Maltese Falcon Essay, Research Paper
The Portrayal of the Characters in the Maltesse Falcon suffers from transistion to the Huston film.
Spade is portrayed to have much more power in the Huston film than in the book. He seems to have more control over Brigid and the whole on going situation.
First we see this when we enter the apartment of Spade. In the book we have the feeling that Spade?s apartment was small, ?In his bedroom that was his living-room now the wall bed was up,?(Pg. 61), this tells us that Spade was living in a bachelor room. Spades room seemed to have an image of simplicity for example no pictures no designs etc. As one of the main images, I got the impression that his room was rented. As we see here, Spade was represented in a small rented room because it some ways it shows instability but this is balanced with the coldness and the plainness of the room which shows strength. This in ways gives us a distrusting side of Spade because it seems he has a duo personality. While in the movie, Spade room seemed warmer with drapes and lanterns. He had many expensive couches. It seemed bigger than what I expected and they represented his place as a permanent resistance because he had pictures of horses on the wall. Overall, Spade seemed to be living a wealthy lifestyle with expensive furniture, living in a big apartment; this is a demonstration of power because wealth in a way is power. Also the fact that the apartment was permanent portrays that he was very stable and nobody could move him and again power comes into our mind. Third, the horses, which were in the background view, were because horses are very quick, intelligent, sophisticated and very powerful animals, which resemble Spade in the movie. Overall Spade is portrayed to have all the power in the movie while in the book there was a balance between the instability and authority.
Again we see Spade showing power when he is talking to Brigid in her own apartment. In the book, Spade says to Brigid, ?Now you?re Dangerous?(Pg. 35), but he looked down on the floor. This shows that he knows that Brigid is playing her game with him and it also shows instability in his part. In the movie, while he was saying the same phrase, he did the quite opposite, he laughed a bit and he looked straight at her. This shows power and that he is not afraid. Here again, we see evidence that aids my statement.
During the same situation Spade, after almost giving up on Brigid, decides to con her by asking her for more money but we see that he is kind of resisting this and he is getting frustrated with it because it says that ?Spade made the growling animal noise?, (Pg. 39) while in the movie, he right away asks for money with no hesitation. As I said earlier on, money is a great issue, and it is a big symbol of power. Also Spade lets himself out in the book but in the movie, they played around this and they made Spade to have the key of Brigid so that he can enter her apartment without her consent. Again this is a demonstration of power and how he has control over the whole situation.
In the book, Brigid says to Spade, ? Can I buy you with my body??(Pg. 57). This shows that she is playing her game or that she just wants Spade to trust her and actually have feeling for her so she can use him to her advantage. While in the movie, Brigid did not have to say a thing because Spade just grabs her and kisses her. This shows his manly power and his control over Brigid.
In conclusion, Spade in the movie seems to have all the power and control, especially on Brigid. This was done to hide any guilty feeling or the fact that Brigid killed Miles.
Brigid is portrayed to be more innocent in the Huston film than in the book of The Maltese Falcon. Innocents is portrayed of having less power than Spade, also it eliminates suspicion toward Brigid character of any wrong doing.
In the book, from the beginning Brigid makes an entrance to spade?s office. ?She advanced slowly, with tentative steps, looking at Spade with cobalt-blue eyes that were both shy and probing? (Pg. 4). This shows professionalism, the little girl who has every thing under control and who expects to be very seductive as we see in the paragraph write after ?Her body was erect and high-breasted, her legs long and hands and feet narrow. She wore two shades of blue that had been selected because of her eyes ?her full lips more brightly red?her timid smile.? (Pg. 4) This creates a suspicious environment because she seems too perfect to be true. In the movie, the entrance is not played out. Her appearance is quite appealing but she seems more like a stereotypical situation where those girls who have the impression of being rich can?t do anything for themselves. This shows innocents on her behalf.
? Mr. Spade, could you or Mr. Archer? …look after it personally?, I don?t mean that the man you?d send wouldn?t be capable, but-oh! -I?m so afraid.? This can portray one of two things: she is either very concerned or she seems to have a motive and she needs to know who is going to be there or maybe the person that would follow her has to know how she looks like. But in the movie, we loose this whole situation, because Miles offers to take care of it himself. We loose Brigid power and suspicion and concern so then this gives us no proceeding that Brigid has anything to do with her sly position.
When we get the shot of the newspaper, in the movie, it zoom in on ?Thursby?s and Archers murders linked, Private Detective was shadowing Thursby? This in a way eliminates suspicion off Brigid. In the book, in Brigid room, Brigid makes a long speech on Pg. 35; this shows that she is very well prepared which shows a sense of motive. Also she was on her knees while saying this she was kneeling, so she was trying to portray herself as being innocent but we get another impression. In the movie, she does not say a long speech, so this takes away are suspicions of being prepared and she is sitting down faintly, which shows sadness and stress. Again we get the impression that she is innocent and insecure.
In the book, Spade asks to see how much money Brigid has, she bit her lip and reluctantly said $500. When she bit her lip she was surprised that Spade did not fall for her charm and that he wanted money. While in the movie, she answered voluntarily $500 that shows that she would give him anything even her last bit of money to get help.
In conclusion, we see that Brigid is portrayed to be more innocent in the film, than in the movie. Maybe the reason John Huston did this was to create s big shock at the end of the movie. So by doing this he had to make other characters more suspicious.
Cairo is portrayed to be more suspicious in the John Huston film than in book of The Maltese Falcon. Cairo seemed more likely to be the bad guy with something on his back during the film.
When we first see Cairo in the book, he seems to be weird. He is different than everybody else. In the movie, the first impression we get of Cairo is when Effie walks in and says ?Gardenia?, this shows elegance and richness. After, when he walks in, Spade seems to be surprised. This shows that something unique has just walked in the door. Cairo had feminine features. He seems to be quite opposite than Effie, because Effie haws a boyish look while Cairo looks very feminine. Cairo since being portrayed as unique, makes the audience wonder if Cairo has anything to do with the murders.
In the book, when Spade is looking through Cairo wallet, he only finds one passport. In the movie, we see that Cairo has 3 passports, this shows that he is a professional and we wonder why he would need so many passports. Again this creates a suspicious look at Cairo.
This scene is not strongly portrayed in the book. In the movie, everytime Spade has finished talking to Gutman, and he leaves or he is knocked out, he always seems to miss Cairo. This shows that there is something Cairo is hiding from Spade. In the book, when Brigid, Spade and Cairo were talking together for the first time Cairo tells Brigid ?Yes, I went back to him? (Pg. 67) Then we know that he is dealing with something. While in the movie, he says ?Fat Man? Cairo seemed surprised to hear that name and that he had nothing to do with him. But as I mentioned in the beginning of this paragraph we always see Cairo leaving Gutman (Fat Man?s) apartment. This create a suspicious portrayal of Cairo.
Cairo is portrayed to be more suspicious in the film than in the book, so at the end we would be surprised to find out that it was Brigid who killed Miles. Cairo was the one that we were so post to follow and think that he killed Miles.
In Conclusion the characters of Spade, Brigid and Cairo in the Huston film suffer from transition to The Maltese Falcon. The reason this was done was to create a more dramatic effect.