The Maltese Falcon | Study Guide

Dashiell Hammett

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Study Guide
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The Maltese Falcon | Characters

Character Description
Sam Spade Sam Spade is a tough, clever, hard-boiled private investigator with a penchant for money, women, and booze. Read More
Brigid O'Shaughnessy Brigid O'Shaughnessy is beautiful, greedy, and mysterious. She is a femme fatale who uses her sexuality to deceive and manipulate men to get what she wants. Read More
Casper Gutman Casper Gutman is an obsessive, greedy, corrupt man who will do anything to claim the statuette for himself. Read More
Effie Perine Effie Perine is Sam's loyal, honest, and obedient secretary. Read More
Joel Cairo Joel Cairo is a greedy, deceitful man who is trying to find the statuette. Read More
Wilmer Cook Wilmer Cook is a young man in his early 20s who works for Gutman. He is violent, quick tempered, and dangerous. Read More
Iva Archer Iva Archer is married to Spade's partner, Miles, but is also having an affair with Spade. She is in love with Spade and jealous of other women, but he seems indifferent to her.
Miles Archer Miles Archer is Spade's business partner. He agrees to follow Thursby on the request of Brigid but ends up murdered in an alley.
Phil Archer Phil Archer is the brother of Miles Archer. He suspects that Spade killed his brother so that Spade can marry Iva.
District Attorney Bryan Bryan is a powerful and seemingly corrupt official out to get Spade. He is also manipulative and doesn't believe Spade is completely clean.
Lieutenant Dundy Lieutenant Dundy is a suspicious and hostile police officer who does not trust Spade and is possibly out to get him.
Mr. Freed Mr. Freed is a hotel clerk who gives Spade information.
Rhea Gutman Rhea Gutman is the daughter of Casper Gutman. She is possibly being abused by her father, as Spade finds her drugged and ill.
Harriman Harriman is the hotel detective at the St. Mark hotel. Spade cautions Freed about how to handle Harriman because he "likes to talk," meaning he is indiscrete.
Healy Healy is a stenographer who takes notes when Spade is interrogated by Bryan, the district attorney.
Captain Jacobi Captain Jacobi meets Brigid in Hong Kong and agrees to take the statuette back to the United States in his ship, La Paloma. He helps Brigid by escaping with the statuette and bringing it to Spade's office, where he dies after being shot by Wilmer Cook.
Kemidov Kemidov is the Russian owner of the Maltese falcon who realizes the statuette's worth and cleverly replaces it with a fake.
Charilaos Kostantinides Charilaos Kostantinides is a dealer who discovers the Maltese falcon in Paris in 1911 and realizes its value. He is later murdered during a burglary, and the bird vanishes.
Luke Luke is the helpful house detective at the Belvedere Hotel who gives Spade information on Cairo.
Dixie Monahan Dixie Monahan is a gangster who employs Thursby as his bodyguard, which Bryan speculates may have led to Thursby's death.
Sergeant Tom Polhaus Sergeant Tom Polhaus has a friendly and understanding relationship with Spade and tries to help him out.
Shilling Shilling is the policeman who discovers Miles Archer's body.
Floyd Thursby Floyd Thursby is Brigid's partner and helps her steal the statuette. They travel to Hong Kong and then the United States together, where he is killed by Wilmer Cook as a warning to Brigid.
Thomas Thomas is the assistant to Bryan, the district attorney. He helps Bryan question Spade about Thursby's murder.
Sid Wise Sid Wise is Spade's lawyer, who tries to help him and provides legal advice.
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