Satan Met a Lady Reviews
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.