The Maltese Falcon Script - Dialogue Transcript

Voila! Finally, the The Maltese Falcon script is here for all you quotes spouting fans of the John Huston movie based on the Dashiell Hammett novel starring Humphrey Bogart.  This script is a transcript that was painstakingly transcribed using the screenplay and/or viewings of The Maltese Falcon. I know, I know, I still need to get the cast names in there and I'll be eternally tweaking it, so if you have any corrections, feel free to drop me a line. You won't hurt my feelings. Honest.

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The Maltese Falcon Script



            Yes, sweetheart?

            A girl wants to see you. Her name's Wonderly.

            A customer?

            I guess so. You'll want to see her, anyway. She's a knockout.

            Shoo her in, Effie, darling. Shoo her in!

            Will you come in, Miss Wonderly?

            Thank you.

            - Won't you sit down, Miss Wonderly? - Thank you.

            I inquired at the hotel for a reliable private detective.

            They mentioned you.

            Suppose you tell me about it from the very beginning.

            I'm from New York.

            I'm trying to find my sister.

            I believe she's here in San Francisco...

            ...with a man by the name of Thursby, Floyd Thursby.

            I don't know where she met him.

            We've never been as close as sisters ought to be.

            If we had, Corinne would have told me she was running away with him.

            Our parents are in Honolulu. I must find her before they return.

            - They'll be back on the first. - You've had word of your sister?

            A letter from her about two weeks ago.

            It said nothing except that she was all right.

            I sent a telegram begging her to come home.

            I sent it to a general delivery address, the one she gave.

            I waited a week and no answer came so I decided to come out here myself.

            I wrote her that I was coming. I shouldn't have, should I?

            It's not always easy to know what to do.

            You haven't found her?

            No. I wrote in my letter that I'd be at the St. Mark and for her to meet me there.

            I waited three days. She didn't come. She didn't even send a message.

            It was horrible. Waiting.

            I sent her another letter.

            Yesterday afternoon I went to the post office.

            Corinne didn't call for her mail, but Floyd Thursby did.

            He wouldn't tell me where Corinne was.

            He said she didn't want to see me.

            I can't believe that.

            He promised to bring her to the hotel if she'd come.

            He said he knew she wouldn't. He promised to come if she didn't.

            Excuse me.

            It's all right, Miles. Come in.

            Miss Wonderly, my partner, Miles Archer.

            Miss Wonderly's sister ran away with a fellow named Thursby.

            They're here in San Francisco.

            Miss Wonderly has a date with Thursby tonight.

            Maybe he'll bring the sister. The chances are he won't.

            Miss Wonderly wants us to find the sister, get her away from him and back home.

            - Right? - Yes.

            Now it's simply a matter of having a man at the hotel tonight...

   shadow him when he leads us to your sister.

            If, after we've found her, she still won't leave him...

            ...well, we have ways of managing that.

            You must be careful.

            I'm deathly afraid of him, of what he might do.

            She's young, and his bringing her here is a serious...

            Mightn't he do something to her?

            Just leave that to us. We'll know how to handle him.

            But I want you to know he's a dangerous man.

            I honestly don't think he'd stop at anything.

            I don't think he'd hesitate to kill Corinne if it would save him.

            Could he cover up by marrying her?

            He has a wife and three children in England.

            They usually do, though not always in England. What does he look like?

            He has dark hair and thick, bushy eyebrows.

            He talks in a loud, blustery manner. He gives the impression of being violent.

            He was wearing a light gray suit and a gray hat when I saw him this morning.

            What does he do?

            I haven't the faintest idea.

            - What time's he comin' to see you? - After  :  .

            All right, Miss Wonderly. We'll have a man there.

            I'll look after it myself.

            Thank you.

            Oh, yes.

            Will that be enough?

            - Thank you. - Not at all.

            It'll help some if you meet Thursby in the lobby.

            You don't have to look for me. I'll see you all right.

            Thank you.

            - Thank you so much. - Good-bye.

            They're right enough.

            They have brothers in her bag.

            - What do you think of her? - She's sweet.

            Maybe you saw her first, Sam, but I spoke first.

            You've got brains.

            Yes, you have.


            Yeah. Speaking.

            Miles Archer dead?


            Bush and Stockton?


            In    minutes.


              Hello, Effie?

              It's me.

              Now, listen, precious.

              Miles has been shot.

              Yeah, dead.

              Now, don't get excited.


              You'll have to break the news to Iva. I'd fry first.

              And keep her away from me.

              That's a good girl.

              Now, get right over there.

              You're an angel.


              - What do you want here? - I'm Sam Spade. Tom Polhaus phoned.

              I didn't know you at first. They're back there.

              Hello, Sam. I figured you'd want to see it before we took him away.

              Thanks, Tom. What happened?

              Got him right through the pump with this.

              It's a Webley.

              English, ain't it?

              A Webley-Forsby.   automatic,  -shot. They don't make 'em anymore.

              - How many gone out of it? - Just one.

              Let's see. Shot up here, huh?

              Standing like you, with his back to the fence.

              The man who shot him stood here.

              Went backwards down the hill, takin' the fence with him, got caught on the rock.

              That's it. The blast burnt his coat.

              - Who found him? - Man on the beat.

              - Anybody hear the shot? - Somebody must've. We just got here.

              You want to look at him before we take him away?

              No, you've seen everything I could.

              His gun was still on his hip. Hadn't been fired.

              His overcoat was buttoned.

              I found a $    bill in his vest pocket and about $   in his pants.

              Was he workin', Sam?


              - He was tailing a guy named Thursby. - What for?

              What for?

              We wanted to find out where he lived. Don't crowd me, Tom.

              I'm goin' on down to break the news to Miles' wife.

              It's tough, him gettin' it like that, ain't it?

              Miles had his faults like any of us, but he must've had some good points, too.

              I guess so.

              Miss Wonderly, please.

              Checked out? What time?

              Any forwarding address?


              Hello, Tom. Hello, Lieutenant. Come in.

              Sit down.

              Sit down.


              You break the news to Miles' wife, Sam?

              How'd she take it?

              - I don't know anything about women. - Since when?

              What kind of gun do you carry?

              None. I don't like 'em. There are some at the office.

              You don't have one here? You sure about that?

              Look around. Turn the dump upside down. I won't squawk if you got a search warrant.

              We don't want to make...

              Why are you suckin' around here? Tell me or get out!

              You can't treat us like that. It ain't right. We got our work to do.

              Why were you tailin' Thursby?

              I wasn't. Miles was 'cause we had a client...

              - Who's the client? - Sorry, I can't tell you that.

              Be reasonable, Sam. Give us a break, will you?

              How can we turn up anything if you don't tell us what you got?

              Tom says you were in too much of a hurry to stop and look at your dead partner.

              You didn't go to Archer's house to tell his wife.

              We called your office and the girl there said you told her to do it.

              I'll give you    minutes to get to a phone and talk to her.

              I'll give you    minutes to get to Thursby's joint.

              You could do it easily in that time.

              What's your boyfriend gettin' at?

              Just this: Thursby was shot down in front of his hotel...

              ...half an hour after you left Bush Street.

              Keep your paws off me.

              What time did you get home?

              A few minutes ago. I was walkin' and thinkin' things over.

              We know. We tried to call you.

              - Where'd you walk? - Bush Street.

              - Did you see anybody... - No. No witnesses.

              Well, I know where I stand now.

              Sorry I got up on my hind legs, but you tryin' to rope me made me nervous.

              Miles gettin' killed upset me, then you birds crackin' foxy.

              It's all right now that I know what it's all about.

              Forget it, Sam.

              - Thursby die? - Yep.

              How'd I kill him? I forget.

              He was shot in the back four times with a.   or.   from across the street.

              Nobody saw it, but that's how it figures.

              - Hotel people know anything? - Just that he lived there a week.

              - Alone? - Yeah, alone.

              Did you find out who he was? What his game was? Well, did you?

