and nail not to make this and it shows in her performance, she's either disinterested or chewing the scenery to try and make something of the lackluster script. Marie Wilson as the secretary is brightest spot in the film.
dietmountaindew
Super Reviewer
½ June 26, 2009
"satan met a lady" is a typical example of how you could ruin a ballistic novel by whimsically twisting it into a slapstick comedy. "satan met a lady" is based upon the well-reputed novel of danshiell hammett "maltese falcon" which had made a legend of humprey bogart as sam spade in early 40s. "satan met a lady" is destined to be forgotten (which i wouldn't call a doom) for its misguided adaption. there's no hard-boiled grit which is the essential attribute to "maltese falcon"...and the primary question would be: why bother to make it tough task by farcial attempt? is that a joke on hammet? sure, a forgotten joke.

names of the protagonists are all changed. william warren is the womanizing detective shane who toys around with dames, and bette davis is the femme fatale who doublecross shane for a precious "flute" instead of the phenomenal black bird. then the rest follows along the fixed storyline of maltese falcon. an obese rich dame and her also overweight tepid assassin united together against davis while shane observes with smirks. warren william does have an idiocyncratic sense of ridicule, a surviver from the silent movie days in transition to talkies, and he's tall, dashing and suave with a profile which could rival john barrymore. unfortunately, william's charisma is soon to be dated after the 30s. william is the ideal personification of leading man in pre-code hollywood, and he's the only one who could blend elegance with cynicism without vulgarities but a refined sort of decadence. every player in "satan met a lady" seems playfully abscent-minded to deliver their lines, laughing flirtatiously on the script dispatched to them. it's the least noirish movie made upon american detective novel ever, and even more frivilous than william powell's "thin man" which has been turned into a screwball comedy of success.

warren william's physiques do fit into sam spade by the novel but he's a reluctant sam spade who doesn't wish to be sam spade. he ain't so bitter like spade. how about davis? the only worthwhile moment she employs is her feministic assertation of asking a man to hold his hat high while being threatened with a gun because she's a LADY in presence. there's no female ferocity she expresses in "human bondage", no dubious sexuality but a girlish poise of mischief as she remakrs to william at the end "you would regret turning me in because you cannot find any other woman who is as smart as you"...so? is that a desire to be so obviously cute??

generally, the value of "satan met a lady" is its campiness, the campiest version of "maltese falcon" ever! no actor involved is really paying a heart to pull it off, and the whole set of cast is literily mocking themselves. and the treasure is a flute? so, you're gonna blow it off soundly, i suppose.
½ June 13, 2009
If you've seen either the first or third versions of "The Maltese Falcon," you may not like this version. It's more of a screwball comedy than a mystery. Naturally, the third version, immortalized by Humphrey Bogart, is the clear winner. I must give much applause to Bette Davis' parting shots in this one as she's being hauled off by the police. Truly the best part of the movie!
May 9, 2009
A decent film overall, but a poor adaptation of the Dashiel Hammett classic.
January 4, 2009
Not the greatest movie, but interesting to see a more comedic spin on The Maltese Falcon.
November 30, 2008
This 2nd retelling of 'The Maltese Falcon' (before John Huston proved the the third time was the charm) is a bizarre pseudo-comedy with an ingratiating performance by Warren William in the role Humphrey Bogart would later immortalize. Warren got under my skin -- I hated him. Bette Davis was all right, but the real standout performance was Arthur Treacher as the tall Englishman, Travers. His sardonic humor and physical timing make him easily the most fun cast member to watch. I love director William Dieterle's later "The Devil and Daniel Webster", but I didn't see any of that film's rich style or aesthetics in this movie.
½ September 26, 2008
A comedy esque version of The Maltese Falcon is quite different and weird, but it's much better than the 1931 version.
½ September 3, 2008
Compared to both versions of The Maltese Falcon, this is pretty boring, and not that funny. Maybe it's my fault, but 1936 humor isn't exactly fresh today.
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