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The Maltese Falcon (Three-Disc Special Edition)

661 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Maltese Falcon, The: Special Edition (DVD) (3-Disc)


Additional Features

This handsome transfer of John Huston's 1941 masterpiece gets the usual mix of bonus features, with a couple of major additions: the two previous film versions of Dashiell Hammett's landmark detective novel. Neither gets it right, although both are fun examples of everyday Warner Bros. fare. The 1931 Maltese Falcon, starring Ricardo Cortez as gumshoe Sam Spade, has plenty of cheek but precious little magic--although it's fascinating to hear some of the same verbatim Hammett dialogue later enshrined in Huston's classic. The 1936 Satan Met a Lady pitches the story as a screwball comedy, with Warren William and Bette Davis playing it as though they wandered in from a Thin Man picture.

Other goodies include a historically minded commentary track from Bogart biographer Eric Lax. Three different radio versions of the Falcon are here, two starring Bogart and one with Edward G. Robinson, and a useful half-hour documentary, The Maltese Falcon: One Magnificent Bird. Turner Classics host Robert Osborne presents a fun 44 minutes' worth of Bogie coming-attractions trailers. An uncensored collection of bloopers, Breakdowns of 1941, has some hysterical gaffes. Shorts include two Oscar nominees: the cartoon "Hiawatha's Rabbit Hunt," with Bugs Bunny intruding on the famous poem; and "The Gay Parisian," a colorful and historically valuable performance by the fabled Ballets Russe de Monte Carlo. (Although what Sam Spade would've thought of such a thing can only be imagined.) A humorous cartoon war-effort short, "Meet John Doughboy," gives good flavor of the mood of the era. --Robert Horton

Special Features

  • New digital transfer of 1941 movie from restored elements
  • Commentary by Bogart biographer Eric Lax
  • Warner Night at the Movies 1941 Short Subjects Gallery: vintage newsreel, Technicolor musical short The Gay Parisian, classic cartoons Hiawatha's Rabbit Hunt and Meet John Doughboy
  • 2 Previous Movie Versions of the classic Hammett caper:
  • The Maltese Falcon (1931) with Bebe Daniels and Recardo Cortez
  • Satan Met a Lady (1936) with Bette Davis and Warren William
  • Theatrical Trailers
  • New Documentary "The Maltese Falcon: One Magnificent Bird"
  • The Trailers of Humphrey Bogart
  • Breakdowns of 1941: Studio Blooper Reel
  • Audio-only bonus: 3 radio show adaptations including a version starring Edward G. Robinson

Product Details

  • Actors: Humphrey Bogart, Mary Astor, Gladys George, Peter Lorre, Barton MacLane
  • Directors: John Huston
  • Writers: John Huston, Dashiell Hammett
  • Producers: Henry Blanke, Hal B. Wallis
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Black & White, Closed-captioned, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 3
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: October 3, 2006
  • Run Time: 101 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (661 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000GIXLW0
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #44,528 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Maltese Falcon (Three-Disc Special Edition)" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

192 of 210 people found the following review helpful By takemehome on March 24, 2007
Format: DVD
Again, Warner Bros. continues to rival other studios with their DVD releases of their classic movies. This time, they've pulled out all the stops for the 1941 version of The Maltese Falcon, the film that practically invented the film noir genre. Although not as packed with bonus materials like some of their other previous Special Edition, they've still put enough material on here to use THREE discs. The set contains a cardboard slipcase packaging two slim DVD cases. Disc 1 is contained in the first case, and the second case contains discs 2 and 3. I won't go into detail on the movie, because I'm here to review the product itself, not the movie.

The first disc contains the 1941 film noir classic, with a newly restored digital transfer. Digital artifacting is minimal if existent. Some film artifacting, such as occasional slight shakiness is present, but for the most part, the transfer is clean and free from flaws. The audio is presented in its glorious original mono mix, which has been cleaned up for this new transfer. An audio commentary is included, but I have yet to listen to it. Also included is a bonus called Warner Night At The Movies, which allows you to view a gallery of short subjects before The Maltese Falcon - the way you would have in 1941. The short subjects included are informative and/or entertaining and even include a couple of short cartoons. But the restored movie is, of course, the main attraction - and what an attraction!

