Maltese Falcon Movie And Book Comparison

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The Maltese Falcon, A book written by Dashiell Hammett (1930) and a film directed by John Huston in 1941, effectively engrossed the reader within the 1920’s as Sam Spade is tasked with the relocation of the Maltese Falcon. Hammett’s dialogue allows the reader to disembark on an adventurous affair, and the efforts John Huston put into the interactions between characters is impeccable. Audiences who have both read the book and observed the movie are skeptical about which example displays character emotions and personal motives better. Many viewers say the book illuminates character interaction and scene description more accurately than the film does, but this argument is invalid because of the film's accuracy sticking to the original text and …show more content…

Brigid O'Shaughnessy laments to Sam Spade, “The lie was in the way I said it, and not at all in what I said. It is my own fault that you can not believe me now.” (Hammett 41) Hammett displays Brigid’s deceitfulness through the “innocence” of her character, but the film is able to fully portray Brigid’s soft spoken word and ulterior motives through her facial expression and body language when she apologizes to Spade. This example is further reinforced when Brigid pleas to Sam towards the end of the film, “But—but, Sam, you can’t! Not after what we’ve been to each other. You can’t—” (Maltese Falcon 1941) Brigid’s character is ruthless with deceit until she realizes that she can no longer persuade Sam Spade to call off the police. With this final scene, Huston does a remarkable job having fully developed the pure sorrowful emotion within brigid’s tone and expression, and this is a key factor Hammett’s development lacks. Furthermore, this invalidates the argument that the book develops character emotions better, as the film can display visual emotion along with the …show more content…

Hammett quotes Spade as, “Spade's jaw was long and bony, his chin a jutting v under the more flexible v of his mouth. His nostrils curved back to make another, smaller, v. His yellow-grey eyes were horizontal. The v motif was picked up again by thickish brows rising outward from twin creases above a hooked nose, and his pale brown hair grew down from high flat temples in a point on his forehead. He looked rather pleasantly like a blond satan.” (Hammett 1) Hammett’s ambiguous description of Spade is confusing for audiences and lackluster; accordingly, the film skips over these ambiguous character descriptions and illuminates them within the dialogue and morals of the characters. The film's use of cinematography captures the emotional struggle to relocate the Maltese Falcon and enhances the characters’ motives subtly. For example, Gutman’s motives were to acquire the Falcon as quickly as possible and the book does describe Gutman as a fat, honest criminal... but, Gutman’s character in the film is displayed as a different kind of antagonist. In comparison to Brigid, Gutman is very upfront about his desire for the bird (unlike Brigid who uses her femininity to feign her innocence) so Spade knows Gutman's full motivations through confrontations within the film. The interpretations made in the film provide exponential value to the full discovery of the characters and

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