Dangerous Female; Maltese Falcon, The

2574. DANGEROUS FEMALE (The Maltese Falcon) (1931-USA). With BEBE DANIELS, RICARDO CORTEZ, DUDLEY DIGGES, UNA MERKEL, THELMA TODD. Based on a novel by DASHIELL HAMMETT. Here is an extraordinary and rarely-seen movie classic that tells one of the most famous and beloved of all mystery stories. The setting is San Francisco, and the hero is Dashiell Hammet’s tough-as-nails private eye, Sam Spade (played with a perfect blend of charm and roughness by Ricardo Cortez). Spade is depicted as a dapper ladies’ man who is one-half of the Spade & Archer Detective Agency. One day, a gorgeous mystery woman who calls herself Miss Wonderly comes to Spade’s office. Her story is that her sister has run off with a man and she wishes to hire Spade & Archer to track down her sibling. That night, Archer is dispatched to spy on the man and promptly turns up dead. What follows is a thrilling drama involving murder and mayhem and a search by various colorful, but desperate characters for a “a certain ornament” that is a twelve-inch-high black enamel figure of a birdÑotherwise known as “The Maltese Falcon.” In the end. Spade must wade his way through a cesspool of deceit as he does all in his power to sort out the various frauds and fakers. There is snappy dialogue galore, some of it deliciously risque. The result is a thrilling and endlessly fascinating “must-see” masterpiece. Highly recommended. 79 minutes. Crime Mystery Suspense