              - We thought you could tell us that. - I've never seen Thursby, dead or alive.

              You know me, Spade.

              If you did it, or if you didn't, you'll get a square deal and most of the breaks.

              Don't know if I'd blame you, a man that killed your partner...

              ...but that won't stop me from nailin' you.

              Fair enough.

              But I'd feel better about it if you'd have a drink with me.

              Success to crime!

              She's in there.

              - I told you to keep her away from me. - Yes, but you didn't tell me how.

              Don't be cranky with me. I've had her all night.

              Sorry, angel. I didn't mean...

              Hello, Iva.



              Effie take care of everything?

              I think so.

              Sam, did you kill him?

              Who put that bright idea in your head?

              Well, I thought you said if it wasn't for Miles, you'd...

              Be kind to me, Sam.

              "You killed my husband, Sam. Be kind to me!"

              Don't, Iva, don't.

              You shouldn't have come here today, darling. You ought to be home.

              You'll come soon?

              Soon as I can.

              Good-bye, Iva.


     did you and the widow make out?

              She thinks I shot Miles.

              - So you could marry her? - The cops think I killed Thursby...

              ...the guy Miles was tailing for that Wonderly dame.

              Who do you think I shot?

              Are you going to marry Iva?

              Don't be silly. I wish I'd never laid eyes on her.

              Do you suppose she could have killed him?

              You're an angel. A nice, rattlebrained, little angel.

              - Oh, am I? - Thanks, honey.

              Suppose I told you that your Iva hadn't been home long...

              ...when I arrived to break the news at  :   this morning?

              Are you telling me?

              She kept me waiting at the door as she undressed.

              Her clothes were on a chair where she'd dumped them.

              Her slip, on top, was still warm.

              She'd wrinkled the bed, but they weren't mashed down.

              You're a detective, darling, but she didn't kill him.

              Do the police really think you shot this what's his name?

              Do they?

              Look at me, Sam.

              You worry me.

              You think you know what you're doing, but you're too slick for your own good.

              Someday you're going to find it out. Spade and Archer.

              Yes, Miss Wonderly.


              Yeah, this is Sam Spade.


              Coronet Apartments, California Avenue, Apartment     .

              What's the name?

              Miss LeBlanc.

              Okay, I'll be right over.

              Have Miles' desk moved out of the office...

              ...and have "Spade and Archer" taken off the doors and windows, and...

              ...have "Samuel Spade" put on.

              Come in, Mr. Spade.

              Everything's upside down. I haven't finished unpacking. Sit down.

              Mr. Spade, I...

              ...I have a terrible, terrible confession to make.

              That story I told you yesterday...

              ...was just a story.

              Oh, that. Well, we didn't exactly believe your story, Miss...

              What is your name, Wonderly or LeBlanc?

              It's O'Shaughnessy. Brigid O'Shaughnessy.

              We didn't exactly believe your story.

              We believed your $   .

              You mean...

              You paid us more than if you'd told the truth...

              ...and enough more to make it all right.

              Tell me, Mr. Spade, am I to blame for last night?

              You warned us that Thursby was dangerous.

              You lied to us about your sister and all that, but we didn't believe you.

              No, I wouldn't say that you were at fault.

              Thank you.

              Mr. Archer was so alive yesterday...

     solid and hearty, and... - Stop it.

              He knew what he was doing. Those are the chances we take.

              Was he married?

              Yeah, with $      insurance, no children, and a wife that didn't like him.

              - Please don't. - That's the way it was.

              Anyway, there's no time for worrying about that now.

              Out there's a flock of policemen and assistant DAs...

              ...running around with their noses to the ground.

              Mr. Spade, do they know about me?

              Not yet. I've been stalling 'em until I could see you.

              Do they have to know?

              Can't you shield me so I won't have to answer their questions?

              Maybe, but I gotta know what it's all about.

              I can't tell you.

              I can't tell you now.

              I will later, when I can.

              You've got to trust me, Mr. Spade.

              I'm so alone and afraid.

              I've got nobody to help me if you won't help me.

              Be generous, Mr. Spade.

              You're brave. You're strong.

              You can spare me some of that courage and strength, surely.

              Help me, Mr. Spade. I need help so badly.

              I've no right to ask you, I know I haven't, but I do ask you.

              Help me.

              You won't need much of anybody's help. You're good.

              It's chiefly your eyes, and that throb you got in your voice...

              ...when you say things like, "Be generous, Mr. Spade".

              I deserve that.

              But the lie was in the way I said it, not at all in what I said.

              It's my own fault if you can't believe me now.

              Now, you are dangerous.

              I'm afraid I won't be able to be of much help to you...

              ...without some idea of what it's about.

              For instance, I've gotta have some sort of a line on your Floyd Thursby.

              I met him in the Orient.

              We came from Hong Kong last week. He promised to help me.

              He took advantage of my dependence on him to betray me.

              Betray you? How? Why did you want him shadowed?

              To find out how far he'd gone, whom he'd met, things like that.

              - Did he kill Archer? - Certainly.

              He had a Luger in his shoulder holster. Archer wasn't shot with a Luger.

              Mr. Spade, you don't think I had anything to do with the death of Mr. Archer?

              - Did you? - No.

              That's good.

              Floyd always carried an extra revolver in his coat pocket.

              Why all the guns?

              He lived by them.

              The story is that he first came to the Orient...

     bodyguard to a gambler who'd had to leave the States.

              The gambler had since disappeared and Floyd knew about it. I don't know.

              I do know he always went heavily armed, and he never went to sleep...

              ...without covering the floor around his bed with newspapers...

     that nobody could come silently into his room.

              You picked a nice sort of playmate.

              Only that sort could have helped me, if he'd been loyal.

              How bad a spot are you actually in?

              Bad as could be.

              Physical danger?

              I'm not heroic. I don't think there's anything worse than death.

              - Then, it's that? - It's that, as surely as we're sitting here.

              Unless you help me.

              Who killed Thursby, your enemies or his?

              I don't know.

              His, I suppose.

              I'm afraid... I don't know.

              This is hopeless! I don't know what you want done...

              ...or if you know what you want.

              Will you go to the police?

              I just got to stand still, and they'll be all over me.

              I'll tell 'em all I know, and you must take your chances.

              You've been patient with me and tried to help me.

              It's useless and hopeless, I suppose.

              I do thank you for what you've done. I'll have to take my chances.

              How much money have you got?

              I've got about $    left.

              Give it to me.

              - There's only $    here. - I had to keep some to live on.

              - Can't you get some more? - No.

              You got anything you can raise money on?

              - I've got some furs and a little jewelry. - You'll have to hock 'em.

              There you are.

              I'll be back soon with the best news I can.

              I'll ring four times: long, short, long, short.

              You needn't bother to come to the door. I'll let myself in.

              Anything stirring?

              Did you send the flowers?

              You're invaluable, darling. Get my lawyer on the phone, will you?

              Hello, Sid?

              I think I'm going to have to tell a coroner to go to blazes, Sid.

              Can I hide behind the sanctity of my client's identity...

              ...secrets and whatnots all the same, priest or lawyer?

              But Dundy's getting a little rambunctious, and maybe it is a bit thick this time.

              What'll it cost to be on the safe side?

              Maybe it's worth it.

              Okay, go ahead.


              Quick, darling, in with him!

              Will you come in, Mr. Cairo?

              Will you sit down, Mr. Cairo?

              Thank you, sir.

              Now, what can I do for you, Mr. Cairo?

              May a stranger offer condolences for your partner's unfortunate death?


              Is there, as the newspapers imply...

              ...a certain relationship between that unfortunate happening and...

              ...the death a little later of the man Thursby?

              I beg your pardon. No.

              More than idle curiosity prompted my question.

              See, Mr. Spade, I'm trying to recover...

     ornament that, shall we say, has been mislaid.

              I thought and hoped you could assist me.

              The ornament is a statuette...

              ...a black figure of a bird.

