MALTESE FALCON, THE (1941)
Mary Astor portrays one of the most memorable and mysterious femmes fatale in this film noir, a slippery personality whose name is first given as Ruth Wonderly (when Sam Spade's partner is hired and killed) and then as Brigid O'Shaughnessy when she "confesses" to Spade (Humphrey Bogart). He never trusts her, but he loves her. "An almost perfect visual equivalent of the Dashiell Hammett thriller. [John] Huston used Hammett's plot design and economic dialogue in a hard, precise directorial style that brings out the full viciousness of characters so ruthless and greedy that they become comic... [A] work of entertainment so skillfully constructed that after many years it has the same brittle explosiveness — and even some of the same surprises — that it had in 1941." — Pauline Kael. DIR/SCR John Huston, from the novel by Dashiell Hammett; PROD Hal B. Wallis. U.S., 1941, b&w, 101 min. NOT RATED
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