The Maltese Falcon Movie(1941) | Summary, Cast & Plot

The Maltese Falcon Movie(1941) | Summary, Cast & Quotes
© Warner Bros.

The Maltese Falcon Movie Summary

Nominated for three Academy Awards, including "Best Picture," The Maltese Falcon is the film noir gem featuring Humphrey Bogart as San Francisco detective Sam Spade.

The film showcases this exemplary story of Spade's association with a dangerous band of universal criminals who will lie, deceive, and murder to get a little, gem-encrusted sculpture known as the Maltese Falcon.  Spade's (Bogart) accomplice, Miles Archer (Jerome Cowan), accepts a job to protect young lady (Mary Astor).

Neither Spade nor Archer buys her story but is fascinated by the money she offers. When Archer is killed, Spade's quest for the executioner hauls him in the snare of lies spun by the crooked individuals looking for the now-renowned sculpture.

The Maltese Falcon Movie Cast

  • Humphrey Bogart as Sam Spade
  • Mary Astor as Ruth Wonderly/Brigid O'Shaughnessy
  • Gladys George as Iva Archer
  • Peter Lorre as Joel Cairo
  • Barton MacLane as Lieutenant Dundy
  • Lee Patrick as Effie Perine
  • Sydney Greenstreet as Kasper Gutman
  • Ward Bond as Detective Tom Polhaus
  • Jerome Cowan as Miles Archer
  • Elisha Cook Jr. as Wilmer Cook
  • James Burke as Luke, the hotel detective
  • Murray Alper as Frank Richman, taxi driver
  • John Hamilton as District Attorney Bryan
  • Walter Huston as Captain Jacoby 
Directed by
  •     John Huston
Screenplay by
  •     John Huston
Based on
  •     The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett
Music by
  •     Adolph Deutsch
  •     Arthur Edeson
Edited by
  •     Thomas Richards
Distributed by
  •     Warner Bros.
Release date
  • October 18, 1941 (United States)
  •     $375,000
Box office
  •     $1,772,000

Official Trailer

 The Maltese Falcon Movie Plot

At the Spade and Archer investigator office in San Francisco, Samuel Spade is met by the lovely Miss Wonderly, who wishes to recruit him to locate her runaway sister. Sam's accomplice, Miles Archer, consents to be available when Wonderly meets Floyd Thursby, her sister's tempter, and afterwards tail him to his inn in order to find the missing young lady.

Soon thereafter, Sam discovers that Miles has been shot. He calls Wonderly and discovers that she has settled up with her inn. At that point, Thursby is found with four-shot gaps in his back and Sam is visited by Lt. Dundy and Detective Tom Polhaus, two police officers, who speculate him of killing Thursby out of retribution for a significant distance's demise.

The next morning, Wonderly gathers Sam to her new address, where she admits that her genuine name is Brigid O'Shaughnessy and that the story she related the day preceding was totally bogus. In spite of his questions that she has revealed to him every bit of relevant information, Sam acknowledges her as his customer. The declaration of Thursby's demise draws a request from a puzzling little man named Joel Cairo, who discloses to Sam that he is attempting to recuperate a sculpture of a dark bird of prey, the Maltese falcon.

At the point when Sam precludes any information from claiming the sculpture, Cairo threatens to use a firearm and requests to look through the workplace. Sam incapacitates Cairo, who offers the investigator $5,000 to discover the fowl. Sam acknowledges the offer, and Cairo indeed holds Sam at gunpoint while he looks through the workplace. 

At the point when Brigid learns of Cairo's visit, she requests that Sam set up a gathering with him and reveals to Cairo that she doesn't have the sculpture, however will in a couple of days. Their gathering is hindered by the police, who have been sent by Miles' widow Iva, who is envious on the grounds that she and Sam had been having an illicit relationship.

The police presently start to associate Sam with Miles' homicide, yet he turns a convoluted story to prevent the police from capturing them three for addressing. Kasper Gutman, known as "The Fat Man," is additionally keen on the sculpture and request Sam, however when Gutman will not clarify his inclinations, Sam storms out.

Afterwards, Wilmer Cook, Gutman's shooter, takes Sam back to Gutman's loft. Gutman reveals to Sam that after the Crusades, Charles V of Spain gave the Knights Templar the island of Malta, requiring just the tribute of a bird of prey(the Maltese falcon) each year. The sculpture everybody needs is a brilliant, gem-encrusted reproduction of the Maltese falcon that was taken by privateers and a short time later vanished for quite a long time.

After it returned in Greece, Gutman intended to get it, however, it was again taken and he has been following its path from that point onward. He offers Sam $50,000 to discover it, however before Sam can acknowledge, he drops from doctored drinks. He finds a paper in the room declaring the appearance of a boat from Hong Kong, yet at the docks, Sam finds the boat ablaze. He comes back to his office, where a withering man staggers in with a bundle. The man is Jacoby, the commander of the Hong Kong transport, and the bundle contains the sculpture. A call from Brigid takes Sam on a totally pointless pursuit, however first he checks the bundle and sends the case check to himself. 

At the point when Sam at long last gets back, Brigid, Gutman, Cairo and Wilmer are pausing. Sam consents to turn over the winged animal if Gutman will permit Wilmer to assume the fault for the three homicides. When Effie shows up with the bundle, notwithstanding, it is immediately found that the fowl is a phoney. In the disarray, Wilmer getaway. After they leave, Sam calls the police and turns them all in. Brigid concedes that she shot Miles, planning to embroil Thursby. Despite the fact that he is entranced by her hazardous excellence, Sam hands Brigid over for the homicide of his accomplice.