The Maltese Falcon is noir at its finest. While not the first or the last, 1941’s The Maltese Falcon is the best. In it everything centers around a McGuffin. Something movie buffs will recognize as an object that motivates the characters and drives the plot. In this case that’s the titular Maltese Falcon. Humphrey Bogart plays fast-talking hard boiled private detective Sam Spade. This is Bogart’s second best character that he’s played (Casablanca obviously being the first). Spade gets tangled up in a web of lies, love, and murder. His partner is murdered right after meeting a potential client.
The client is a lovely lady that feeds him lies that are only covering up the real job. People begin to tail Spade. Holding him at gunpoint and offering him money in exchange for the Maltese Falcon. It’s a rare priceless jewel encrusted falcon statue that everyone wants to get their hands. Even at the expense of their own lives. The Maltese Falcon keeps you invested until the very end with a subtle atmosphere that only black & white can accomplish. Fully deserving of its 100% rating. The statue is found, but let’s just say there’s a lesson to be learned from all of this. The Maltese Falcon truly is the stuff that dreams are made of.