ENGL240 - LCC - Maltese Falcon

ENGL240 LCC- - When examining John Hustons classic 1941 detective film The Maltese Falcon one must look at the source material employed to truly

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When examining John Huston’s classic 1941 detective film, The Maltese Falcon , one must look at the source material employed to truly gain a complete understanding of the film. The film was the third Hollywood adaptation of Dashiell Hammett’s 1930 novel of the same name. The two previous adaptations, 1931’s The Maltese Falcon and 1936’s Satan Met A Lady , were both moderately successful at the time of their release yet have faded into obscurity while Huston’s version had stood the test of time and is generally accepted as a groundbreaking moment in the history of ‘film noir.’ Hudson’s film is so outstanding primarily because of two areas where he faithfully recreates original novel; the character of Sam Spade and the dark visuals Hammett describes. The characterizations are essential to defining the film as noir. Huston, was undoubtedly witness to past adaptations of The Maltese Falcon when Spade’s character was altered to conform to classical detective archetypes as well as current Hollywood standards. By destroying the story’s central character, the previous directors destroyed the story. Hammett’s Sam Spade, while establishing loose connections to the classic
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This note was uploaded on 03/19/2008 for the course ENGL 240 taught by Professor Manista during the Spring '07 term at Lansing.

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ENGL240 LCC- - When examining John Hustons classic 1941 detective film The Maltese Falcon one must look at the source material employed to truly

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