YMMV / The Maltese Falcon

  • Adaptation Displacement: Of the novel, as well as two previous film adaptations.
    • The Bogart film is an exceptionally faithful adaptation. Virtually the sole difference between novel and movie is that the sex (hetero- and homosexual) is slightly more explicit in the book.
    • Changes due to differences between characters and actors were inevitable. How many people know that Sam Spade was blond in the book?
  • Award Snub: Its failure to win Best Picture for 1941 would be understandable, as it was up against no less a cinematic classic than Citizen Kane... Except that one didn't win either.
  • Cant Unhear It: Related to Adaptation Displacement, it is exceedingly difficult to read the novel without hearing the 1941 cast.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: The prop of the "fake" Maltese Falcon was auctioned off in 2013 for over $4 million. Quite a valuable worthless item!
  • It Was His Sled: The Falcon is a fake.
  • Jerkass Woobie: Joel Cairo, who's callous and acid-tongued, yet relentlessly bullied and humiliated so much that you feel bad for him by the end.
  • Unintentionally Sympathetic:
    • Joel Cairo, whose effeminate actions were supposed to creep out a 1940s audience but these days it just labels him as an outsider.
    • The fact that the 1941 film is set during a time when homosexuals were being murdered by the Nazis, and Cairo is clearly a foreigner with an Eastern European accent, makes him even more sympathetic.
  • Values Dissonance: The subtle yet rampant homophobia, be it the Sissy Villains or the homophobic slurs, would bury the film these days.
  • Vindicated by History
  • The Woobie: Wilmer, to an extent (he is a hired gun, after all). Hes inexperienced, so Sam repeatedly outdoes him and calls him a homophobic slur, and finally, when Sam argues to make him the Fall Guy, his frustrated, furious reaction borders on Tear Jerker. Made even worse when Cairo and Gutman agree.