90 Years, 9 Days: ‘The Maltese Falcon’ (1941)

Here’s a great way to spend 100 minutes.

Come home after a hard day on the job. Loosen that tie or take off those heels. Pour yourself a stiff drink (if you are of age). Turn off all of the lights, plunk yourself down on the nearest couch, and travel back in time.

John Huston’s adaptation of Dashiell Hammett’s “The Maltese Falcon,” one of the 50 films featured on “The Best of Warner Bros” collection, is more or less a perfect movie. The term “film noir” gets thrown around a lot without a lot of people knowing what it means or where it all started, and this movie has your answer.

We start with a simple set-up. A scorned wife hires a detective. Wait, no, that’s not right. It’s not just any detective. He’s the detective, Sam Spade, played by the immortal Humphrey Bogart, the template for every private eye to come after him.

Bogart leads us down a twisted path of betrayal and love, one that’s more exciting than almost every thriller hitting the market today, movies that owe everything to Hammett and Huston’s work bringing the story to the screen.

“The Maltese Falcon” is a straight-forward, kick in the pants and absolute must-own for any movie buff.

Over the next nine days, MTV Movies Blog will be traveling through cinematic time and the nine decades of movies featured in the “Best of Warner Bros 50 Film Collection.” Each day, we’ll review one film from one decade of the box set and taking a look back at the history of the studio.