              I am prepared to pay, on behalf of...

              ...the figure's rightful owner, the sum of $     for its recovery.

              I am prepared to promise that, what is the phrase...

              ..."No questions will be asked".

              $     is a lot of money.

              Yes, Effie?

              No, that'll be all. Just be sure to lock the door on your way out.

              Good night.

              $     is...

              You will clasp your hands together at the back of your neck.

              I intend to search your offices, Mr. Spade.

              I warn you, if you attempt to prevent me, I shall certainly shoot you.

              Go ahead and search.

              Please come to the center of the room.

              I have to make certain that you are not armed.

              Look what you did to my shirt!


              But imagine my embarrassment at discovering that $     offer...

              ...was just hooey.

              Mr. Spade, my offer is genuine.

              I am prepared to pay $     for the figure's return.

              - You have it? - No.

              If it isn't here...

              ...why did you risk serious injury to prevent my searching?

              Why should I sit here and let people come in and stick me up?

              Certainly it is only natural that I try to save the owner...

              ...such a considerable expense if possible.

              Who is he?

              Mr. Spade, you'll forgive my not answering that question.

              I think we'd be better off all around if we'd put our cards on the table.

              No, I do not think it would be better.

              You see, if you know more than I do, then I shall profit by your knowledge.

              So will you, to the extent of $    .

              There's nothing like $     here.

              You want some assurance of my sincerity?

              - A retainer? Would that do? - It might.

              You will take, say, $   ?

              No. I will take, say, $   .

              Your first guess was that I had the bird. There's nothing to that.

              What's your second guess?

              That you know where it is, or at least you know it is where you can get it.

              You're not hiring me to do murders or burglaries...

              ...but simply to get it back if possible, in an honest, lawful way?

              If possible. But...

     any case, with discretion.

              When you wish to contact me, sir, I'm staying at the Hotel Belvedere...

              ...Room    .

              I sincerely expect the greatest mutual benefit...

              ...from our association, Mr. Spade.

              May I please have my gun now?

              Oh, sure. I'd forgotten all about it.

              You will please clasp your hands together at the back of your neck.

              I intend to search your offices.

              Well, I'll be...

              Why, sure.

              Go ahead. I won't stop you.

              - Turn right and go up the hill, driver. - Okay.

              Mr. Spade!

              Do you bring me any news?

              Did you manage it so the police won't have to know about me?

              They won't for a while, anyway.

              You are wonderful!

              You won't get into trouble?

              I don't mind a reasonable amount of trouble.

              Do sit down.

              You aren't exactly the sort of a person you pretend to be, are you?

              Why, I'm not sure I know exactly what you mean.

              The schoolgirl manner. You know, blushing, stammering and all that.

              I haven't lived a good life. I've been bad.

              Worse than you could know.

              Good, because if you actually were as innocent as you pretend to be...

              ...we'd never get anywhere.

              I won't be innocent.


              By the way, I saw Joel Cairo tonight.

              Do you know him?

              Only slightly.

              You're good. You're very good.

              - What did he say? - About what?

              - About me. - Nothing.

              - What did you talk about then? - He offered me $     for the black bird.

              You won't go around straightening things and poking the fire again, will you?

              No, I'm not.

              - What did you say? - I said $     was a lot of money.

              It is.

              It's more than I can ever offer you if I have to bid for your loyalty.

              That's good coming from you.

              What have you ever given me besides money?

              Have you ever given me any of your confidence, any truth?

              Haven't you tried to buy my loyalty with only money?

              What else is there I can buy you with?

              I don't care what your secrets are.

              But I can't go ahead without more confidence in you than I've got now.

              You have to convince me you aren't just fiddling around...

              ...hoping it'll all come out right in the end.

              Trust me a little longer?

              How much is a little? What are you waiting for?

              I've got to talk to Joel Cairo.

              You can see him tonight. He's at the theater. It'll be out soon.

              - I'll leave a message at his hotel. - But he can't come here.

              I'm afraid to let him know where I am.

              My place, then.


              I want to leave a message for Joel Cairo.

              I never would've placed myself in this position...

              ...if I didn't trust you completely.

              That again?

              You know that's true, though.

              You don't have to trust me as long as you can persuade me to trust you.

              But don't worry about that now.

              He'll be along any minute.

              You get your business with Cairo over with then we'll see how we stand.

              You'll let me go about it with him...

     my own way?


              You are a godsend.

              Now, don't overdo it.

              Mr. Spade! There is a boy outside. He seems to be watching the house.

              I know. I spotted him.

              What? What's that? What boy?

              A kid. He's been trailing me all evening.

              - Did he follow you to my apartment? - I shook him before that.

              Come in, Mr. Cairo.

              - I'm delighted to see you again, madam. - I was sure you would be, Joel.

              Mr. Spade told me about your offer for the falcon.

              - When will the money be ready? - It is ready.

              - In cash? - Yes.

              You're ready to pay $     if we turn over the falcon to you?

              Excuse me, please. I must have expressed myself badly.

              I did not mean that I have the money in my pocket...

              ...but I am ready to get it for you on a few minutes' notice...

              ...anytime during banking hours.

              That's probably true. He only had a couple hundred...

              ...when I searched him this afternoon at my office.

              I shall be able to have the money for you at, say,   :   in the morning.

              But I haven't got the falcon.

              I'll have it in another week at the most, though.

              Then, where is it?

              Where Floyd hid it.


              You know where he hid it? Then why do we have to wait a week?

              Perhaps not a whole week.

              And why, if I may ask another question, are you willing to sell it to me?

              Because I'm afraid.

              After Floyd, I'm afraid to touch it except to turn it over to somebody else.

              What exactly did happen to Floyd?

              The fat man.

              The fat man? Is he here?

              I don't know. I suppose so.

              What difference does it make?

              It might make a world of difference.

              Or you or me.

              Precisely. But, shall we add, more certainly...

              ...the boy outside?

              Yes. But you might be able to get around him, Joel...

     you did the one in Istanbul.

              What was his name?

              You mean the one you couldn't get to come to...

              This is the second time that you have laid hands on me!

              When you're slapped you'll take it and like it.

              Who's that?

              I don't know. Keep quiet.


              You guys pick swell hours to do your visiting in.

              - What now? - We want to talk to you.

              - Go ahead and talk. - Do we have to do it out in the hall?

              - You can't come in. - Come off it now, Sam.

              You aren't tryin' to strongarm me, are you?

              Why don't you be reasonable?

              It would pay you to play along with us.

              You got away with this and that, but you can't keep it up forever.

              - Stop me when you can. - That's what I intend to do.

              There's talk about you and Archer's wife.

              - Is there anything to it? - Not a thing.

              She tried to get a divorce from him to put in with you...

              ...but he wouldn't give it to her. Anything to that?

              Talk is that's why he was put on the spot.

              Don't be a hog, Dundy.

              Your idea I killed Thursby because he killed Miles...

              ...falls to pieces if I'm blamed for killing Miles.

              You haven't heard me say you killed anybody.

              You keep bringing that up.

              Haven't you anything better to do than to pop in here...

              ...early every morning asking fool questions?

              - And gettin' a lot of lyin' answers. - Take it easy.

              If you say there's nothin' between you and Archer's wife, you're a liar.

              Is that the hot tip that brought you up here at this ungodly hour?

              That's one of 'em.

              And the other?

              Let us in!

              All right, Spade, we'll go.

              Maybe you're right in buckin' us. Think it over.


              - I guess we're goin' in. - I guess you are.

              What's goin' on in here?

              Look, Officer! Look what she did!

              - Did you do that? - I had to.

              I was alone with him. He tried to attack me.

              I had to keep him off. I couldn't shoot him!

              You dirty, filthy liar! It isn't true!

              I came up here in good faith, then both of them attacked me.

              Then when he went out to talk to you he left her here with a pistol.

              She said as soon as you leave they'll kill me...

     I called for help. I didn't want you to leave me to be murdered.

