Re: RARA-AVIS: Re: Crying Out Loud in the Wrong Direction

From: William Ahearn (
Date: 30 Oct 2007

--- Robert Elkin <> wrote:

> William:
> I do not disagree with you as to the Huston FALCON's
> brilliance (one of my more memorable buys recently
> was the WB 3xDVD boxed reissue of all three FALCON
> films); but as with most good films of books, the
> film is a standalone to me--when you say the
> "nature" of Hammett's tale, I think Faust--but not
> with the film.

And I don't disagree with you. And I got that same DVD set from the NYPL and watched the "other" two (I have a copy of the Huston version). What I appreciated about the book and the film is that the story wasn't a whodunit in any conventional sense although Archer's murder was a theme whose resolution was solved and revealed in a really interesting way. But the Falcon was a story about greed and dreams not as a motivation but as a lifestyle. I was disappointed that the film didn't incorporate the story of the used car salesman
-- a side road that illuminated the thrust of both the book and the film. The other film that successfully and brillantly portrayed it as well was Chinatown
(that's not to say that I don't think there aren't other good filma of the type). The Falcon deals with crime in a unique way and others have imitated it but never grasped the depth of the book. It operates under all the allusions and that's what Huston tapped into that the other versions missed.


Essays and Ramblings

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