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Real star of `Maltese Falcon' flying in for a visit
San Jose Mercury News ^ | Thu, Feb. 17, 2005 | Mary Anne Ostrom

Posted on 02/17/2005 7:12:30 PM PST by nickcarraway

The most storied bird in cinema history, Dashiell Hammett's ``The Maltese Falcon,'' is winging its way back home to San Francisco to star in the 75th anniversary celebration of a book that helped create the ``hard-boiled'' American mystery genre.

Getting the black bird -- or rather, the 50-pound lead prop used in the 1941 screen version -- from Southern California to San Francisco, where Hammett lived and wrote from 1921 to 1929, could very well make a Hammett-style pot boiler all its own.

Now valued at $2 million, the statue Sam Spade so doggedly pursued will arrive with armed security. Two San Francisco Police Department officers have been assigned to, uh, bird watching. After a short viewing at a private party at John's Grill, it will spend the night in a bank vault.

Depending on whom you ask, Hammett wrote his most popular novel either at John's Grill on Ellis Street, where he would lunch, or at his apartment on Post Street. His office was in the famous Flood Building on Market Street.

(Excerpt) Read more at mercurynews.com ...


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; Extended News; Miscellaneous; US: California
KEYWORDS: anniversary; bogart; detective; hammet; hollywood; literature; maltesefalcon; movies; noir; sanfrancisco; statue

1 posted on 02/17/2005 7:12:30 PM PST by nickcarraway
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To: Canticle_of_Deborah; NormsRevenge; martin_fierro

ping


2 posted on 02/17/2005 7:14:00 PM PST by nickcarraway
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To: nickcarraway

Interesting...I just ate at John's Grill twice last month on a business trip to San Fran. Great restaurant.


3 posted on 02/17/2005 7:14:33 PM PST by OwenKellogg
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To: nickcarraway
I prefer The Big Sleep as far as early noirs go, but this is such a great flick.

As for hardboiled fiction, Red Harvest is THE book.

4 posted on 02/17/2005 7:14:43 PM PST by Darkwolf377 ("Drowning someone...I wouldn't have a part in that."--Teddy K)
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To: nickcarraway

It is worth 2 million dollars?... That is what dreams are made of.


5 posted on 02/17/2005 7:17:31 PM PST by ditto h
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To: nickcarraway

It's the stuff that dreams are made of.


6 posted on 02/17/2005 7:17:38 PM PST by NCC-1701 (ISLAM IS A CULT, PURE AND SIMPLE!!!!! IT MUST BE ERADICATED FROM THE FACE OF THE EARTH.)
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To: Darkwolf377
As for hardboiled fiction, Red Harvest is THE book.

Sure is- and nobody does Chinatown better than Hammett's Continental Op. Not a bad writer for an old commie.

Kiss Me Deadly for noir films, though.

7 posted on 02/17/2005 7:24:17 PM PST by fat city (Julius Rosenberg's soviet code name was "Liberal")
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To: Darkwolf377
As for hardboiled fiction, Red Harvest is THE book.

Sure is- and nobody does Chinatown better than Hammett's Continental Op. Not a bad writer for an old commie.

Kiss Me Deadly for noir films, though.

8 posted on 02/17/2005 7:24:50 PM PST by fat city (Julius Rosenberg's soviet code name was "Liberal")
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To: nickcarraway

9 posted on 02/17/2005 7:25:28 PM PST by vrwinger (Tagline? I don't need no stinkin' TAGLINE!)
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To: fat city
I've always found Kiss Me Deadly a bit dull and dry (especially since we've got the originally-intended ending available now, and it's a lot less apocalyptic than the original). I can't put my finger on it, it's just kind of flat in its grimmness.

I mentioned Big Sleep as my favorite early noir; middle-period would be Touch of Evil; late would be Chinatown.

If you can find it give the little-seen movie Hammett a try. Frederick Forrest does a great impersonation of a fictionalized Hammett, and the score by John Barry is spare and beautiful.

