Friday, April 27, 2012

Brandon's Movie Pick #3: The Maltese Falcon

Ken O is currently away from the ship’s helm while he takes care of his wife and brand new son. During that time we are forgoing our normal updates for something special. Every month Turner Classic Movies has a Guest Programmer who chooses the films they show for that night. For 9 days we’ll be acting as we were the Guest Programmer. So you’ll get 3 movies from me, 3 from Brandon, and 3 from our guest writer Michael May! A huge thank you goes out to Michael May; please go check out his Adventure Blog

My final pic is John Hudson’s The Maltese Falcon. This is a film that everyone has at least heard of, and everyone should see. It is also the movie that made me fall in love with movies. My first 2 picks had a lot of technical and behind the scenes info with them. Not so much this one. This is more of a personal journey. Enjoy.

When Sam Spade, played to perfection by Humphrey Bogart, and his partner Miles Archer are hired to tail a rich man by a woman who claims her sister is being unwittingly kept separated from her, it seems like just another case. But when Archer and the target are gunned down and all the evidence points to Spade for conflicting yet damning reasons, Spade is launched into a string of deceptions that all point in one direction, the Maltese Falcon.


 This is a quintessential film noir, the long legged dame, the hard-boiled detective, the dead partner, the fantastic use of shadow in black and white, it all adds up to pure noir. This flick is pure story and character development, in fact at the end you find out that the MacGuffin and title piece is a fake and it is the characters you walk away remembering.

I first saw this movie on a whim. At the time I did not really understand film as an art form and although I loved certain movies, I loved them because they were good flicks on the surface. Then I picked up The Maltese Falcon. It was one of those movies you always hear about, so I felt perhaps I should check it out. My mind was blown to bits. I was amazed that movies could look this good in black and white. I was amazed that characters could be that good in an hour and a half. I was amazed. I began to find out all that I could about the production of this movie. This was in the days when the internet was in its infancy, so I had to work to find information. During this search I started to discover things about some other movies that I loved. I also began to watch other movies that you would always hear about – Citizen Kane, The Big Sleep, Singing in the Rain, ect.

That one statue of a falcon, that one detective that had seen too much of what the world could do to a person, that one gorgeous dame that you know is no good for you. It all adds up to the reason I love movies.

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