miércoles, 1 de julio de 2009

The Maltese Falcon

Humphrey Bogart plays Sam Spade, an asshole of a private eye who gets himself involved in a case with a mysterious woman, Ms. Brigid O'Shaughnessy. After the mysterious death of his partner while researching the case, Sam gets himself into a world of crime and murder, all over a statuette of a bird who may or may not be the legendary Maltese Falcon, a gift from the Knights Templar to their King. This is a total package of a detective movie, and it’s still one of the best. Humphrey Bogart plays one helluva private dick, commanding his role with toughness, style and humor. Mary Astor is also good as the lead female, but it’s definitely the bad guys who steal the show. Peter Lorre as Joel Cairo, a homosexual weirdo who always seems to fall victim of Spade’s antics, and Elisha Cook Jr. brings into this film the same crazy over-acting that he brings to all his later roles in films like House On Haunted Hill and Blacula. But it’s definitely Sidney Greenstreet, as “The Fat Man” Kasper Gutman, who steals the show and every scene he’s in. I first saw him in Casablanca when I was a kid, and here he’s even sleazier and more humorous, but with his sinister edge still intact. I always thought he looked like The Kingpin from Spider-Man comics. This was legendary director John Huston’s first film, which is incredible to know, and he shows he’s a master of his craft from the beginning. A classic.

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