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* {{Gayngster}}: Not so much in the movie, except for the use of the term [[GettingCrapPastTheRadar "gunsel"]], but in the novel it's strongly implied that he's Cairo's boyfriend.


* {{Gayngster}}: Not so much in the movie, except for the use of the term [[GettingCrapPastTheRadar "gunsel"]], "gunsel", but in the novel it's strongly implied that he's Cairo's boyfriend.

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* AintTooProudToBeg: [[spoiler: Tries to manipulate Sam’s feelings for her to keep him from turning her into the police. It doesn’t work.]]

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* ConsummateLiar: Really nothing she says to Sam during the film turns out to one-hundred percent the truth, which Sam comes to point out towards the end. This comes back to haunt her [[spoiler: since he turns on her.]]
* EvilAllAlong: Seems at least more sympathetic than the other people involved in the conspiracy for most of the film. [[spoiler: Then Sam confronts her about murdering his partner. She’s ultimately just another psychopath like Gutman.]]

* WalkingSpoiler: [[spoiler: she was involved with a trio of criminals, and she's the one who killed Spade's partner, Miles Archer]]


* WalkingSpoiler: [[spoiler: she She was involved with a trio of criminals, criminals (Gutman, Cairo and Wilmer), and she's the one who killed Spade's partner, Miles Archer]]Archer.]]

* WalkingSpoiler: [[spoiler: she was involved with Mr. Gutman's trio of criminals, and she's the one who killed Spade's partner, Miles Archer]]


* WalkingSpoiler: [[spoiler: she was involved with Mr. Gutman's a trio of criminals, and she's the one who killed Spade's partner, Miles Archer]]

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* WalkingSpoiler: [[spoiler: she was involved with Mr. Gutman's trio of criminals, and she's the one who killed Spade's partner, Miles Archer]]

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* WeHardlyKnewYe: He gets somewhere around 2 minutes of screen time before he gets shot by [[spoiler: Brigid]].

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%% Administrivia/ZeroContextExample entries are not allowed on wiki pages. All such entries have been commented out. Do not uncomment them without expanding them to explain how they apply. Trope names with no explanation are not context. Type numbers are not context.

Here be a list of characters from ''Film/{{The Maltese Falcon|1941}}''.

