Essay on The Hard-Boiled Detective

577 Words 3 Pages
The movie The Maltese Falcon is about a private investigator who is striving to unravel the mystery surrounding a black enamelled bird known as the Maltese Falcon. Samuel Spade, the protagonist of the story, is what was known as a “hard-boiled” detective. Men such as that rarely show a tender side (if they have one). Likewise, they are physically tough, frequently resorting to guns or fists to get what they want. In addition, they tend to be amoral, yet with an inflexible code of honour of their own. The first element of the persona of the “hard-boiled” detective is the fact that they rarely show an affectionate side. Throughout the entire movie, Sam Spade acts in a careless and nonchalant manner. Nothing bothers him and he doesn’t seem …show more content…
In The Maltese Falcon, Sam never carries a gun. However, he does use his fists a number of times. When Cairo comes to his office the first time, he pulls a gun on Sam. Spade then disarms him and knocks him out in order to search him. Later on, in his apartment, he slaps Cairo when he refuses to cooperate. Finally, he disarms Wilmer in the hotel just to show that he has control. Like most of the “hard-boiled” detectives of this era, Spade uses aggression to fulfill his goals. The third attribute of the “hard-boiled” detective is that they are often amoral. Sam Spade certainly fits this criteria. To begin, we find out that he is having an affair with his partner’s, Miles Archer, wife. That, however, is just the beginning. After Miles dies Spade wants nothing more to do with Mrs. Archer and continually pushes her away. He shows no loyalty to anyone other than himself. He is not upset at his partner’s death. Instead, he treats it like any other murder case. He acts with coldness towards other people and does what helps him instead of applying to the moral code that most people use. Finally, the “hard-boiled” detectives of this era also had an inflexible code of honour themselves. Sam Spade, though often insensitive and selfish, does have honour. First of all he give the police the money he takes from Gutman as a bribe to use as evidence against the four criminals. Secondly, he turns Brigit in. This is
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