              And then she struck me with the pistol!

              Why don't you make him tell the truth?

              Wait a minute!

              That's no way to act!

              I don't guess we'll be wrong runnin' the lot of 'em in.

              Don't be in a hurry. Everything can be explained.

              I'll bet.

              Miss O'Shaughnessy, Lieutenant Dundy and Detective Sergeant Polhaus.

              Miss O'Shaughnessy is an operative in my employ since yesterday.

              That's a lie, too!

              That is Mr. Joel Cairo.

              Cairo was an acquaintance of Thursby's. He came to my office late this afternoon...

              ...and hired me to find something Thursby had on him when he was bumped off.

              It looked funny to me the way he put it, so I wouldn't touch it.

              Then he pulled a gun on me. That's neither here nor there...

              ...unless we start preferring charges against each other.

              Miss O'Shaughnessy and I discussed the matter and decided to find out...

              ...exactly how much he knew about Miles' and Thursby's killings...

     we asked him to come here.

              Now, maybe we did put the questions to him a little roughly...

              You know how that is, Lieutenant?

              But we didn't hurt him enough to make him cry for help.

              - What have you got to say to that? - I don't know what to say.

              Try tellin' the facts.

              - What? Facts? - Quit stallin'.

              Just swear out a complaint they took a poke at you and I'll throw 'em in the can.

              Go ahead, Cairo. Tell him you'll do it.

              Then we'll swear out a complaint against you and he'll have the lot of us.

              Get your hats.

              Well, boys and girls, we put it over nicely!

              Go on, get your hats!

              Don't you know when you're bein' kidded?

              No, but that can wait till we get to the Hall.

              Wake up, Dundy, you're being kidded!

              When I heard the buzzer, I said:

              "There's the police again. They're getting to be a nuisance!"

              "When you hear them, scream."

              "Then we'll see how far we can string 'em till they tumble."

              Stop it, Sam!

              How'd that cut on his head get there?

              - Ask him. Maybe he cut himself shaving. - The cut? No.

              When we pretended to be struggling for the gun, I fell over the carpet. I fell.

              Horse feathers!

              - Take him along, anyway, for packin' a gun. - Don't be a sap.

              That gun was a plant, it's one of mine.

              Too bad it's only a.   or you could prove it was the gun...

              ...that Miles and Thursby were shot with.

              - No, Sam! No! - Then get him out of here!

              - Get their names and addresses. - My name is Joel Cairo, Hotel Belvedere.

              Miss O'Shaughnessy's address is my office.

              - Where do you live? - Get him out!

              Take it easy! Is that all you want, Lieutenant?

              I think I'll be going now.

              What's the hurry, Cairo?

              There is no hurry. It's getting quite late, and...

              Tell him to leave the gun.

              I hope you know what you're doin', Sam.

              You're absolutely the wildest, most unpredictable person I ever knew.

              Do you always carry on so highhanded?

              Well, you've had your talk with Cairo.

              Now you can talk to me.

              Yes, of course.

              I'm listening.

              I'm still listening.

              - Look at the time! I must be going. - No. Not till you've told me all about it.

              Am I a prisoner?

              Maybe the boy outside hasn't gone home yet.

              Do you suppose he's still there?


              You can start now.

              You are the most insistent person.

              And wild and unpredictable, huh?

              Say, what's this bird, this falcon, that everybody's all steamed up about?

              Supposing I wouldn't tell you anything about it?

              Would you do something wild and unpredictable?

              I might.

              It's a black figure, as you know, smooth and shiny...

              ...of a bird, a hawk or falcon, about that high.


              - What makes it so important? - I don't know. They wouldn't tell me.

              They offered me     if I'd help get it away from the man who had it.

              That was in Istanbul?


              Go ahead.

              But that's all.

              They promised me     if I'd help them, and I did.

              Then we found out that Joel Cairo intended to desert us...

              ...taking the falcon with him and leaving Floyd and me nothing...

     we did exactly that to him.

              But, I wasn't any better off than before.

              Floyd had no intention of keeping his promise...

              ...about sharing equally. I'd learned that when we got here.

              What's the bird made of?

              Porcelain or black stone. I don't know. I only saw it once for a few minutes.

              Floyd showed it to me when we first got hold of it.

              You are a liar!

              I am.

              I've always been a liar.

              Don't brag about it.

              Was there any truth at all in that yarn?


              Not very much.

              Well, we got all night.

              Coffee'll be ready soon. We'll have a cup and try again.

              I'm so tired...

     tired of lying and making up lies.

              Not knowing what is a lie and what's the truth.

              I want to talk to Mr. Cairo. Joel Cairo.


              Where is he?


              Where is he?



              What do you think you're doin', kiddin' me?

              I'll tell you when I am.

              New York, aren't you?

              Shove off.

              You'll have to talk to me before you're through.

              Some of you will, and you can tell the fat man I said so.

              Keep askin' for it and you're gonna get it, plenty.

              I told you to shove off.

              Shove off!

              People lose teeth talkin' like that.

              If you want to hang around, you'll be polite.


              - Hello, Sam. - Hello, Luke.

              Say, that was too bad about Miles.

              Yeah. It was a tough break.

              I want to show you somethin'.

              Why do you let these cheap gunmen hang around the lobby...

              ...with their heaters bulging in their clothes?

              What do you want here?

              If you don't want anything, beat it...

              ...and don't come back!

              I won't forget you guys.

              - What is it? - I don't know. I just spotted him.

              - Say, what about Miles? - I'll see you, Luke.

              -    . - Yes, sir.

              Good morning.

              Good morning.

              Let's go where we can talk.

              Our private conversations have not been such that I'm anxious to continue them.

              Forgive my speaking so bluntly but it is the truth.

              Last night? What could I do? I had to. I don't know where the bird is.

              Neither do you. She does. How'll we get it if I don't play along?

              You always have a very smooth explanation ready, huh?

              Should I learn to stutter?

              Did Dundy take you to the station? For how long?

              Till a little while ago.

              - What'd they shake out of you? - Shake out? Not one thing.

              I adhered to the course you indicated earlier in your room...

              ...but I wish you would have invented a more reasonable story.

              I felt distinctly like an idiot repeating it.

              Don't worry about the story's goofiness.

              A sensible one would have had us all in the cooler.

              - You sure you didn't tell 'em anything? - I did not.

              You'll want sleep, if you've been standing up under a police grilling all night.

              I'll see you later.

              No, not yet.

              Yes, I'll have him call you the minute he comes in.

              That's the third time she's called this morning.

              Miss O'Shaughnessy's in there.

              Anything else?

              The DA's office called. Bryan would like to see you.

              And a Mr. Gutman called.

              I said you weren't in. He said, "Please tell him...

              ...the young man gave me his message, and that I phoned, and will phone again."

              Gutman, huh?

              Thanks, darling.

              Darling! Somebody's been in my apartment!

              It's all upside down! I changed as fast as I could and came over.

              Did that boy follow you?

              No, angel. I shook him off long before I ever went to your place.

              It might have been Cairo. He wasn't at the hotel last night.

              He told me he'd been standing up under a police grilling. I wonder.

              - You saw Joel this morning? - Yeah.


              Because, true love, I need to keep in touch...

              ...with all the loose ends of this dizzy affair if I'm ever to make heads or tails of it.

              Now, we've got to find a new home for you.

              I won't go back there!

              I got an idea. Wait a minute.

              What's your woman's intuition say about her?

              She's all right. Maybe it's her own fault for the trouble...

              ...but she's all right.

              That's what I mean.

              Are you strong enough to put her up for a bit?

              - You mean at home? - Yeah.

              - Is she in any danger, Sam? - I think she is.

              Gee, that'd scare Mom into a green hemorrhage.

              I'll say she's a surprise witness you're keeping undercover.

              You're a darling.


              Effie has offered to put you up.

              That's very kind.

              Start now. Go out the back entrance.

              There's usually a cab parked by the alleyway.

