When San Francisco private eye Sam Spade's services are procured by a young woman, his partner winds up murdered shortly thereafter. He then embarks down a sinuous path, encountering a calvacade of miscreants all hell bent on getting their hands on the mythic, invaluable title statue. John Huston's The Maltese Falcon, the third filmization of Dashiell Hammett's novel and one of the first films classified as film noir, is an impeccable, shadowy detective story with Bogie inimitable in one of his iconic roles. The dialogue is snappy, the underhanded supporting players (including Peter Lorre and Sydney Greenstreet) are incomparable, and Bogart's cold, final speech to Astor is one for the ages.
**** out of ****