[[folder:Samuel Spade]]
->'''Played by:''' Creator/HumphreyBogart
* AdaptationalDyeJob: He's blonde in the novel, but is played in the film by the dark-haired Humphrey Bogart.
* AdaptationalHeroism: He's less morally ambiguous in the film than in the book. He doesn't strip Brigid to search for the missing money. In general, he's less aggressive and cruel in actions and speech.
* AlliterativeName: '''S'''am '''S'''pade.
* AntiHero: Type I. While he's a snarky jerk and slightly morally ambiguous, Spade ultimately proves himself to be a "by the book" guy with morals, as he refuses to be bribed, and tries to find the criminal who killed Archer regardless of whether he liked his partner or not. [[spoiler:He also gives Brigid over to the police for murdering Archer despite his feelings for her]].
* BadassInANiceSuit: He codified the image of a typical detective by always wearing a suit underneath his trench coat. Despite his flaws, he also proves himself to be an intelligent yet morally upstanding guy [[spoiler:especially when he (reluctantly) chooses to let his lover get arrested for murdering his partner, despite his feelings for her]].
%%* TheChessmaster: To some extent.
* DeadpanSnarker: He's quick to dole out the snark in almost any given situation, especially when it involves [[ButtMonkey Wilmer Cook]].
* DetectivePatsy: [[spoiler:Brigid initially went to Spade and Archer on a pretense to get Thursby into a fight, thereby either getting him killed or slapping him with murder]].
* DidNotGetTheGirl: Though he has fallen in love with Brigid, [[spoiler:he turns her over to the police for murdering Archer, his partner]].
* EtTuBrute: [[spoiler:He didn't take it very well when he discovered that the woman he fell in love with murdered his partner and manipulated almost everyone he talked with]].
* GoodIsNotNice: Spade is actually a morally upstanding guy with a strong code of ethics, but he is also kind of a snarky jerk.
%%* GuileHero
* HardboiledDetective: He's cynical but determined, has a prickly relationship with law enforcement, keeps his cards close to his chest regarding whose side he is really on in the [[BlackAndGrayMorality conflict over the Falcon]], and is seldom seen without a cigar or cigarette in his mouth and a drink in his hand. Notably, his performance as an abrasive, thuggish, misanthropic AntiHero was seen as radical at the time, since movie detectives prior to ''The Maltese Falcon'' were independently wealthy, cooperated with police, and avoided getting their hands dirty.
* HeroicBSOD: [[spoiler:Has this towards the end when he is forced to turn in Brigid.]]
%%* JerkWithAHeartOfGold
* KnightInSourArmor: Again, despite his cynical, snarky personality and his prickly relationship with law enforcement, he's determined to adhere to the rules of his job and do the right thing.
* LoveHurts: He fell in love with Brigid [[spoiler:until he learns that she's the reason why his partner, Miles Archer, is dead. However, it's subverted as he mentions that while Brigid's arrest will hurt for a while, he'll eventually forget about it]].
--> '''Brigid O'Shaughnessy:''' [[spoiler:You know whether you love me or not]].\\
'''Sam Spade:''' [[spoiler:Maybe I do. Well, I'll have some rotten nights after I've sent you over, but that will 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 counted on that with me the same as you counted on that with all the others. 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 scale]].
* MeaningfulName: His last name is "Spade", and he keeps digging for the truth, regardless of personal feelings.
* NiceHat: Often wears a fedora. It eventually became part of the image of a typical HardboiledDetective.
* RomancingTheWidow: Subverted. He ''was'' having an affair with Iva Archer prior to Miles's murder, and both Iva and the police mistakenly conclude that [[MurderTheHypotenuse Sam murdered Miles over her]]. However, Sam seems to have tired of her by the time Miles is killed, chastising Effie for letting her into the office and impatiently dismissing Iva when she tries to throw herself into his arms.
* VitriolicBestBuds: Spade's relationship with Miles Archer. He disliked Archer and was having an affair with Archer's wife. Nevertheless, he memorably states that his personal opinion of the man doesn't change the fact that they were partners and that as his partner he owes it to Miles to see justice done for his murder.

[[folder:Brigid O'Shaughnessy]]
->'''Played by:''' Creator/MaryAstor
%%* AlasPoorVillain
%%* BeautyIsBad
%%* DecoyDamsel
* FemmeFatale: It doesn't work on Spade, though.
* FrameUp: [[spoiler:She murdered Archer, Spade's partner, so she could implicate her accomplice, Thursby, for his death]].
* LaserGuidedKarma: [[spoiler:Spade decides to turn Brigid in to the police after he discovers that she was responsible for Archer's death, because lover or not, she's still a criminal. Brigid's shocked, heartbroken expression becomes very profound when Spade informs her that she's "taking the fall", after personally manipulating and killing everyone for ulterior motives]].
* ManipulativeBastard: [[spoiler:As Sam Spade says at the end of the film, he wants more than anything else to believe her version of events, and that's why he doesn't]].
* ObfuscatingStupidity: Spade calls it her "schoolgirl act." She plays the part of an innocent DamselInDistress out of her depth; in fact she [[spoiler:engineered much of what happens in the film and personally murdered Miles Archer]].
* PrettyInMink: She wears at leas four furs in the movie: a silver fox wrap, a Persian lamb coat, a stole of sables, and a mink coat.