              Ride partway with her. Be sure you're not followed.

              You better change cabs a few times to be safe.

              I'll call Mom.

              There's time enough for that when you get back.

              I'll call you later.


              This is Samuel Spade.

              Say, my secretary tells me Mr. Bryan wants to see me.

              Yeah. Ask him what time's most convenient for him.

              Spade. S-p-a-d-e.

              Hello, honey.


               :  . All right. Thanks.

              Sam, forgive me. Please forgive me.

              I sent those policemen to your place.

              I was mad, crazy with jealousy. I phoned that if they went there...

              ...they'd learn something about Miles' murder.

              - What made you think of that? - I was mad, Sam. I wanted to hurt you.

              - Did you tell 'em who you were? - No. Sam, dearest, I...

              Where'd you phone from?

              The drugstore across from your place.

              Better hurry home and think what to tell the police.

              You'll hear from them.

              By the way...

              ...where were you the night Miles was murdered?


              - I was. - No!

              But if that's your story, it's all right with me.

              Now, you run along.


              Yeah, this is Spade.

              Yes, Mr. Gutman, I got it. I've been waitin' to hear from you.

              Well, now? The sooner, the better. Say    minutes. Right.


                C to your left, sir.

              Mr. Spade!

              How do you do, Mr. Gutman?

              You begin well, sir.

              I distrust a man who says "when".

              He's got to be careful not to drink too much...

              ...because he's not to be trusted when he does.

              Well, sir...

    's to plain speaking and clear understanding.

              You're a close-mouthed man?

              No, I like to talk.

              Better and better. I distrust a close-mouthed man.

              He generally picks the wrong time to talk and says the wrong things.

              Talking's something you can't do judiciously unless you keep in practice.

              Now, sir. We'll talk, if you like.

              I'll tell you right out. I'm a man who likes talking to a man who likes to talk.


              Will we talk about the black bird?

              You're the man for me, sir.

              No beating about the bush. Right to the point.

              Let's talk about the black bird, by all means.

              First, answer me a question.

              Are you here as Miss O'Shaughnessy's representative?

              There's nothing certain either way. It depends.

              It depends on?

              Maybe it depends on Joel Cairo.


              The question is which do you represent? It'll be one or the other.

              I didn't say so.

              - Who else is it? - There's me.

              That's wonderful, sir, wonderful.

              I do like a man who tells you right out he's lookin' out for himself.

              Don't we all?

              I don't trust a man who says he's not.

              Now, let's talk about the black bird.


              Mr. Spade, have you any conception...

              ...of how much money can be got for that black bird?


              Well, sir, if I told you, if I told you half, you'd call me a liar.

              No, not even if I thought so.

              But you tell me what it is, and I'll figure out the profit.

              You mean, you don't know what that bird is?

              I know what it's supposed to look like...

              ...and I know the value in human life you people put on it.

              She didn't tell you what it is?

              - Cairo didn't either? - He offered me $      for it.

              $     !

              Dollars, mind you, not even pounds!

              Do they know what that bird is? What is your impression?

              There's not much to go by. Cairo didn't say he did or he didn't.

              She said she didn't but I took it for granted she was lying.

              Not an injudicious thing to do.

              If they don't know, I'm the only one in the whole wide sweet world who does.

              Swell! When you've told me, that'll make two of us.

              Mathematically correct, but I don't know for certain that I'm going to tell you.

              Don't be foolish. You know what it is. I know where it is.

              Well, sir, where is it?

              You see, I must tell you what I know, but you won't tell me what you know.

              It's hardly equitable, sir.

              No, no. I don't think we can do business along those lines.

              Well, think again, and think fast!

              I told that gunsel of yours you'd have to talk to me!

              You'll talk to me today, or you are through!

              Why are you wasting my time? I can get along without you!

              And another thing:

              Keep that gunsel out of my way while you decide.

              I'll kill him, if you don't!

              Well, sir, I must say you have a most violent temper.

              Think it over. You've got till  :  .

              Then you're either in or out, for keeps!

              - Who killed Thursby? - I don't know.

              But you could make an excellent guess.

              My guess might be excellent or crummy...

              ...but Mrs. Spade didn't raise children dippy enough to guess...

     front of a DA, an assistant DA and a stenographer.

              Why not, if you've nothing to conceal?

              Everybody has something to conceal.

              I'm a sworn officer of the law    hours a day...

              ...and neither formality nor informality justifies you withholding...

              ...the evidence of crime from me except on constitutional grounds.

              You and the police have as much as accused me...

              ...of being mixed up in the murders.

              I've had trouble with both of you before, and as far as I can see...

     best chance of clearing myself of the trouble...

     by bringing in the murderers all tied up.

              The only chance I have of catching them and bringing them in...

     by staying away from you because you'd only gum up the works.

              You getting this or am I goin' too fast?

              - No, sir. I'm getting it all right. - Good work.

              If you want to tell the board I'm obstructing justice...

              ...and ask them to revoke my license, hop to it.

              You tried it before and it didn't get you anything but a good laugh.

              I don't want any more informal talks.

              I've nothing to say to you, and I'm tired of being called things...

     every crackpot on the city payroll. If you want to see me...

              ...pinch me or subpoena me. I'll come down with my lawyer.

              I'll see you at the inquest, maybe!

              Come on. He wants to see you.

              I didn't expect you till  :  . I hope I haven't kept you waiting.

              Keep on ridin' me...

              ...they're gonna be pickin' iron out of your liver.

              The cheaper the crook, the gaudier the patter, huh?

              Well, let's go.

              Come on. This'll put you in solid with your boss.

              Come in, sir. Thank you for coming. Come in.

              You shouldn't let him go around with these on him.

              He might get himself hurt.

              Well, what's this?

              A crippled newsy took 'em away from him. I made him give 'em back.

              By gad, sir, you're a chap worth knowing. An amazing character. Give me your hat.

              Sit down.

              - I owe you an apology, sir. - Never mind that.

              Let's talk about the black bird.

              All right, sir, let's.


              This is going to be the most astounding thing you've ever heard of.

              I say this knowing a man of your caliber and your profession...

              ...must have known some astounding things in his time.

              What do you know of the Order of the Hospital of Saint John of Jerusalem...

              ...later known as the Knights of Rhodes?

              - Crusaders or something, weren't they? - Very good. Sit down.

              In      these crusading Knights...

              ...persuaded Emperor Charles V to give them the Island of Malta.

              He made but one condition:

              That they pay him yearly the tribute of a falcon...

     acknowledgement that Malta was still under Spain.

              Do you follow me?

              Have you any conception of the extreme...

              ...the immeasurable wealth of the Order of that time?

              They were pretty well fixed.

              "Pretty well" is putting it mildly. They were rolling in wealth, sir.

              For years they'd taken from the East nobody knows what spoils of gems...

              ...precious metals, silks, ivory, sir.

              We all know the Holy Wars to them were largely a matter of loot.

              The Knights were profoundly grateful to the Emperor Charles...

              ...for his generosity toward them.

              They hit upon the thought of sending...

              ...for his first year's tribute, not an insignificant live bird...

              ...but a glorious golden falcon...

              ...crusted from head to foot...

              ...with the finest jewels in their coffers.

              Well, sir...

              ...what do you think of that? - I don't know.

              These are facts, historical facts...

              ...not schoolbook history, not Mr. Wells' history, but history, nevertheless.

              They sent the foot-high jeweled bird to Charles in Spain.

              They sent it in a galley commanded by a member of the Order.

              It never reached Spain.

              A famous admiral of buccaneers...

              ...took the Knights' galley and the bird.

              In      it turned up in Sicily.

              In      it appeared in Paris.

              It had, by that time, acquired a coat of black enamel...

     that it looked nothing more than a fairly interesting black statuette.

              In that disguise, sir, it was, as you may say, kicked around Paris...

              ...for over three score years by private owners too stupid...

     see what it was under the skin.


          a Greek dealer...

              ...named Charilaos Konstantinides found it in an obscure shop.

