NOTE: This DVD is published under license from Video Yesteryear - Plain Case - NO ARTWORK
Dangerous Female (THE MALTESE FALCON)
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(Sep 19, 2008)
Top Customer Reviews
DANGEROUS FEMALE is interesting in several ways, and perhaps most deeply so as an example of the struggle that ensued when sound first roared. What had proven effective on the silent screen suddenly seemed highly mannered when voices were added, and both directors and stars struggled to find new techniques--and DANGEROUS FEMALE offers a very vision of the issues involved.
It is a myth that the advent of sound forced directors to lock down the camera, but it is true that many directors preferred simple camera set-ups in early sound films; it gave them one less thing to worry about. And with this film, Roy Del Ruth is no exception: in a visual sense, DANGEROUS FEMALE is fairly static. The performing decisions made by the various actors are also illustrative and informative, particularly re leads Ricardo Cortez and Bebe Daniels. Cortez is still clearly performing in the "silent mode," and he reads as visually loud; Daniels, however, has elected to underplay, and while she is stiff by current standards, her performance must have seemed startlingly innovative at the time.Read more ›
Of course after reading Hammett's crime novel countless times (if for no other reason than that great dialogue even after the plot line wore thin) and viewing the 1941 Bogie version almost as many times certain prejudices were bound to show up. The key is the role of Sam Spade as the world weary scrappy avenger of his partner's murder while "in the line of duty". If for no other reason than for professional pride. And the well-known plot line, basically murder and mayhem by parties known and unknown searching for a bid, "the stuff of dreams," is what let's Sam save the day, his professional pride, and his roughhewn sense of justice.
The 1931 Spade (played by handsome Richard Cortez) is less concerned with those gritty issues, more brazenly cynical, and much more of a womanizer than Bogie's Spade (although he is not immune, temporality at least, to femme fatale charms). That as I found out was a result of the change in what was deemed acceptable to the general audience (the so-called Production Code).Read more ›
The story begins with a view of the ferry terminals of San Francisco from Oakland to the east. [They were destroyed after the bridge to Oakland was built.] Next we see an aerial view of San Francisco, the banking capital on the west coast, circa 1931. Sam Spade sees off a client. Miss Ruth Wonderly enters, she wants to find her sister. Mrs. Archer calls Sam. Mr. Archer returns from his business trip, and listens in to a conversation. Miss Wonderly deposits two $100 bills (a huge amount then). Miles Archer will personally handle the investigation. Early in the morning Spade gets a surprise on the telephone. Archer was shot at close range. Later two police detectives visit him to question him about Floyd Thursby. In the morning Spade visits Miss Wonderly. She is very good. She talks about Thursby, and tells of her fear of death.
Back at the office Spade gets a visit from Dr. Cairo. He wants to recover a statuette of a black bird. Cairo pulls a gun. Who is the owner? Cairo will pay for its return. Who is the high bidder? The police come by, and find Miss Wonderly and Dr. Cairo in Spade's apartment. Cairo leaves with the two police detectives. Spade plays a record on a phonograph. [Note the Westclox Baby Ben set for 10 o'clock.] Spade inspects Miss Wonderly's purse and finds a key. Spade tosses Ruth's apartment while she sleeps. Back home Sam gets a surprise visit from Iva Archer. Next a letter from Kasper Gutman about "the black bird". Note his sleazy character. He tells about the Knights of St. John and their Maltese falcon. Gutman traced this statuette, and offers to pay for it. "It's a deal!" "I'll be right back." Gutman talks to Cairo, they no longer need Spade to get the black bird. Spade sniffs his drink, then falls asleep.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The DVD was of extremely poor quality (when it played) frequent stops. Unable to play at all at about 20 min. into the film.Published on April 16, 2012 by Michael Warren
In 1539 The Knight Templars of Malta paid tribute to Charles V of Spain, by sending him A Golden Falcon encrusted from beak to claw with rarest jewels. Read morePublished on September 8, 2009 by Bernie
While the movie with Bogart grabs all the glory this original film is the better of the two. I like both films but this has become my favorite.Published on May 6, 2009 by Joel Jacobs
This is the first filming of Dasheill Hammett's classic detective story. It predates the John Huston/Humphrey Bogart version by ten years and follows the novel closely. Read morePublished on October 26, 2005 by John Billheimer