The Maltese Falcon

Movie review by Nell Minow, Common Sense Media
The Maltese Falcon Poster Image

Common Sense says

age 12+

Classic film noir has mature themes, drinking, smoking.

NR 1941 101 minutes

Parents say

age 11+

Based on 2 reviews

Kids say

age 12+

Based on 5 reviews

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Community Reviews

age 11+

Classic noir has shocks, twists and a gut punch ending!

When you're a film buff, and are exploring the genre of the film noir, one of the grandaddy's has to be "The Maltese Falcon," a John Huston picture starring Bogie and Mary Astor. I read the novel it was based on, wrote an essay on it, and then watched it today (on Christmas 2014!) so I was very familiar with the text. They did not stray at all, leading to a nearly perfect film mystery where you kind of in the back of your mind know who did it the whole time. Who better to be the hardboiled Sam Spade than Humphrey Bogart, who similarly killed it as Phil Marlowe in "The Big Sleep." With his lightning fast dialogue and abrasive charisma, you can't keep your eyes off ol' Bogey, even with the femme fatale near by, Ms. O'Shaugnessy. Rounding out the cast is a creepy Peter Lorre and an Oscar-nominated Sidney Greenstreet, both interesting villains who use their verbal skills more than their weapons. The movie is all about murder, talking fast, and that amazing vocabulary they had in the 40s (I heard the phrase "cracking foxy" and nearly died). The novel is naturally more gritty and explicit, this was during the time of censorship after all, but if you can follow the plot you're golden, and the soundtrack at the very end makes it one of the most dramatic finales of all time.

This title has:

Too much violence
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
age 11+

A Suspenseful and Thoughtful Thriller...

THE MALTESE FALCON is a great, thrilling movie, and a prime example of how great stories never fade with age. It's a great one to show kids who like thrillers or appreciate classics. There are some tense scenes, and one man is shot onscreen. Another is seen after he's been shot, but there is no blood or gore. Sam is said to have an affair with his partner's wife, it is implied that he and Brigid O'Shaughnessy slept together. There is a lot of drinking and smoking, and several characters double-cross each other and have criminal motives, though the Bogart character always stays straight.

This title has:

Too much drinking/drugs/smoking

Movie Details

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