              No thickness of enamel could conceal value from his eyes.

              - You begin to believe me a little? - I haven't said I didn't.

              Well, sir, to hold it safe while pursuing his researches into its history...

              ...Charilaos re-enameled the bird.

              Despite this precaution, however, I got wind of his find.

              If I'd only known a few days sooner.

              I was in London when I heard.

              I packed a bag, got on the boat train immediately.

              On the train I read in the "Times", that Charilaos's establishment...

              ...had been burglarized and him murdered.

              Sure enough, on arriving there I discovered the bird was gone.

              That was    years ago.

              Well, sir, it took me    years to locate that bird, but I did.

              I wanted it!

              I'm a man not easily discouraged when I want something.

              I traced it to the home of a Russian general...

     Kemidov, in an Istanbul suburb. He didn't know a thing about it.

              It was only a black enameled figure to him...

              ...but his contrariness kept him from selling it to me...

              ...when I made him an offer. So I sent him some agents to get it.

              Well, sir...

              ...they got it and I haven't got it...

              ...but I'm going to get it.

              Your glass.

              Then, the bird doesn't really belong to any of you, but to a General Kemidov?

              Well, sir, you might as well say it belonged to the King of Spain.

              I don't see how you can honestly grant anyone else a clear title to it...

              ...except by right of possession.

              And now, sir...

              ...before we start to talk prices, how soon can you...

              ...or how soon are you willing to produce the falcon?

              - A couple of days. - That is satisfactory.

              Well, sir, here's to a fair bargain! Profits large enough for both of us!

              What's your idea of a fair bargain?

              I will give you $      when you deliver the falcon to me...

              ...and another $      later on.

              Or I will give you one quarter of what I realize on the falcon.

              That would amount to a much greater sum.

              - How much greater? - Who knows? Shall we say $      ?

              Will you believe me if I name the probable minimum?

              Why not?

              What would you say to a quarter of a million?

              Then you think the dingus is worth a million?

              In your own words, why not?

              - That's a lot of dough. - A lot of dough.

              The minimum? What's the maximum?

              The maximum, I refuse to guess.

              You'd think me crazy.

              I don't know.

              There's no telling how high it could go, sir.

              That is the one and only truth about it.


              Hello, Effie. It's me.

              Let me talk to Miss O'Shaughnessy.

              She isn't there?

              What? She didn't show up?

              You get back to the office and wait there till I come or you hear from me.

              Yeah, let's do something right for a change.

              It started in the hold aft, in the rear basement.

              What insurance was she carrying?

              - Anybody burn? - No.

              Only the harbor watch was aboard.

              - Someone I know came... - What?

              Someone I know came aboard this afternoon.

              I haven't seen her since. I'm worried.

              No reason to be, mister. Everybody got off all right.

              I wonder if you saw her. She's kind of small, about  -foot...

              I couldn't tell you, mister. But if she came aboard she got off all right.

              Only the harbor watch was aboard when the fire started.

              Now you know as much about it as I do, precious.

              Maybe they went down to the ship. Maybe they didn't.

              The part about the bird is thrilling.

              Or ridiculous.

              You know...


              Lock that door.

              Is he...

              - Is he... - Yeah.

              He couldn't have come far with those holes in him.

              Why couldn't he have stayed alive long enough to tell us something?

              Here, here, here, none of that now. Come on.

              You can't pass out on me now.

              All right, Sam.

              Do you really think...

              - We've got it, angel, we've got it. - You're hurting me.

              Answer the phone.




              Oh, yes.


              Yes, yes.

              Hello! Hello! Hello!

              It was Miss O'Shaughnessy! She wants you! She's in danger!

              - Where is she? - Burlingame,    Ancho.

              Her voice, it was awful!

              Something happened before she could finish. Go help her!

              You've got to go to her! He was helping her and they killed him...

              You've got to go, Sam!

              All right, I'll go!

              After I've gone, you phone the police.

              Tell 'em how it happened, but don't say any names!

              I got the call and told you I had to go, but I didn't say where.

              Forget about this. Tell 'em how it happened, but without this.

              Get that straight. Everything happened exactly as it did...

              ...but without the bundle, and I got the phone call, not you.

              Yes, Sam.


                Shut this door and lock it and don't open it till the police come.

                Do you know who he is?

                Yeah! Yeah, he's Captain Jacoby, master of the La Paloma.

                You're a good man, sister!

                - May I borrow your pencil? - Sure.

                - Say, Frank? - Hello, Mr. Spade.

                - You got plenty of gas? - Sure thing.

                Do you know where Ancho Street is in Burlingame?

                No, but we'll find her.

                Well,    is the number and the sooner the better.

                Keep your motor running.

                - Bum steer, Mr. Spade? - Yeah.

                Let's get to a phone booth.

                Hello, Mrs. Perine? Is Effie there?

                Yes, please.

                Hello, precious! What's the good news?

                No, no. It was a bum steer. Are you sure that was her voice?

                Well, it was hooey.

                Everything go all right? Nothing said about the bundle, huh?

                That's swell.

                Did they take you down to the Hall?

                All right, precious.

                You'd better hit the hay and get a good night's rest. You sound all in.

                No. Save it till tomorrow. I'm going on home.

                - Thanks. Good night, Frank. - Good night, Mr. Spade.

                I've been hiding in a doorway up the street.

                I thought you'd never come.

                Can you make it or shall I carry you?

                I'll be all right as soon as I can get some place where I can lie down.

                Well, we're all here.

                Let's come in and sit down and be comfortable and talk.


                - Get away! You're not gonna frisk me. - Stand still! Shut up!

                Take your paws off me or I'll make you use that gun.

                Ask your boss if he wants me shot up before we talk.

                Never mind, Wilmer.

                You certainly are a most headstrong individual.

                Well, let's be seated.

                Are you ready to make the first payment and take the falcon off my hands?

                Well, sir, as to that...

                As to that...

                $     ? We were talkin' about a lot more money than this.

                Yes, sir, we were. But this is genuine coin of the realm.

                With a dollar of this you can buy $   of talk.

                There are more of us to be taken care of now.

                That may be, but I've got the falcon!

                I shouldn't think it necessary to remind you...

                ...that you may have the falcon, but we certainly have you.

                I'm trying not to let that worry me. We'll get back to the money later on.

                There's something else to be discussed first.

                We've got to have a fall guy.

                The police need a victim, somebody they can pin those three murders on.

                Three? There's only two, because Thursby certainly killed your partner.

                Only two then. What's the difference? We have to give the police...

                Come, Mr. Spade, you can't expect us to believe at this late date...

                ...that you're afraid of the police, or that you're not quite able to handle...

                I'm in this up to my neck.

                I've got to find somebody, a victim when the time comes. If I don't, I'll be it.

                Let's give them the gunsel.

                He actually did shoot Thursby and Jacoby, didn't he?

                Anyway, he's made to order for the part. Look at him!

                Let's give him to them.

                By gad, sir, you are a character. That you are!

                There's never any telling what you'll say or do next...

                ...but it's bound to be astonishing.

                It's our best bet. With him in their hands...

                But, my dear man, can't you see that if I even for a moment...

                ...thought of doing such a thing... That's ridiculous.

                I feel towards Wilmer here just exactly as if he were my own son.

                Really, I do.

                But if I even for a moment thought of doing what you propose...

                ...what in the world would keep Wilmer from telling the police...

                ...every last detail about the falcon and all...

                Let him talk his head off.

                I'll guarantee you nobody'll do anything about it.

                Well, what do you think of this, Wilmer? Mighty funny, eh?

                Mighty funny.

                How do you feel now? Any better, precious?

                Much better.

                But I'm frightened.

                Don't be. Nothing very bad's going to happen here.

                Do you want a drink, angel?

                Be careful, Sam.


                If you're really serious, the least we can do in common politeness is to hear you out.

                Now, how would you be able to fix it so that Wilmer couldn't do us any harm?

