Essay Truth, and The Maltese Falcon

Essay Truth, and The Maltese Falcon

Length: 797 words (2.3 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

When sitting down with popcorn, soda and some jujubes to view the splendor of a film entitled “The Maltese Falcon”, it may quickly become apparent that the film really isn’t jujube material. More appropriate perhaps, is a scotch on the rocks. This film has something to say about humanity, and it isn’t all rainbows and jujubes. Director John Huston’s 1941 directorial debut takes the audience on a series of twists and turns that even the sharpest of minds could not foresee.
Main character and ultimate cool guy Samuel Spade (Humprey Bogart) has an air about him that must be vigilantly followed from beginning to end. His dynamic personality makes him irresistible to women in any era, and idolized by men just the same. His unpredictability allows the audience to get lost in his story, and immediately we are obsessed to see how the story will unfold.
At first, there is not much complexity to this private eye. He and his partner seem nothing more than your average pair of cliché private eyes, willing to help any damsel in distress that throws cash their way. However, when Spade’s partner Archer (Jerome Cowan) is murdered in cold-blood, something in Sam’s demeanor is off. His partner just died, and he is oddly unemotional. He received the early morning phone call, and reacted as though he were called to the crime scene of a stranger. This particular lack of emotion begs the viewer to find out what exactly Det. Spade is up to.
As the story of the falcon begins to unravel, on opposing sides of this highly prized relic appears femme fatale Ms. Brigid O’Shaughnessy (Mary Astor) and Mr. Joel Cairo (Peter Lorre). The long, overcast shadows that seem to linger in their presence suggest that something odd is going on with both of these chara...


... middle of paper ...


...ut the frightening ease in which its characters fall to the power of the unattainable. They all seek to be in control, and fail miserably. When Sam answer’s the cops question about the maltese falcon, the answer is as haunting as Sam’s expression. He replies, full of insight, “It’s the stuff dreams are made of.” Every one of these criminals had acted on the idea of the falcon, only for it to turn out to be a fake. What’s truly being said for humanity is that we all fall under the ideals unspeakable fortune represents. Power corrupts. Money corrupts. But truth, now that’s something truly beautiful, something worth fighting for. Sam may have walked away broke, but he was rich with the knowledge he had brought his partner’s murderer to light. A thought he may take little comfort in on the loneliest of nights, sobbing in his tear-streaked glass of scotch, on the rocks.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Essay on Lessons from "The Maltese Falcon" by Dashiell Hammett

- The Maltese Falcon is a novel written by Dashiell Hammett in 1929. It was originally published by Alfred A. Knopf, Inc., New York, in 1930. Readers and critics see this book as one of the best detective novels ever written, but they also see it as a great piece of literature. With 217 pages, it is an easy read but is a stimulating story. The main character of this book is a private investigator named Sam Spade. The story revolves around him being lied to and interrogated constantly by people who are hiring him to find the statue called The Maltese Falcon....   [tags: Maltese Falcon, Dashiell Hammett, ]

Better Essays
599 words (1.7 pages)

Maltese Falcon Essay example

- The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett takes place in the 1930s and has a variety of mysterious charactersincluding: Sam Spade, Brigid O'Shaughhnessy, Joel Cairo, Mr. Gutman, and Wilmer. When O'Shaughnessy comes to Spade and asks him to shadow Thursby, the story takes off ona rampage of events with seemingly no relevance until they are revealed in the end. The conflict that drives the story is the unknown location of the Maltese falcon, a golden falcon of immense value. All the actions and even emotinos fo the characters are driven by the desire to obtain the falcon ormoney from obtaining the falcon....   [tags: essays research papers]

Free Essays
785 words (2.2 pages)

Film Noir: The Maltese falcon Essay

- Film Noir was extremely trendy during the 1940’s. People were captivated by the way it expresses a mood of disillusionment and indistinctness between good and evil. Film Noir have key elements; crime, mystery, an anti-hero, femme fatale, and chiaroscuro lighting and camera angles. The Maltese Falcon is an example of film noir because of the usage of camera angles, lighting and ominous settings, as well as sinister characters as Samuel Spade, the anti-hero on a quest for meaning, who encounters the death of his partner but does not show any signs of remorse but instead for his greed for riches....   [tags: Film]

Better Essays
973 words (2.8 pages)