Disc 2 contains a nice surprise - the first two film versions of The Maltese Falcon! The first one is the pre-code 1931 version starring Ricardo Cortez as Sam Spade and Bebe Daniels as Ruth Wonderly. Although this first version is very similar to the 1941 version, it contains a bit more sexual innuendo and suggestive scenes.
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34 of 35 people found the following review helpful By Craig Clarke VINE VOICE on May 6, 2008
Format: DVD
The three-disc special edition of the 1941 version of The Maltese Falcon contains some very interesting bonus features: the two previous adaptations of Dashiell Hammett's novel, the first also called The Maltese Falcon (though it was renamed Dangerous Female for TV in the '50s to avoid confusion), and the second titled Satan Met a Lady.

Since the 1941 version (directed by John Huston and starring Humphrey Bogart, Mary Astor, Sydney Greenstreet, and Peter Lorre) is the one considered "definitive," it's not surprising that relatively few viewers realize that was actually Hollywood's third adaptation of Hammett's classic detective novel.

Satan Met a Lady (directed by William Dieterle and starring Bette Davis and Warren William), is by all accounts a disaster (a very loose adaptation by screenwriter Brown Holmes, who co-wrote this version), but the first Maltese Falcon, filmed in 1931 by director Roy del Ruth, is a terrific alternative for viewers who love the story and would just like to watch a different take on it. (Both films are faithful to the source, with few changes.)

The main difference in tone comes from Ricardo Cortez's portrayal of Sam Spade. Cortez's Spade is much more of a ladies man than Bogart's. In fact, the opening scene of the movie shows a woman leaving Spade's office, adjusting her stockings (later, he is shown picking up sofa cushions from the floor). His roving eye (and hand) also includes his secretary, Effie. Una Merkel plays Effie as if she's not only a willing participant in these shenanigans, but is also quite aware of Spade's other dalliances -- including partner Miles Archer's wife Iva (Thelma Todd) -- and thinks it's funny.

That lightness extends to Cortez, as well.
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67 of 74 people found the following review helpful By Erik Rupp VINE VOICE on May 17, 2000
Format: DVD
Sometimes with a movie everything turns out right. That was the case with this 1941 classic. John Huston's driectorial debut is a masterpiece of film noir, featuring a great performance by Humphrey Bogart as Sam Spade. Actually, the entire cast is fantastic from top to bottom, with standout performances from Sydney Greenstreet and Peter Lorre. The story is a classic tale of greed, murder, and manipulation with some surprising plot twists (surprising if you haven't seen it already). THE MALTESE FALCON is one of those movies that you can watch over and over and find something new each time. The picture and sound quality are actually quite good for a film from 1941 as any flaws are minor and inconsequential. The DVD also features the original theatrical trailer, plus a special feature on trailers from Humphrey Bogart movies. This truly is a must-have! Add this DVD to your collection; you will be glad that you did!
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286 of 347 people found the following review helpful By Nowhere Man VINE VOICE on February 21, 2000
Format: DVD
Warner Brothers has one of the greatest film catalogs of any studio; yet they don't appear to take their DVD issues very seriously. Who on earth would put "Goodfellas" on two sides of a disc? or not release the "Director's Cut" version of "Eyes Wide Shut" (imagine the added revenue if they had)? or release a slapdash collection of Kubrick's films? or almost never digitally enhance the audio or visual transfer or provide any significant extras? Compared to the deluxe packages that Universal, Criterion, and, even, Paramount has mustered, Warners' issues - all released in cheap and easily breakable snap cases - are a peculiar desecration of a vaunted film legacy.
Case in point: "The Maltese Falcon". Arguably the greatest detective film ever made, Warners at least releases it with a decent video transfer. Unfortunately, the audio synchronizing is off during the last 15 minutes of the movie (by a second but it's still noticable) and I wasn't able to access all the people on the "Cast and Crew" menu (no, it wasn't a machine error, as I tested on several discs thereafter). Moreover, although I enjoyed the "Trailers of Humphrey Bogart" section, it would have been nice if Warners spent the money to create a documentary history of the film the way they did on Universal's "Casablanca" release.
Much ink has been spilt praising "The Maltese Falcon" so I won't go into any panegyrics here. It's just a shame that Warners doesn't take this market seriously enough to put more care into the DVD releases of their finest films.
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hilarious parody of this movie-The Maltese Falcon!
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