Sam Spade's Lamb Chops
Hey, it's part two of my Humphrey Bogart double bill. Now while To Have and Have Not was filmed after The Maltese Falcon, I wound up doing this one second. No real reason other than the John Huston books were checked out of the library last month, but not the ones on Hawks. Does that clear up that mystery for you?
This was the big transition role for Bogart. He was no longer a bad guy, he was the hero. And he even got to kiss a girl, albeit a psychopathic one, but still. Strangely, I wound up not talking much about Bogart below and instead wound up focusing more on Huston and all of Mary Astor's stories. I hope you won't hold that against me.
Now please indulge me as I rant a bit. You'll read a lot online that people consider this to be the first Film Noir film. I don't particularly think so. It is clearly an antecedent, but I wouldn't call it the first Noir. I mean, you might as well say Fritz Lang's M is the first, no? Some people say it was Stranger on the Third Floor. (Note: M, Stranger, and The Falcon all feature Peter Lorre, if you didn't notice that.) Others might even say it was Citizen Kane. But this is just cinemagraphic masturbation as far as I'm concerned. Film Noir is a style that evolved and to pick the first film which incorporated all of its elements.... well, friends.... you'll first have to decide what exactly are those elements, which are always up for discussion and disagreement, as well. So there.