Where Nick likes to make me watch weird crazy shit, Nolahn on the other hand decides to take it easy on me and gives me a few classics to watch. Starting with a Humphrey Bogart film nonetheless! Now I’m going to be honest with you: this is the first Bogart film I’ve ever seen. Yes, I’ve still have yet to see Casablanca. And there’s no reason for why I haven’t watched a Bogart film up until this point in my life. I just never got around to it. There’s more Linnea Quigley movies to see!
Also I don’t watch a lot of older films. Even old bad movies I don’t tend to watch. Sure, I’ve seen the “MST3K” episodes where they covered a movie from the 1940′s and ’50s but I hardly seek these out on my own. And again, I have no reason for me avoiding these films, it’s just newer stuff is constantly in my face more. I guess what I’m saying is don’t expect this review to be mind blowing and full of wonderful insight that a James Blake Ewing or a Kristen or a Steve Honeywell or a Pat McDonnell review might have. I can’t write reviews like that and as a certain contest that was happening around this time last year proves, people agree with me. But I do know how to slam words together and talk about what happens in the film. And that’s what you’re going to get.
Because this is a movie from the 1940′s, the movie starts with an opening crawl of text that tells us a long ass time ago some statue of a falcon from Malta went missing and nobody knows what happened to it. NOBODY! Flash forward about a billion years later and we’re in San Francisco. Ah, San Fran. All the greatest movies took place there. Like Dirty Harry, the “Doctor Who” made-for-TV movie, and of course The Room. The classics!
We meet Bogart’s character named Sam Spade, who is a private detective. He is then visited by a woman named Ruth who wants Sam’s help in finding her sister who ran away with some guy named Thornby. At this point Sam’s partner Archer shows up and while talking Ruth tells them that she’s suppose to go meet Thornby that night. Archer agrees to follow her to the meeting so then he can follow Thornby to find the sister. Turns out this was a horrible idea because Archer ends up getting shot…TO DEATH!!
The cops suspect Sam is the killer because apparently everybody knows that Sam was shacking up with Archer’s wife. Mrs. Archer thinks the same thing but doesn’t care because she’s very much in love with Sam. Sam, proving he’s a cold heartless bastard (but a BADASS cold heartless bastard), tells her he doesn’t care, and then immediately has Archer’s name removed from the hand painted signs outside their office.
From this point forward, the plot is a bit difficult to explain simply. There’s a bunch of other characters like Cairo, who is played by Peter Lorre and a fat dude named Gutman and they’re after The Maltese Falcon, the missing falcon statue that was mentioned at the beginning of the movie. Turns out Ruth’s name isn’t Ruth but Brigid and she’s also involved with the others. Some guy is also following Sam around but we don’t know why until about midway through the movie.
So since I can’t talk about the plot, let’s talk about Sam Spade, the character. He’s a total badass. He talks quick, he thinks quick, and he’s pretty funny. He doesn’t take any shit and he hates when weird people follow him. He’s able to disarm people instantly, even if they have a gun pointed at him. Sam could come across as a royal asshole but he’s so damn cool. He’s got all kinds of women falling for him. In fact, he’s almost the American James Bond, sans the gadgets.
And Sam doesn’t really lose his cool, even when the police think he murdered his partner. He just tell them to get a warrant and a subpoena and get on with it, otherwise leave him the fuck alone so he can do his job! And the best thing about Sam is he gets “mickey’d” (which is an old movie term for “roofied”) and the weird guy that’s been following Sam around kicks him in the face. But does Sam care or feel pain when he wakes up? HELL NO! He just gets up and goes back to work. Sam Spade=American Badass!!
Ok back to the plot for a moment. Sam realizes Brigid was lying and just wanted Sam’s help in finding the falcon. Sam meets with Gutman, who says he knows where the falcon is: on a ship from Hong Kong, which is coming to San Fran. Here, Sam gets roofied and the ship is then burned down. But the captain of the ship makes it to Sam’s office with the falcon. He hides the falcon and goes to have a meeting with Gutman, Cairo, and Brigid. Gutman promises Sam thousands of dollars for his help in getting the falcon but the weird guy that’s been following Sam has to confess to the murders of Archer, the captain, and Thornby, who I just realized I didn’t mention was killed. Thornby was killed.
I told you it was a difficult plot to talk about.
Anyway, I’m gonna stop here cause there’s a twist and yeah this movie is over 50 years old but it’s a GOOD movie that I’m sure people who haven’t seen it will want to see it so I won’t spoil it. The movie, overall, was really good. Normally I don’t do straight out “talky” movies but considering this was 1941 and majority of the dialogue was Humphrey Bogart just being a badass, I didn’t mind it for one minute. Plus, it’s a detective film with some air of mystery around it and growing up I LOVED reading detective novels. So this was a treat for me. And I’m glad I finally got a “classic” film to review. So watch out James, Kristen, Steve, and Pat! There’s a new CLASSIC MOVIE BLOGGER OUT THERE!!!