RARA-AVIS: The Maltese Falcon and Flitcraft

From: ejmd ( ejmd__@ntlworld.com)
Date: 27 Nov 2004

I can't confirm it (as I don't have a copy to check), but I wouldn't be surprised if the Flitcraft episode was based on something contained in Duke's _Celebrated Criminal Cases of America_ which is the book on Sam Spade's bedside table in Chapter 2 of the novel (when Spade receives the telephone call telling him Archer has been killed), and is also visible in Huston's 1941 film.

As far as 'motive' goes--Hammett's, not Spade's--let's not forget that Hammett had asked for more money from Black Mask and was turned down
(Shaw advised Hammett to wrote *longer stories*) so one way of adding to a story's length is to include an anecdote or an extended passage, such as the Flitcraft episode in _The Maltese Falcon_ or the Packer story in
_The Thin Man_ (which *is* acknowledged as coming from _Celebrated Criminal Cases of America_).


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This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : 27 Nov 2004 EST