10 posted on 02/17/2005 7:27:30 PM PST by Darkwolf377 ("Drowning someone...I wouldn't have a part in that."--Teddy K)
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To: Darkwolf377
Red Harvest was pretty good. I don't believe they've ever made a movie directly based on the book, although many adaptations. All the Continental Op stuff was pretty good.
11 posted on 02/17/2005 7:37:02 PM PST by nickcarraway
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To: vrwinger
Milan also owns the piano from ``Casablanca'' but believes that the falcon, because it serves as the title of a book and a movie, and has such a pivotal role in both, is ``the most important piece of film memorabilia there is.''

Not Dorothy's ruby slippers?

``There were six pairs of ruby slippers,'' huffed Milan, ``in three different sizes.''

And I've been told there were three boids.

I own a full-size replica, which I see every time I watch a movie, and treasure.

12 posted on 02/17/2005 7:41:59 PM PST by Hank Rearden (Never allow anyone who could only get a government job attempt to tell you how to run your life.)
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To: nickcarraway

Sam surveills Wilmer surveilling Sam


13 posted on 02/17/2005 7:46:56 PM PST by M. Espinola (Freedom is never free!)
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To: M. Espinola


14 posted on 02/17/2005 7:52:10 PM PST by M. Espinola (Freedom is never free!)
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To: nickcarraway

***The most storied bird in cinema history, Dashiell Hammett's ``The Maltese Falcon,'***

The 1931 vesion or the Bogart version? There is a slight difference in the bird but the story is the same.

Silly question, isn't it! Where can I get a copy of the bird? I'll take one in plaster if I can get it!


15 posted on 02/17/2005 8:02:36 PM PST by Ruy Dias de Bivar (When someone burns a cross on your lawn, the best firehose is an AK-47.)
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To: fat city
Kiss Me Deadly for noir films, though.

Was that the one with Dick Powell?

16 posted on 02/17/2005 8:05:16 PM PST by Lancey Howard
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To: Ruy Dias de Bivar
Or the 1936 version with Bette Davis called Satan Met a Lady.
17 posted on 02/17/2005 8:10:26 PM PST by nickcarraway
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To: fat city

Ahh, nevermind.... I was thinking of 'Murder, My Sweet'
Now THERE's a "film noir". Great, great movie.


18 posted on 02/17/2005 8:16:15 PM PST by Lancey Howard
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To: Lancey Howard
No, you are thinking of Murder, My Sweet. (The Chandler novel was called Farewell, My Lovely, because audiences might think it was a musical with that title. I think that Murder, My Sweet is better than Kiss Me Deadly, I can see why some people rank it with The Big Sleep. (By the way, The Falcon Takes Over was based on the same Chandler book, Farewell, My Loverl, which isn't half bad. Ward Bond plays the role Mike Mazurzki did in the former)
19 posted on 02/17/2005 8:21:22 PM PST by nickcarraway
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To: Darkwolf377; fat city
I think The Glass Key is right up there too.
20 posted on 02/17/2005 8:23:14 PM PST by nickcarraway
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To: Lancey Howard

Yes!


21 posted on 02/17/2005 8:23:45 PM PST by nickcarraway
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To: Lancey Howard

"'Okay Marlowe,' I said to myself. 'You're a tough guy. You've been sapped twice, choked, beaten silly with a gun, shot in the arm until you're crazy as a couple of waltzing mice. Now let's see you do something really tough - like putting your pants on.'"


22 posted on 02/17/2005 8:25:04 PM PST by nickcarraway
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To: nickcarraway

"Bird" bump.


23 posted on 02/17/2005 8:27:32 PM PST by Ciexyz (I use the term Blue Cities, not Blue States. PA is red except for Philly, Pgh & Erie)
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To: nickcarraway

I may get flamed for being, what?, sacrilegious or something, but Powell was a better Marlowe than Bogey or anybody else - - he was the epitome of the hard-boiled private eye. Powell was and remains one of my favorite all-time actors.

Regards,
LH


24 posted on 02/17/2005 8:32:55 PM PST by Lancey Howard
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To: nickcarraway

"'Okay Marlowe,' I said to myself...."

If you think a moment there are a lot of Marlowe quotes lurking in memory.