                I can show Bryan, our DA, that if he goes around...

                ...tryin' to collect everybody he'll have a tangled case...

                ...but if he sticks to Wilmer here, he can get a conviction...

                ...standing on his head.

                Get up on your feet.

                I've taken all the riding from you I'm gonna take.

                Get up and shoot it out!

                Young Wild West!

                You should tell him shootin' me before you get the falcon...

                ...will be bad for business.

                Now, now, Wilmer. We can't have any of that.

                You shouldn't attach such importance to these things.

                Tell him to lay off me then.

                Now, Wilmer...

                Your plan is, not at all satisfactory, sir. Let's not say anything more about it.

                All right. I've got another suggestion.

                Maybe not as good as the first, but it's better than nothing.

                Want to hear it?

                Most assuredly.

                Give them Cairo.

                Well, by gad, sir...

                Suppose we give them you or Miss O'Shaughnessy?

                You want the falcon. I've got it.

                The fall guy's part of the price I'm asking. As for Miss O'Shaughnessy...

                ...if you think she can be rigged for the part I'm willing to discuss it with you.

                You seem to forget that you are not in a position to insist upon anything.

                Now, come, gentlemen.

                Let's keep our discussion on a friendly basis.

                There certainly is something in what Mr. Cairo said...

                If you kill me, how are you gonna get the bird?

                If I know you can't afford to kill me, how'll you scare me into giving it to you?

                Sir, there are other means of persuasion besides killing and threatening to kill.

                Yes, that's...

                That's true.

                But none of them are any good unless the threat of death is behind them.

                You see what I mean?

                If you start something, I'll make it a matter of your having to kill me or call it off.

                That's an attitude, sir, that calls for the most delicate judgement on both sides.

                Because, as you know, in the heat of action...

       are likely to forget where their best interests lie...

                ...and let their emotions carry them away.

                And the trick from my angle is to make my play strong enough...

       tie you up, not make you mad enough to bump me off...

                ...against your better judgement.

                By gad, sir, you are a character.

                They're selling you out, sonny.

                I hope you're not influenced by the guns...

                ...these pocket-edition desperadoes are waving around.

                Because I've practiced taking guns away from these boys before...

       we'll have no trouble there.

                - Wilmer, here... - All right.


                There's our fall guy.

                Either say yes right now or I'll turn the falcon and all of you in.

                I don't like that, sir.

                Well, you won't like it. Well?

                You can have him.

                I won't be able to get the falcon till daylight, maybe later.

                It'd be best for us all if we didn't leave each other's sight...

                ...until our business has been transacted. You have the envelope?

                Miss O'Shaughnessy has it. Hang on to it.

                We won't lose sight of each other. The dingus'll be brought to us here.

                Excellent, sir, excellent!

                Then in exchange for the $      and Wilmer...

      'll give us the falcon and an hour or two of grace.

                Now, let's get the details fixed, first.

                Why did he shoot Thursby and why, where and how did he shoot Captain Jacoby?

                I've got to know all that happened so the parts that don't fit are covered up.

                I shall be candid with you, sir.

                Thursby was Miss O'Shaughnessy's ally.

                We believed that disposing of him as we did...

                ...would cause Miss O'Shaughnessy to stop and think that it would be best...

       patch up her differences with us regarding the falcon.

                You didn't try to make a deal before giving him the works?

                We did. Yes, sir. We most certainly did.

                I talked to him myself that very night, but I could do nothing with him.

                He was quite determinedly loyal to Miss O'Shaughnessy.

                So Wilmer followed him back to the hotel and did what he did.

                That sounds all right.

                Now, Jacoby.

                Captain Jacoby's death was entirely Miss O'Shaughnessy's fault.

                Tell me what happened.

                Cairo, as you must have surmised, contacted me...

                ...after he left police headquarters last night or morning.

                He recognized the mutual advantage of pooling forces.

                Mr. Cairo is a man of nice judgement.

                The Paloma was his thought. He read of its arrival in the papers...

                ...and remembered he had heard in Hong Kong...

                ...that Jacoby and Miss O'Shaughnessy were seen together...

                Well, sir, he saw that notice and...

                ...putting two and two together guessed the truth.

                She had given the bird to Jacoby to bring here for her.

                And at that juncture you decided to slip me a Mickey.

                There's no place for you in our plan, sir.

                So we decided to spare ourselves any possible embarrassment.

                Mr. Cairo and Wilmer and I went to call on Captain Jacoby.

                We were lucky enough to arrive while Miss O'Shaughnessy was there.

                In many ways, the conference was difficult, but we finally persuaded...

                ...Miss O'Shaughnessy to come to terms, or so we thought.

                We then left the boat and set out for my hotel...

                ...where I was to pay Miss O'Shaughnessy and receive the bird.

                Well, sir, we mere men should have known better.

                En route, she, Captain Jacoby and the falcon...

                ...slipped completely through our fingers.

                It was neatly done, sir. Indeed, it was.

                You touched off the boat before you left?

                No, not intentionally.

                Though, we, or Wilmer at least, were responsible for the fire.

                While the rest of us were talking in the cabin, Wilmer went about the boat...

                ...trying to find the falcon.

                No doubt, he was careless with matches.

                And how about the shooting?

                We caught up with Miss O'Shaughnessy and Jacoby at her apartment.

                I sent Wilmer downstairs to cover the fire escape before ringing the bell.

                And, sure enough, while she was asking us who we were through the door...

                ...and we were telling her, we heard a window go up.

                Wilmer shot Jacoby as he was coming down the fire escape...

                ...shot him more than once, but Jacoby was too tough to fall or drop the falcon.

                He climbed down the rest of the way, knocked Wilmer over, and ran off.

                We persuaded, that is the word, sir, we persuaded Miss O'Shaughnessy...

       tell us where she told Captain Jacoby to take the falcon.

                We further persuaded her to phone your office...

       an attempt to draw you away, before Jacoby got there...

                ...but unfortunately for us...

       had taken us too long to persuade Miss O'Shaughnessy.

                You had the falcon before we could reach you.

                Wilmer, I'm sorry to lose you, but I want you to know...

                ...I couldn't be fonder of you if you were my own son.

                Well, if you lose a son, it's possible to get another.

                There's only one Maltese Falcon.

                When you're young, you simply don't understand these things.

                How about some coffee?

                Put the pot on, will you?

                I don't like to leave our guests.


                Just a moment, my dear. Hadn't you better leave the envelope in here?

                - Sit on it, if you're afraid of losing it. - You misunderstand me. It's not that.

                But business should be transacted in a businesslike manner.

                For instance, there are only nine bills here now.

                There were    when I handed them to you, as you very well know.


                I want to know about this.

                You palmed it.

                - I palmed it? - Yes.

                Do you want to say so, or stand for a frisk?

                You'll admit it, or I'll search you. There's no third way.

                I believe you would. I really do.

                You're a character, if you don't mind my saying so.

                You palmed it.

                Yes, sir, that I did.

                I must have my little joke now and then.

                I was curious to know what you'd do in a situation like this.

                I must say you passed the test with flying colors.

                That's something I'd expect from someone Wilmer's age.

                This will soon be yours. You might as well take it.

                I ought to have more than $     .

                You understand this is the first payment. Later.

                Oh, yes. Later you'll give me millions, but...

      's about $      now?

                Frankly and candidly, upon my word of honor as a gentleman...

                ...$      is all the money I can raise.

                But you didn't say positively.


                I'd like to give you a word of advice.

                Go ahead.

                You'll give her some money...

                ...but if you don't give her what she thinks she should have, be careful.



                - How's the coffee coming, angel? - In a few minutes.

                It's almost daylight, Mr. Spade.

                Can you start getting it now?

                I guess so.


                Hello, precious. I'm sorry to get you up so early.

                Now, listen carefully. Here's the plot:

                In the Holland box, at the post office there's an envelope with my scrawl.

                In that envelope, there's a parcel-room check for the bundle we got yesterday.

