Sunday, February 21, 2010

The Lazy Sunday Service

I came across the John Huston version of The Maltese Falcon in the DVD rentail shop yesterday and watched it last night. It was kind of strange to view the movie version just a day after finishing the book. It was remarkable how closely the film followed the book, with nearly all of the dialogue staying faithful to the Hammett's writing. It was also interesting to see a film where quite long scenes, involving a lot dialogue were filmed in one take, something that seems increasingly rare these days. Whilst I already had Bogart in my head for Sam Spade, Mary Astor did not match up to my mental image of the femme fatale, Brigid O'Shaughnessy. If they'd swapped round Mary Astor with Lee Patrick, who played Spade's secretary, it would have been nearer the mark. Elisha Cook Jr didn't fit Wilmer Cook either, for some reason. Bogart is excellent as Spade and so was Peter Lorre as Joel Cairo. A good film to complement a great book.

My posts this week
Review of Grift Sense by James Swain
Most nominated
The worst year for retail in living memory
Review of Havana Fever by Leonardo Padura
I can't get the film out of my head ...
Review of The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett
Sucking down a cold beer ...


kathy d. said...

This is now another reminder for me to revisit The Maltese Falcon film.

It is on my TBR list for this year but I will see the movie again after I've read it.

Just saw "The Big Sleep," with Bogart and Bacall for the first time. It was great but now should read the book.

Any film suggestions of classic movie mysteries?

Rob Kitchin said...

Hi Kathy. My knowledge of classic crime movies is sadly as poor as my knowledge of classic crime novels. As I read some of the books I will see if film adaptions were ever made and try to track them down. It will be interesting to compare them. If The Big Sleep is in the DVD rental place, I'll take a look. Thanks for the tip.

kathy d. said...

Yes, and if you get the right version of The Big Sleep, you will see an explanation of the scenes that were taken out of the 1945 version and the new ones put in the 1946 version.

Howard Hawks wanted to showcase Lauren Bacall and build up her stardom.