The Maltese Falcon Blu-ray Review

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Reviewed by Chris McEneany, 17th November 2010.
Contained with a fabulous package that recreates that now pleasantly expected Warner night out at the flicks, The Maltese Falcon provides top drawer detective thrills, a rollickingly witty mystery with enough twists and turns to keep even the most ADD-afflicted shakey-cam addict on the edge of their seat. Bogart is tremendously assured in the role, combining the street-wise anti-heroic traits that would make him a hangdog star with the savvy of a industry renegade. The supporting cast is to die for, with Lorre sliming it up with relish and Greenstreet managing to be both gregariously erudite and thickly malevolent at the same time. Mary Astor has tremendous fun weaving in and out of lies and deceptions and Elisha Cook Jnr. actually appears to get a real “kick” of his rat-like wannabe hoodlum, whilst still imbuing his low-rent hit-man with an amusing vulnerability that unbelievably contorts our emotions come the finale. All of which makes for a grand ensemble-piece, the like of which they just don't make any more.

Whilst this is perhaps not as enjoyably dark as The Big Sleep, or as incredibly vivid as The Treasure Of The Sierra Madre, John Huston’s clever interpretation of Hammett’s gumshoe trials and tribulations hits the mark as one of the classic and, indeed, pivotal moments in the coming of Hollywood noir and one of the greatest showboating, own-every-scene Bogart performances that isn’t Casablanca. A fabulous transfer seals the deal on this old bird, and The Maltese Falcon comes extremely highly recommended.

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An excellent review, Chris. I was wavering about buying this because I am a big fan of Bogart's Big Sleep and prefer him as Philip Marlowe, but you have convinced me to get a copy of the iconic Sam Spade movie :smashin:

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