[[folder:Joel Cairo]]
->'''Played by:''' Creator/PeterLorre
* AffablyEvil: Though he's a villain, he's unfailingly polite. He even says "please" when asking Sam to put his hands over his head and let Cairo search the office, despite having Sam at gunpoint.
* AgentPeacock: For a strongly implied gay man in a pre-gay age and a central antagonist, he is quite [[TheDandy fabulous]].
* AlasPoorVillain: [[spoiler:The Falcon's a fake, and Spade calls the police on him. The former leads to a VillainousBreakdown.]]
* AmbiguouslyGay: It's rather less ambiguous in the original novel and in the pre-[[UsefulNotes/TheHaysCode Hays Code]] film adaptation (in the 1941 version, you could tell he was gay because he wore white gloves and smelled of gardenia, not to mention Hammett's references to Wilmer as the 'gunsel', which is ''not'' slang for a gun-toting criminal).
* ButtMonkey: Poor Joel doesn't catch a break in this movie. Being beaten by Spade is only the start of his troubles.
%%* CampGay
%%* TheDandy
%%* FunnyForeigner
* {{Gayngster}}: Downplayed in the movie, pretty blatant in the novel.
* IneffectualSympatheticVillain: His EstablishingCharacterMoment has him attempting to interrogate Spade by holding him at gunpoint. It falls completely flat and results in him getting knocked out cold by Spade. You eventually end up feel pretty terrible for what he has to go through.
* {{Jerkass}}: Then again, he's pretty callous and nasty for a good amount of the time.
* MeaningfulName: His name is Cairo and he comes from abroad.
* NonActionGuy: [[SubvertedTrope Subverted]], Cairo ''tries'' to intimidate Spade three times, but fails miserably.
%%* SissyVillain
%%* SophisticatedAsHell
* VillainousBreakdown: Cairo's outburst upon finding out the statue is fake counts as one:
--> '''Cairo:''' ''(to Gutman)'' You... you bungled it! You and your stupid attempt to buy it! Kemedov found out how valuable it was! No wonder we had such an easy time stealing it! YOU...YOU IMBECILE! YOU BLOATED IDIOT!! YOU STUPID FAT-HEAD YOU!!! ''(collapses into a chair and cries)''

[[folder:Kasper Gutman a.k.a. The Fat Man]]
->'''Played by:''' Sydney Greenstreet
* AffablyEvil: Gutman is a ruthless sociopath who's willing to pile up bodies in his search for the Maltese Falcon and is even willing to sacrifice his own loyal minions to his cause, but part of his screen presence (aside from [[FatBastard the literal presence]]) is how effortlessly and sincerely ''charming'' he is, with every sentence pronounced by an amiable chuckle talking to Sam Spade like an old friend the whole while he's got his life in his hands.
* AlasPoorVillain: [[spoiler:The Falcon is a fake, but alas! The real one's still out there! On with the search! Spade calls the police shortly after.]]
* BaldOfEvil: Well, he's balding, but that doesn't change the fact that he's a ruthless sociopath that's willing to kill in order to get the Maltese faction.
* BigBad: He's the one leading the search for the Falcon, and all the murders therein.
%%* TheChessmaster
* {{Determinator}}: Searching for the Falcon for ''seventeen'' years [[spoiler:and discovering it's a fake, Gutman is still ready to continue the search for the Falcon in Istanbul after a brief moment's pause to collect himself.]]
* FatBastard: Quite rotund, and is willing to kill and sacrifice his minions when it's convenient.
* GracefulLoser: In compared to the disgraceful [[VillainousBreakdown breakdowns]] of Cairo and O'Shaughnessy when the Falcon turns to be a "dingus," Gutman cheerfully laughs it off and proclaims his intent to go to Istanbul to continue a search that's already lasted seventeen years, inviting Cairo and even ''Spade'' to come join him on the expedition with no hard feelings about being outplayed.
* MeaningfulName: His last name is "Gutman" and he's fat.
* LikeASonToMe: How he claims to feel about Wilmer. It is eventually subverted with the coldest line in movie history.
-->''(to Wilmer)'' "I couldn't be fonder of you if you were my own son. But, well, if you lose a son, it's possible to get another. There's only one Maltese Falcon."
* NonActionGuy: Has Wilmer do all of his dirty work for him.
* SlippingAMickey: Does this to Spade during their second meeting.
* SparedByTheAdaptation: His book counterpart is killed by Wilmer for [[TheDogBitesBack offering to sell Wilmer out]]. Gutman still ends the movie under arrest and facing capital charges, though.
%%* SophisticatedAsHell
%%* VillainousGlutton
%%* WickedCultured
* WorthyOpponent: Clearly considers Spade this in the end, as though while he's forced to draw a gun on Spade to get the remaining $10,000 from him in the end, he nevertheless extends an invitation for Spade to join him on his further expedition to find the Falcon and even remarks he would have sincerely liked to have a man of Spade's character along for the ride when Spade declines.