                Now, get that bundle and bring it here, p.d.q.

                That's a good girl. Now, hustle. Good-bye.

                Thanks, lady. Sorry to spoil your day of rest.

                Not the first one you've spoiled. Anything else?

                No. No, thanks.

                Bye-bye, then.

                There you are.

                Now, after    years!

                It is it.

                But we'll make sure.


                It's a phony! It's lead!

                It's lead!

                It's a fake!

                You've had your little joke. Now, tell us about it.

                No, Sam! No!

                That's the one I got from Kemidov. I swear it!


                It's you who bungled it.

                You and your stupid attempt to buy it!

                Kemidov found out how valuable it was!

                No wonder we had such an easy time stealing it!

                You... you imbecile!

                You bloated idiot!

                You stupid fathead, you!

                Yes, it's the Russian's hand. There's no doubt about it.

                What do you suggest...

                ...we stand here, shed tears and call each other names...

                ...or shall we go to Istanbul?

                Are you going?

                Seventeen years I've wanted that item, and have been trying to get it.

                If we must spend another year on the quest...

                ...well, sir, it will be an additional expenditure in time of only...

                ...five and fifteen-seventeenths percent.

                I'm going with you.


                A swell lot of thieves.

                We've little to boast about, but the world hasn't come to an end...

                ...just because we've run into a setback.

                - I must ask for that envelope. - I held up my end. You got your dingus.

                It's your hard luck it wasn't what you wanted.

                Now, come, sir, we've all failed...

                ...and there's no reason for expecting any of us to bear the whole brunt.

                In short, sir, I must ask you for my $     .

                This'll take care of my time and expenses.

                Now, sir, we'll say goodbye to you...

                ...unless you care to undertake the Istanbul expedition with us.

                You don't?

                Frankly, sir, I'd like to have you along.

                You're a man of nice judgement and many resources.

                Since there's no alternative, you'll manage the police without a fall guy.

                I'll make out all right.

                Well, sir, the shortest farewells are the best. "Adieu".

                And to you, Miss O'Shaughnessy, I leave the rara avis on the table there...

       a little memento.

                Hello. Sergeant Polhaus there?

                Yeah. Put him on. This is Sam Spade.

                Hello. Tom? Now, listen. I've got something for you. Here it is:

                Jacoby and Thursby were killed by a kid named Wilmer Cook.

                Yeah. He's about    years old,  -foot-  wearing a gray overcoat.

                He's working for a man named Kasper Gutman.

                You can't miss Gutman. He must weigh     pounds.

                That fellow Cairo's in with him, too.

                They just left for the Alexandria Hotel.

                You'll have to move fast. They're blowing town.

                Watch yourself when you go up against the kid.

                Yes, that's right. Very.

                Well, good luck, Tom.

                They'll talk when they're nailed about us.

                We only have minutes to get set for the police. Give me all of it fast!

                When you first came to me, why did you want Thursby shadowed?

                I thought he betrayed me. I wanted to find out.

                A lie! You knew you had Thursby hooked! You wanted to kill him...

                ...before Jacoby came with the loot so you wouldn't have to split it with him. Right?

                If he knew someone was following him, he'd be frightened away.

                Miles wasn't clumsy enough to be spotted the first night.

                You told Thursby he was being followed.

                I told him.

                I told him.

                Yes, but please believe me.

                I wouldn't have if I thought Floyd would kill him.

                If you thought he wouldn't kill Miles, you were right.

                Miles hadn't many brains, but too much experience...

       a detective to be caught by a man he was shadowing...

                ...up a blind alley with his gun and his overcoat buttoned.

                But he'd have gone up there with you, angel.

                He was just dumb enough for that.

                He'd have looked you up and down, licked his lips and gone...

                ...grinning from ear to ear.

                You could have stood as close to him as you liked...

                ...and shot him with a gun you got from Thursby that night.

                - Don't say that! - The police'll be here any minute! Talk!

                Why do you accuse me...

                It's not the time for that schoolgirl act! We're both sitting under the gallows!

                Now, why did you shoot Miles?

                I didn't mean to at first, really, I didn't.

                But when I found out that Floyd couldn't be frightened...

                I can't look at you and tell you this!

                You thought Thursby would tackle Miles and one would go down.

                If Thursby died, you were rid of him.

                If it was Miles, you'd see Thursby was caught.

                - Right? - Something like that.

                When Thursby wouldn't tackle him...

       took his gun and did it yourself, right?

                When you heard Thursby was shot, you knew Gutman was here!

                You knew you needed another protector...

                ...somebody to fill Thursby's boots, so you came back to me.

                Yes! Sweetheart, it wasn't only that!

                I'd have come back to you sooner or later.

                From the very first instant I saw you, I knew.

                Well, if you get a good break, you'll be out of Tehachapi in    years...

                ...and you can come back to me then.

                I hope they don't hang you, precious, by that sweet neck.

                - You're not... - Yes, angel, I'm gonna send you over.

                The chances are you'll get off with life.

                If you're a good girl, you'll be out in    years.

                I'll be waiting for you.

                If they hang you, I'll always remember you.

                Don't, Sam!

                Don't say that, even in fun!

                I was frightened for a minute. I really thought...

                You do such wild and unpredictable things.

                Now, don't be silly.

                You're taking the fall.

                You've been playing with me...

                ...just pretending you cared to trap me like this.

                You didn't care at all!

                You don't love me!

                I won't play the sap for you!

                You know it's not like that!

                You never played square with me since I've known you!

                You know in your heart that in spite of anything I've done, I love you.

                I don't care who loves who! I won't play the sap!

                I won't walk in Thursby's, and I don't know how many others' footsteps!

                You killed Miles and you're going over for it.

                How can you do this to me, Sam?

                Surely, Mr. Archer wasn't as much to you as...


                This won't do any good.

                You'll never understand me, but I'll try once and then give it up.

                When a man's partner is killed, he's supposed to do something.

                It makes no difference what you thought of him.

                He was your partner, and you're supposed to do something about it...

                ...and it happens we're in the detective business.

                Well, when one of your organization gets killed, it's...

      's bad business to let the killer get away with it...

                ...bad all around, bad for every detective everywhere.

                You don't expect me to think that these are sufficient reasons for sending me...

                Wait'll I'm through. Then, you can talk.

                I've no earthly reason to think I can trust you.

                If I do this and get away with it, you'll have something on me...

                ...that you can use whenever you want to.

                Since I've got something on you...

                ...I couldn't be sure that you wouldn't put a hole in me someday.

                All those are on one side.

                Maybe some of them are unimportant. I won't argue about that.

                But look at the number of them.

                What have we got on the other side?

                All we've got is that maybe you love me and maybe I love you.

                You know whether you love me or not.

                Maybe I do. I'll have some rotten nights after I've sent you over, but that'll pass.

                If all I've said doesn't mean anything to you...

                ...then forget it and we'll make it just this:

                I won't, because all of me wants to regardless of consequences...

                ...and because you've counted on it...

                ...the same as you counted on it with all the others.

                Would you have done this if the falcon were real and you got your money?

                Don't be too sure I'm as crooked as I'm supposed to be.

                That sort of reputation might be good business...

                ...bringing high-priced jobs and making it easier to deal with the enemy...

                ...but a lot more money would have been one more item on your side of the scales.

                If you'd loved me, you wouldn't have needed any more on that side.

                Come in.

                Hello, Tom. Got 'em?

                Got 'em.

                Swell! Here's another one for you. She killed Miles.

                Oh, and I've got some exhibits: the boy's guns, one of Cairo's...

                ...and a $     bill I was supposed to be bribed with...

                ...and this black statuette here that all the fuss was about.

                What's the matter with your playmate? He looks brokenhearted.

                I bet when he heard Gutman's story, he thought he had me.

                Cut it out, Sam.

                Well, shall we be getting down to the Hall?

                It's heavy.

                What is it?

                The stuff that dreams are made of.


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