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MSUBear

Maltese Falcon vs The Big Sleep

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The towering films of the noir genre that is seeing a resurgence is shows like Archer and films like Nightcrawler. I feel like both are regarded as classics, and both directed by giants, John Huston and Howard Hawks, respectively, but I enjoyed one way more than the other. I won't say which one I liked more but that illustrates how they each can be divisive and are emblematic of their era (Big Sleep famously was edited due to decency codes and Falcon created the classic detective in Sam Spade). FIGHT!

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On my podcast (we take a classic & contemporary and discuss the cinematic DNA they share) and we just recorded Maltese Falcon/Chinatown/Brick episode. So I'm way down for this one. I need to give The Big Sleep another go, I think I had too much vodka the first time I watched it.

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To me, The Maltese Falcon always felt a bit too messy with its story lines and its pretty convoluted plot. I think the chemistry between Bacall and Bogey and the racey one-liners in the Big Sleep would walk away with that one.

 

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To me, The Maltese Falcon always felt a bit too messy with its story lines and its pretty convoluted plot.

 

This is interesting! See the first two times I saw Maltese I felt this way, but I rewatched it again and it wasn't nearly as messy as thought. I literally have no idea what happened in The Big Sleep, but I've only seen it once, I mean that's generally a hallmark of great noir, but if you only meant to say both are messy but one has Bogart & Bacall vs. Astor, I totally agree.

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I mean, we have Double Indemnity but film noir is huge

I'd rather see a neo-noir episode. Chinatown is an easy shoe-in, and I'd hate to put something like The Long Goodbye against it but maybe some 80s neo-noir like Blood Simple v Mona Lisa or something in that vein. Mona Lisa is an underrated classic.

 

 

Also Brick was good but the Coens put out The Man Who Wasn't There around that time, which deserves much more respect in the genre imo.

 

 

Also, Inherent Vice is the best film noir since The Long Goodbye

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Firstoff: Anything, anybody that would put "Mona Lisa" and/or "The Long Good Friday" up for The Canon would be a saint in my eyes. I could happily die after such an episode airs.

 

As for a return to film noir, I dunno if a versus is the best idea. I wanna sell the genre on the young'uns, y'know. Maybe two at a time would work, but that tends to lead to a competitive episode, tearing the other down. "The Maltese Falcon" could stand on its own, as could "The Big Sleep", "The Treasure of the Sierra Madre", or possibly other films that don't have Bogart in them. But as he was in so many of the best, it would feel contrived/obtuse to avoid him entirely. Besides, "Double Indemnity" got in and "The Long Weekend" didn't, so we at least have a discriminating jury.

 

Nothing would beat Chinatown head-up, so if you wanna cover it (a great intro to both noir and New Hollywood), just do an ep on that one. There'd be so much to talk about, all of it positive. It should be fun and probably instructive. But don't put it up against anything before or since, it wouldn't be fair.

 

While I'm here, just put Casablanca up awready. Sure, it'd be the closest thing to a 100% ever, but use the moment, Amy, to pick who you feel is the BEST person to talk about the film. I worry that the younger generations only know the film by reputation, and A) don't sit down and actually watch it and B ) can't appreciate all the period references it sprinkles for lack of historical perspective. So if we're gonna do Casablanca, please get a very eloquent expert. It's a lock to get in, just think of the entertainment value of the episode, that's all that would matter.

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