Dashiell Hammett’s ground-breaking 1930 detective novel “The Maltese Falcon” is often credited as being the seminal novel in the hard-boiled detective genre. In addition to being a major influence on pulp detective literature, it spawned what is arguably the greatest private eye film ever made in John Huston‘s 1941 Academy Award nominated adaptation of the same name — starring Humphrey Bogart, in his first A-List role for Warner Bros., as Sam Spade; the sardonic, smooth-talking P.I. with his own personal code of ethics. Spade refuses to be the pawn in a dizzying plot involving a trio of criminals (the fat man, the Levantine, and the deceitful femme fatale), the police, a clingy widow, and a priceless black enameled bird statuette. Hammett’s story had been filmed twice before Huston’s 1941 masterpiece; once as a pre-code production in 1931, and again in 1936 as a lighter comedic picture starring Bette Davis called Satan Met A Lady. I will focus on the 1941 Best Picture nominee, since I have not seen the other two versions as of this writing, and their reputations are far from rivaling that of the Bogey film seeing as few people are even aware of their existence.