RARA-AVIS: Falcon -- Movie vs. Book

From: Bludis Jack ( buildsnburns@yahoo.com)
Date: 01 Oct 2004

I'm not sure, but this might be a chicken or the egg kind of question:

Are Hammett's characters so good because of the way he wrote them or because of the way they were portrayed in the Bogart version of the movie?

I think Hammett made them work and in the Bogart version, the actors took them off the page.

A few months ago, I saw all three versions of the story. Neither of the first two were as on-target at the Bogart vesion--or should I call it the John Huston version?

In the first, Gutman was a woman.

In the second Brigid was Bette Davis, as I often say, "when she was good looking." Both were played for humor. In the second version Brigid
"kind of" planned an escape from jail for her.

Using my old argument, that Spade deduced almost immeditately that Brigid killed Archer, Spade in version two, discusses "something" with an old Chinese Gentleman in the alley after Archer is found dead.

In retrospect, and knowing the story, it seems that was when Spade knew. I thought it was a matter of decuction.

Jack Bludis

"Shadow of the Dahlia," Sept 30th. "Munchies," Shamus and Anthony nominee, Best Short Story http://www.jackbludis.com

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