Re: RARA-AVIS: Re: Maltese Falcon

From: Patrick King (
Date: 23 May 2008

--- Nathan Cain <> wrote:

> I recently saw the first version of the film, and I
> was pretty
> surprised at how explicit they were with their
> sexual intimacy. Spade
> and Brigid kiss, and then the camera cuts to a
> skipping record, the
> needle bouncing back and forth in steady rhythm.
> Huston didn't dare
> pull anything like that. Overall, I think the first
> version of the
> movie may well have been more true to the spirit of
> the book than the
> more famous one. In the final scenes of the first
> version, when Brigid
> asks Sam if he loves her and he says he thinks so he
> sounds, as he has
> throughout the film, entirely insincere. Bogart's
> performance on the
> other hand, makes it seem as if he really is torn
> about his choice to
> turn Brigid in to the authorities.
***************************************************** The first version had the advantage of no Hayes office censorship. Otherwise, to me, it's miscast. Bogart plays the the final scene with Astor passionately but the whole point of the story is that Spade is ahead of all of us in understanding what's really going on. When Bogart says "You're taking the fall," the viewer knows there's no argument. The final jail house scene in the original film was anti-climactic, too. Houston's elevator cage closing on Astor was perfect!

Nathan, I sense that you've fallen under the spell of Brigid O'Shaughnessy a little bit, yourself. I'm a big fan of 48 Hour Mystery on Saturday evenings just to see how these types of relationships play out in real life.

Patrick King


This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : 23 May 2008 EDT