Classical Hollywood Narration And The Maltese Falcon

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Classical Hollywood Narration and The Maltese Falcon

Being that of a Classic Hollywood film, John Huston’s work “The Maltese Falcon” is an exemplar (and subsequently a subverter) of classical hollywood narrative. A film noir where the character’s motivations are as fluid and complex as the genre is known to be. A film whose narrative in of itself keeps the viewer guessing, and plot points are slowly pieced together by the viewer to discover the greater story at hand. It’s through these areas that “The Maltese Falcon” is a viewer’s guide to classical Hollywood narrative. In classic film noir fashion, The Maltese Falcon follows; unpredictable and impeccable detective Sam Spade on the case to discover the mysterious falcon statue. Sam’s overall motivation in the story is simple; uncover the secrets of this case and find out who is behind the murders of Archer and Thursby. While that is the story at hand, the plot of The Maltese Falcon has the viewer believe that Spade wants the Falcon for himself, or at the very least wanting the profits from its sale. From the elusive way Spade talks to Gutman and Cairo about the Falcon, the viewer is slowly convinced of this idea. However it isn’t until the climax where someone is able to be blamed for the murders (Spades initial goal) that Spade flips his act and frames O'Shaughnessy for the murders, having fooled Gutman and Cairo with a fake falcon. Having mentioned O'Shaughnessy, it’s important to point out that her character’s

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