Skip to Content


Rec Room: David Xia: The Maltese Falcon

February 23, 2010

David Xia.jpgAfter watching Humphrey Bogart’s performance as Rick Blaine in Casablanca, I made a note to myself to see more movies in which he starred. Especially movies in which he was the cynical anti-hero. I recently watched The Maltese Falcon, a film noir in which Bogart plays hard-boiled detective Sam Spade.

The film opens with a distraught woman seeking the services of Spade and his partner Miles Archer to locate her sister who’s allegedly eloped with a disreputable man. We soon find out this is all a lie. There’s no sister. There’s no eloper. There’s only a mysterious black statuette called the Maltese Falcon and a large sum of money.

The plot, however, is secondary. It’s the characters and the mood that drive the film. It’s hard to have sympathy for Spade. We see he expresses no compunction for his partner Archer after he’s shot. He isn’t even willing to look at his dead body. He’s constantly seeking the next buck, is a womanizer, has outbursts of violent temper, and is absolutely beside himself when he outsmarts everyone. Nonetheless, there’s something honest and stark about Spade’s behavior. He not afraid to admit he’s looking out only for number one.

Bio: David Xia is an intern at Guernica. Read his last recommendation of the book The Smartest Guys in the Room here.

Readers like you make Guernica possible. Please show your support.

Tagged with:

Share on FacebookShare on TwitterAdd to BufferShare on LinkedInShare on TumblrSubmit to StumbleUpon
Submit to redditShare on App.netShare via email

You might also like

  • Rec Room: David Xia: <i>When All Else Fails</i>Rec Room: David Xia: When All Else Fails In a time of health care reform and proposals to enhance consumer protection, this book shows us that the government has played and will continue to play an increasing role in all aspects […]
  • Rec Room: David Xia: <i>Treme</i>Rec Room: David Xia: Treme From the creator of the hit TV show The Wire comes the story of a wounded post-Hurricane Katrina New Orleans neighborhood.
  • Rec Room: David Xia: <i>Random Family</i>Rec Room: David Xia: Random Family Adrian LeBlanc takes us into a world where the most relevant forms of currency other than cold, hard cash are heroin and bodies.
  • This Little Light of Ours This Little Light of Ours The Freedom Summer director on Mississippi and the role of music in civil rights.

Leave a comment

Anti-Spam Quiz:

Subscribe without commenting