I found the black bird -- three times!

Well, two, actually (see below). So, I was in CostCo the other day, going over the DVD titles and there on the rack was The Maltese Falcon. I don’t have it yet so I picked it up, thinking $19 was a bit much for something so old, even a classic.

Then I noticed it wasn’t just the one movie, but all three, The Maltese Falcon (1931), Satan Met a Lady 1936, and finally, The Maltese Falcon 1941, the one we all know and love. I’d heard of but never seen the first two so that made the price a bargain. Into the basket it went. I’ve watched them in chronological order and the good one is running now, as I write.

The first was not bad for its day, but it’s easy to see why Bebe Daniels and Ricardo Cortez aren’t exactly household words today. It’s shorter than the remake so clips more of Hammett’s work than the remake does. The camerawork is leaden, possibly because, that close to the dawn to talkies, they were still using ‘blimped’ camera which would be harder to move around.

The second is like watching the Falcon though a fog. You can get occasional glimpses of something familiar once in a while but on the whole, I’m glad they made it incognito (Shane? Purvis? Barabbas??) And William Warren is entirely comic to be the ‘real’ distant, bitter Sam Spade. Horn of Roland? I guess the prop department was too lazy to make them a statuette. I don’t agree with IMDb’s 6.0 rating at all.

Finally, the third try, which is playing as I write. Absolutely gorgeous transfer with nice, crisp sound. And a pleasant surprise: Despite the staccato dialog, the subtitles don’t paraphrase. Oooh-- Effie just delivered the bundle to Sam’s apartment. A slight pause here. Okay, I’m back. So, in comparison it’s easy to see why this version gets the 8.4 rating and a spot on the IMDb’s top 250 list, but I’m glad to have seen the others for the comparison.

Man, I gotta get to Costco quick!

Only problem is that every time I walk into Costco it costs me $200. :wink:

Those were my thoughts exactly!

  1. Ooh, stop at Costco; seek classic movie.

  2. No. You always spend $200.00 there. Drive straight home.

I found the black bird –
three times! Two were statuary
One was a lady

Sorry, Desert Dog, but your thread title just screamed haiku.

Aha! $23 at Amazon. Beats $200. :wink:

Yup. Sure does.

The set didn’t include this movie? For shame. Actually, you’re not missing out. At all.

A friend showed the video to a church singles group then apologized afterwards because he didn’t remember all the swearing in it. I told him that it wasn’t the swearing that he should apologize for.

Granted, this is the same friend who sat there knowingly but silently while another friend & I showed the group “Eraserhead”. The latter friend & I got a lot of flack for that while the first friend just grinned. I’ve told him ever since that he
was an unidited co-conspirator.

thank you, desert dog. may bast reward you handsomely. :smiley:

right after work yesterday, off i went to costco. i have a healthy bogart dvd colledtion, but that’s one i didn’t have and have been hunting for for some time.

it took me nearly a half hour to unearth it. i had to DIG for the dang thing. it was buried under tons of ‘sex in the city.’

::shudder:: buncha phillistines… that is no way to treat a classic!

tonight with a bowl of popcorn in attendance, i’ll sit and watch the whole enchilada!

But, see, the real question is: How much money did you spend at Costco while getting the DVD? :wink:

heh. in and out. :smiley:

i restrained myself, believe it or not. even walked past the wines without a glance. i was rather proud of myself.

Guess I was lucky. It – they actually – were right up on top. DesertRoomie needed to get some detergent there today so another pass through the DVD section was made. All four of the Bogie/Becall movies this time.