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These two films are pretty evenly matched (cast, director, etc.), except that The Maltese Falcon has the much better story. For that, it's an obvious winner here...
Maltese > Laura. That being said, if you haven't seen Laura, you need to, for no other reason than Gene Tierney might be the most beautiful woman in movie history not named Rita Hayworth. It is also a great film with fantastic plot twists you won't see coming. Maltese is still better, but both are must sees.
Even though I love The Maltese Falcon, I'm allowing Laura to squeak ahead of it. It's just so...noir.
The Maltese Falcon has the much better story... end of story.