RARA-AVIS: Re: No new Maltese Falcon movie

From: Dick Lochte ( dlochte@gmail.com)
Date: 31 Oct 2007

Mark wrote:

I recently commented on the odd paradox that Get Carter and Payback/Point Blank were made due to their title recognition, but made for an audience too young to recognize those titles. In that light, I find it odd that Falcon has not been remade a fourth and fifth time in the last 66 years. I'm not saying it should have been, kind of glad it hasn't been, but it's not like Hollywood to think of anything as sacred.


I think there's been some unsettled legal problem regarding the film rights to the book. At least that was the case back in the Sixties when, with the success of Peter Gunn, 77 Sunset Strip et al, a Sam Spade TV series was contemplated and shelved. Too bad. Howard Duff, whose radio version was, in my opinion, the best detective show in that medium, was still young enough to have played him. But then, it was his and of course Hammett's political leanings that helped to end the radio series.

Maybe I'm fantasizing, but I seem to recall that a musical version starring the Rat Pack was considered, with Sinatra (who at one time did resemble the book's description of Spade), Martin as Archer, Sammy Davis as Cairo, Angie Dickenson as ..., Victor Buono as ... And so on. Would have been a challenge for Burke and Van Husen. But Sondheim might have been able to put some songs together.

In any case, there will probably be more movie and/or TV interest in Spade next year when Joe Gores' prequel arrives.

Dick Lochte

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