Maltese Falcon Movie Book Comparison Essay

682 WordsApr 10, 20093 Pages
Solon Bowden 2/9/08 - Paul K. The Maltese Falcon Comparison Samuel Spade of The Maltese Falcon novel by Dashiell Hammett is quite different from Samuel Spade of “The Maltese Falcon” motion picture. The book was written a good decade before that version of the movie was produced and in a much more casual time period. The novel focuses on making Sam out to be a more complex character than the movie does. He is not just “the good guy” as he is portrayed more so in the movie. The time period may have had a lot to do with the differences between the 1941 movie and the book, published in 1929. The first thing to consider is that the late 1920’s were a much more relaxed, party era, while the early 1940’s were an era of strict decorum. While…show more content…
Another striking difference between the novel and the film is the portrayal of the femme fatale antihero Brigid O’Shaughnessy. The book, once again in stride with the time period it was published in, portrays her as a very sexually charged woman, someone who is without a doubt willing to use her sexuality to her advantage in any situation. An example of her comfort with her sexuality is seen when she strips in a bathroom for Spade and “In her mien was pride without defiance or embarrassment” (196). The movie, however, shows her in a more traditional role of a woman, someone who uses her femininity to her advantage, playing the poor helpless girl more often. Instead of having Brigid strip in the movie, she merely pleads with Sam, begging him to believe that she did not take the money. In its entirety, The Maltese Falcon novel reflects a more evolved character in both Sam Spade and Brigid O’Shaughnessy. Each character is real enough to know that “right” decisions aren’t always clear and that sometimes no one can be trusted, as is seen when Spade searches Brigid’s room or strip searches her. While the Sam Spade of the movie still reserved his doubts about people he met, he was a much less multi-faceted character, one who could still make all the right choices and by the end of the story save the day. At the same time, the novel begs the question by the end of the story - did Sam Spade make the right decision? The

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