Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Review on The Maltese Falcon

Review on The Maltese Falcon (1941)

The Maltese Falcon

The Maltese Falcon falls into the category of film Noir which means black film. Film Noir is a dark, fearful and often full of paranoia that often reflects its time period during the 40s. An article on Filmsite.org depicts this. 'A wide range of films reflected the resultant tensions and insecurities of the time period, and counter-balanced the optimism of Hollywood's musicals and comedies. Fear, mistrust, bleakness, loss of innocence, despair and paranoia are readily in noir, reflecting the'chilly' Cold War period when the threat of nuclear annihilation was ever-present.' (Filmsite, 2011) Also the hero in film noir is much different than the typical good guy, as the hero is given a darker theme and often goes against the law or twists it in some way, as explained on Filmnoirstudies.com. 'The typical hero of film noir provides a stark contrast to the traditional Hollywood hero - he is alienated from conventional society, he works in opposition to the police or is even pursued by the police, and he is often psychologically wounded and morally ambiguous.' (Filmnoirstudies, 2008)

The MacGuffin

The film also involves something called the Maltese Falcon, a small statue of a black bird. This item is the MacGuffin in the film, an item that everyone is chasing to get, as detailed on tvtropes.org. 'MacGuffin (a.k.a McGuffin or maguffin) is a term for a motivating element in a story that is used to drive the plot. It actually serves no further purpose. It won't pop up again later, it won't explain the ending, it won't actually do anything except possibly distract you while you try to figure out its significance. In some cases, it won't even be shown. It is usually a mysterious package/artifact/superweapon that everyone in the story is chasing.' (Tvtropes.org, 2011)


List of Illustrations

Figure 1. Huston, John (1941) The Maltese Falcon [Poster] At: http://www.impawards.com/1941/maltese_falcon.html (Accessed on: 22.11.11)

Figure 2. Huston, John (1941) The MacGuffin [Screen cap] At: http://www.totalfilm.com/features/best-worst-detective-movies/best-the-maltese-falcon-1941 (Accessed on: 22.11.11)


Film Noir Studies (2008) The Outer Limits of Film Noir http://www.filmnoirstudies.com/essays/outer_limits.asp (Accessed on: 22.11.11)

Film Site (2011) Film Noir http://www.filmsite.org/filmnoir.html (Accessed on: 22.11.11)

TV Tropes (2011) MacGuffin http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/MacGuffin (Accessed on: 22.11.11)

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