The Maltese Falcon

More than 65 years after the release of John Huston's "The Maltese Falcon," Warner Home Video presents a comprehensive package that shows why it took several versions of Dashiell Hammett's Sam Spade yarn before the studio got it right.

With:
With: Humphrey Bogart, Mary Astor.

More than 65 years after the release of John Huston’s “The Maltese Falcon,” Warner Home Video presents a comprehensive package that shows why it took several versions of Dashiell Hammett’s Sam Spade yarn before the studio got it right.

Included with a stellar transfer of the 1941 classic — which looks as if it has been reshot on new black-and-white film stock — are the 1931 “Maltese Falcon” and the 1936 “Satan Met a Lady,” based on the same story. The former, done during the pre-code era, presents Spade as a leering letch, the latter as a wisecracking gumshoe.

As Bogart biographer Eric Lax points out in an encyclopedic commentary, the Huston version finally presented a world “where there are no good guys or good girls.” With Humphrey Bogart taking a leading role that George Raft turned down (he turned down many roles that Bogart took), the plot finally comes alive.

The moral ambiguity of the characters and the tension of the story are greased by asymmetrical angles, foggy settings and shadows and light. Watching images so iconic and parodied, it’s hard to remember that this was the real thing.

The accompanying docu also sheds light on the making of the movie, but Lax goes the extra mile. He’s best when he talks about Warner Bros.’ development of a cadre of players that included Bogart, Sydney Greenstreet and Peter Lorre, who went on to make “Casablanca” and “Passage to Marseille.” Lax’s information is so extensive that it can get a bit grating. But for buffs who will snatch up this release, that is hardly a reason for complaint.

The Maltese Falcon

Release: Oct. 3 Three-disc set: $29.98

Production: A Warner Home Video release of the 1931 and 1941 movies.

Cast: With: Humphrey Bogart, Mary Astor.

More Digital

  • Facebook Watch - TV Shows

    Facebook Watch a Hit? Study Finds 40% of Users Tune In to Video Weekly

    More than 65 years after the release of John Huston’s “The Maltese Falcon,” Warner Home Video presents a comprehensive package that shows why it took several versions of Dashiell Hammett’s Sam Spade yarn before the studio got it right. Included with a stellar transfer of the 1941 classic — which looks as if it has […]

  • Nickelodeon Entertainment Lab / Chris Young

    Inside the Nickelodeon Entertainment Lab, the Network’s Geeky R&D Unit

    More than 65 years after the release of John Huston’s “The Maltese Falcon,” Warner Home Video presents a comprehensive package that shows why it took several versions of Dashiell Hammett’s Sam Spade yarn before the studio got it right. Included with a stellar transfer of the 1941 classic — which looks as if it has […]

  • amazon-logo

    Amazon Hikes Price of Prime Membership Monthly Plan by 18%

    More than 65 years after the release of John Huston’s “The Maltese Falcon,” Warner Home Video presents a comprehensive package that shows why it took several versions of Dashiell Hammett’s Sam Spade yarn before the studio got it right. Included with a stellar transfer of the 1941 classic — which looks as if it has […]

  • Turner, Warner Bros. Launching New Movie

    Turner, Warner Bros. Launching Movie SVOD Service FilmStruck Internationally

    More than 65 years after the release of John Huston’s “The Maltese Falcon,” Warner Home Video presents a comprehensive package that shows why it took several versions of Dashiell Hammett’s Sam Spade yarn before the studio got it right. Included with a stellar transfer of the 1941 classic — which looks as if it has […]

  • Liza Koshy - Liza On Demand

    Above Average Steers Focus to Original Comedy Series for TV, Digital Services

    More than 65 years after the release of John Huston’s “The Maltese Falcon,” Warner Home Video presents a comprehensive package that shows why it took several versions of Dashiell Hammett’s Sam Spade yarn before the studio got it right. Included with a stellar transfer of the 1941 classic — which looks as if it has […]

  • snapchat-logo

    Snap Layoffs: 22 Staffers Gone Across Content Division, Other Teams

    More than 65 years after the release of John Huston’s “The Maltese Falcon,” Warner Home Video presents a comprehensive package that shows why it took several versions of Dashiell Hammett’s Sam Spade yarn before the studio got it right. Included with a stellar transfer of the 1941 classic — which looks as if it has […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content