RARA-AVIS: Re: Maltese Falcon screenplay

From: Dick Lochte ( dlochte@gmail.com)
Date: 20 Mar 2008

Another point in the Cortez Falcon's favor is that it reflects the period in which the novel itself was set. Most of us tend to see the novel as a Forties piece because of the fame -- certainly justified -- of the Huston movie. My guess is the lounge lizard sleaziness of Cortez may even have been closer to Hammett's idea of Spade than Bogart's more rugged interpretation. I always had a problem with Bogart playing around with his partner's wife, but with Cortez, you kinda expect it. The leering is probably a reflection of the movie period that was not exactly known for its subtlety. Cortez could be a fairly reliable actor, by the way, as he demonstrated in John Ford's The Last Hurrah. Does anybody know of any comment Hammett may have made about any of the Falcon films? Maybe in the letters?

Dick Lochte


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