Spade and Archer is the name of a San Francisco detective agency. That’s for Sam Spade and Miles Archer. The two men are partners, but Sam doesn’t like Miles much. A knockout, who goes by the name of Miss Wonderly, walks into their office; and by that night everything’s changed. Miles is dead. And so is a man named Floyd Thursby. It seems Miss Wonderly is surrounded by dangerous men. There’s Joel Cairo, who uses gardenia-scented calling cards. There’s Kasper Gutman, with his enormous girth and feigned civility. Her only hope of protection comes from Sam, who is suspected by the police of one or the other murder. More murders are yet to come, and it will all be because of these dangerous men — and their lust for a statuette of a bird: the Maltese Falcon.
“The Greatest Movie Star of all time” and more
Bogart. The coolest guy to ever live?
Have you ever wondered what makes someone possess an essence that’s defined as being “cool”? They seem to have that combination between imagery and soul that few people truly have. Is it in the style of clothes you wear or one’s knowledge of independence? Is it the way you comb your hair or your unkempt humility for everything out there? It could be in your talk or how you walk, but maybe it’s more about what you say and where you’re going. In a sense it’s an attitude that seeks to define character and break the mold of control. It’s the fine line between knowing when to speak up and when saying less means more. So is Bogart the coolest guy to ever live? In a single word, absolutely.
The Maltese Falcon is basically a showcase for Bogart. A role that seems to be made for him, even with two previous attempts at the film. He is and always was born to play Sam Spade. The tough guy private investigator, who always has the right things to say. More likely to fire a witty comeback than a gun. Able to fall in love, even if only for the moment, and then send her to the gallows. All in the name of doing the right thing. It’s not an emotional business.
The movie itself wrote the book of the crime and mystery drama story. Probably the best written plot in it’s genre. No doubt that Bogart makes the character come alive, with that infectious voice and his uncompromising demeanor. But the movie itself is, to say the least, very good. The ending just does it for me. The last couple of lines are some of the best in film history.
Although it took me a while to finally see this film, I realize that it’s one of Bogart’s triumphs and has all the main reasons why I love the guy so much. Please, see this film and remember Bogart as he was.
“Heavy. What is it? The, uh, stuff that dreams are made of.”