Re: RARA-AVIS: Top 100 Hard-Boiled Characters

Date: 23 Mar 2002


Re your question below:

> By this criterion [main characters only], would
> Gutman in The Maltese
> Falcon be considered a main or
> supporting character? because clearly, this is a
> guy who belongs in the
> "HBC".

The Motion Picture Academy considered Gutman a supporting character, since Greenstreet was nominated for an Oscar in the Supporting Actor category. Generally I'd say villains (with clear exception like Parker) are supporting characters. Thisa aside, though Gutman appears in a hard-boiled novel, he himself is not particularly tough, and certainly isn't colloquial, so he's not particularly hard-boiled himself. Actually, it was the gallery of great supporting characters in THE MALTESE FALCON that led me to suggest a "main characters only" rule.


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