The Maltese Falcon: Book Vs. Movie Essay

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The Maltese Falcon: Book Vs. Movie Many time in our lives, we have seen the transformation of novels into movies. Some of them are equal to the novel, few are superior, and most are inferior. Why is this? Why is it that a story that was surely to be one of the best written stories ever, could turn out to be Hollywood flops? One reason is that in many transformations, the main characters are changed, some the way they look, others the way they act. On top of this, scenes are cut out and plot is even changed. In this essay, I will discuss some of the changes made to the characters of the Maltese Falcon as they make their transformation to the ?big screen.? The first character that we read or see is Sam Spade. In the…show more content…
A technological disadvantage that the movie had was the absence color. In the novel, Miss O?Shaughnessey?s hair is described as ?darkly red.? Her red hair helps to develop a devilish theme that goes along very well with her intentions and her personality. This is also missed in the movie. The character Joel Cairo is one of the most interesting in the book, and the movie as well. I thought he was perfectly cast by the production crew and they did a very good job of including the necessary details about him: the perfumed business card, the white handkerchief, and his girlish voice. I thought the portrayal of Cairo in the movie was better than that of the book largely due to the fact that he was a homosexual. We could hear his voice and see his movements much better in the movie. When we hear a voice, if it is flagrant enough, we can almost automatically tell if someone is a homosexual. The same goes for the movements that they make, or how they react to being hit or punched. These things cannot be picked up in the book and I think they are important to his character. I believe that the movie has a better portrayal of Joel Cairo than the book does. Samuel Spades secretary, Effie Perine, is one of the most important characters in the novel. Constantly she is taking care of Sam, making sure he knows what he is doing. You could say that she is somewhat of a conscience for him. Sam trusts her very much. In fact, she

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