The Significance Of The Black Bird In The Maltese Falcon Essay

- In Dashiell Hammet’s The Maltese Falcon, the "black bird" serves as a crucial link connecting Sam Spade and Brigid O’ Shaughnessy. The black bird functions as the structural bond of Spade and Brigid’s relationship because it represents their greed and desire for wealth. Hammet points out that the Brigid’s greed for the bird causes her to utilize detective Spade as a tool: "Help me, Mr. Spade. Help me because I need help so badly, and because if you don’t where will I find anyone who can, no matter how willing?" (Hammet 35)....   [tags: Dashiell Hammett, Symbolism, Literary Analysis]

Better Essays
1337 words (3.8 pages)

Essay on The Maltese Falcon

- Dashiell Hammett’s San Francisco: A Unique Setting in the Changing World of Early 20th Century Detective Fiction The Pacific coast port city of San Francisco, California provides a distinctively mysterious backdrop in Dashiell Hammett’s The Maltese Falcon. Unlike many other detective stories that are anchored in well-known metropolises such as Los Angeles or New York City, Hammett opted to place the events of his text in the lesser-known, yet similarly exotic cultural confines of San Francisco....   [tags: essays research papers fc]

Free Essays
1345 words (3.8 pages)

The Maltese Falcon By Dashiell Hammett Essay

- Dashiell Hammett’s novel, The Maltese Falcon, is a hard-boiled detective novel; a subset of the mystery genre. Before the appearance of this sub-genre, mystery novels were mainly dominated by unrealistic cases and detectives like Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes. As Malmgren states, “The murders in these stories are implausibly motivated, the plots completely artificial, and the characters pathetically two-dimensional, puppets and cardboard lovers, and paper mache villains and detectives of exquisite and impossible gentility.” (Malmgren, 371) On the other hand, Hammett tried to write realistic mystery fiction – the “hard-boiled” genre....   [tags: Maltese Falcon Hammett]

Better Essays
1434 words (4.1 pages)

Analysis of The Maltese Falcon Essay example

- Analysis of The Maltese Falcon The Maltese Falcon, was not only a detective film, but a film that displayed many different aspects of the female and the male character in the movie. The film was more than a story, but a story that explored the ideas of the detective genre and the different characteristics of femininity and masculinity. It also brought forth subjects of sexual desires and the greediness of money. The characters and the visual motifs in the film contributed to the developing of the plot and assisted in creating a more detective and gender oriented film....   [tags: Movie Film Maltese Falcon Essays]

Better Essays
1607 words (4.6 pages)

Dashiell Hammett’s The Maltese Falcon Essay

- In traditional hard-boiled American detective fiction there are many themes that seem to transcend all novels. One of those themes is the concept of power and the role in which it plays in the interaction and development of characters. More specifically, the role of women within the novels can be scrutinized to better understand the power they hold over the other characters, their own lives and the direction of the story. Dashiell Hammett’s The Maltese Falcon exemplifies the varying ways in which female characters attempt to obtain and utilize power in hopes of influencing, manipulating and succeeding....   [tags: Dashiell Hammett Maltese Falcon]

Better Essays
1101 words (3.1 pages)

Essay on The Maltese Falcon: Book Vs. Movie

- The Maltese Falcon: Book Vs. Movie      Many time in our lives, we have seen the transformation of novels into movies. Some of them are equal to the novel, few are superior, and most are inferior. Why is this. Why is it that a story that was surely to be one of the best written stories ever, could turn out to be Hollywood flops. One reason is that in many transformations, the main characters are changed, some the way they look, others the way they act. On top of this, scenes are cut out and plot is even changed....   [tags: Maltese Falcon Film Novel Compare Essays]

Better Essays
1141 words (3.3 pages)

Maltese Falcon as a Film Noir Essay

- Maltese Falcon as a Film Noir Film Noir is a French word which means: dark or black film. This is very fitting as Film Noir and the Maltese falcon are stories of dark deceptive people who often cannot be trusted. Film Noir is a good example of this as the story is about a detective called Sam Spade who gets dragged into the quest for the Maltese Falcon with a compulsive liar Kasper Gutman. The Maltese Falcon is a large bird made of solid gold worth millions. The main six conventions of Film Noir as I can see are The plot, lighting , dialogue, body language, stock characters and camera angles....   [tags: Papers]

Better Essays
1153 words (3.3 pages)