"I like my women hard-boiled and loaded with sin"

"You can be in Hollywood a long time before you ever see the part they use in films"

"I'd rather have a gun and not need it than need a gun and not have one."

"....I'll talk to anyone, even a Maglishan. Just get me off this frozen star...."


25 posted on 02/17/2005 8:41:49 PM PST by TalBlack
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To: Lancey Howard

Another Dick Powell fan here, LH. He sure made a big change in his noir era from his happy-go-lucky musical days -- which I actually also enjoy quite a bit. He was great with Ruby Keeler!! Remember "Dick Powell Theater"?


26 posted on 02/17/2005 9:00:07 PM PST by speedy
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To: Hank Rearden

***I own a full-size replica, which I see every time I watch a movie, and treasure.***

So, where can I get a replica of the bird used by Bogart!
Eaven a plaster one would make my day!


27 posted on 02/17/2005 9:03:04 PM PST by Ruy Dias de Bivar (When someone burns a cross on your lawn, the best firehose is an AK-47.)
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To: speedy
Remember "Dick Powell Theater"?

Vaguely. Around 1961? Just a couple years ahead of my time. I was seven.

28 posted on 02/17/2005 9:06:58 PM PST by Lancey Howard
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To: Ruy Dias de Bivar
So, where can I get a replica of the bird used by Bogart! Eaven a plaster one would make my day!

Google "maltese falcon replica" and you'll see many sources. I've had mine for years and can't remember where I bought it, but it was an online store.

Check them carefully; I bought a studio promo still of Bogie with the bird to verify the size and finish. Some of the replicas just look bad, others aren't to scale and some have the wrong finish. Depends on how picky you are, I guess.

I know I paid something like $80 for mine about 8 years ago, and it's gorgeous, so you don't have to spend a fortune.

29 posted on 02/17/2005 9:13:45 PM PST by Hank Rearden (Never allow anyone who could only get a government job attempt to tell you how to run your life.)
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To: Lancey Howard

Yep, around then. I was a kid too, and it was too "adult" for me to enjoy. I just remember how surprised I was the first time I saw this somber Dick Powell playing light-hearted song and dance roles. IIRC, he was married to Joan Blondell at one time.


30 posted on 02/17/2005 9:13:46 PM PST by speedy
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To: Lancey Howard; speedy
I went to see a double feature of Dick Powell in the hilarious Preston Sturges comedy Christmas in July, and It Happened Tomorrow. There was a group of older ladies behind me and through the last half of the first movie, and the second movie they became increasingly agitated, and were repeating "when he is he going to sing?!?!" I didn't have the heart to turn around and say, "sorry, ladies, no singing tonight."
31 posted on 02/17/2005 9:21:32 PM PST by nickcarraway
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To: Lancey Howard; speedy
I went to see a double feature of Dick Powell in the hilarious Preston Sturges comedy Christmas in July, and It Happened Tomorrow. There was a group of older ladies behind me and through the last half of the first movie, and the second movie they became increasingly agitated, and were repeating "when he is he going to sing?!?!" I didn't have the heart to turn around and say, "sorry, ladies, no singing tonight."
32 posted on 02/17/2005 9:21:32 PM PST by nickcarraway
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To: nickcarraway

Ahh yes - - double features.
The first double feature I remember seeing was 'Day of the Triffids' and 'The Delicate Delinquent' at the Keswick theater. Sat through them both twice. For a quarter.


33 posted on 02/17/2005 9:39:14 PM PST by Lancey Howard
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To: nickcarraway

I remember "Christmas In July." What was that slogan -- it's not the beans, it's the bunk -- something like that. I still like hearing him sing "I Only Have Eyes For You" with those psychedelic Busby Berkeley effects!!


34 posted on 02/17/2005 9:43:36 PM PST by speedy
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To: speedy

If you can't sleep, it isn't the coffee. It's the bunk.


35 posted on 02/17/2005 9:51:41 PM PST by nickcarraway
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To: nickcarraway

Ah, thank you Nick. Ironically, I was at the start of a rather sleepless night when your response came in. Must have been the bunk.


36 posted on 02/18/2005 4:15:42 AM PST by speedy
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