[[folder:Wilmer Cook]]
->'''Played by:''' Creator/ElishaCookJr
* AlasPoorVillain: You can't help but feel sorry for Wilmer when [[spoiler:his so-called "partners" decide to frame him.]]
* AssholeVictim: He's set to be the fall guy by the other crooks. He was a JerkAss the entire time.
%%* AxCrazy
* BerserkButton: Spade hits Wilmer's several times whenever he insults him.
%%* ButtMonkey
* TheDogBitesBack: In the novel, Wilmer kills Gutman shortly after they resume the search for the Falcon. He really didn't appreciate being made the fall guy.
* TheDutifulSon: Seems to be something like this to Gutman.
%%* ExtremeDoormat
* FallGuy: Sam Spade turns the criminals against each other by only agreeing to hand over the Falcon if Wilmer takes the fall for the murder of Sam's partner.
* {{Gayngster}}: Not so much in the movie, except for the use of the term [[GettingCrapPastTheRadar "gunsel"]], but in the novel it's strongly implied that he's Cairo's boyfriend.
* GunsAkimbo: He has two guns and occasionally has one in each hand.
* IneffectualSympatheticVillain: Despite the fact that Wilmer is a multiple murderer, Spade never takes him seriously, even going as far as to call him a "pocket edition desperado" and humiliates him every time Wilmer tries to stand up to Spade, bringing Wilmer to tears at one point.
%%* {{Jerkass}}
* LikeASonToMe: Subverted. On the outside, Gutman sees him like a son, but ultimately treats him like a disposable pawn that he can always replace.
%%* TheQuietOne
* SuddenSequelDeathSyndrome: In the 1975 comedy sequel, ''The Black Bird'', Wilmer (Cook, reprising his role) is killed while hunting for the elusive Falcon yet again.
%%* WoobieDestroyerOfWorlds

[[folder:Iva Archer]]
->'''Played by:''' Gladys George
* PrettyInMink: She wears a black fox muff and a black fox hat with a veil, as part of her mourning clothes.
%%* UnresolvedSexualTension: With Spade.

[[folder:Miles Archer]]
->'''Played by:''' Jermoe Cowan
* DeadPartner: Spade notes that one has to avenge one's dead partner, regardless of one's personal feelings towards the partner.
* DirtyOldMan: Tries to hit on Brigid and even offers to watch her for Spade.
%%* PlotTriggeringDeath
* SacrificialLamb: His death sets the story in motion.

[[folder:Effie Perine]]
->'''Played by:''' Lee Patrick
%%* GirlFriday
%%* SexySecretary
* UnresolvedSexualTension: Has that kind of relationship that James Bond and Miss Moneypenny do, but with Spade.

[[folder:Sergeant Detective Tom Polahus]]
->'''Played by:''' Ward Bond
%%* FriendOnTheForce
%%* ThoseTwoGuys: With Dundy.

[[folder:Lieutenant Dundy]]
->'''Played by:''' Barton [=MacLane=]
%%* DeadpanSnarker
%%* GoodIsNotNice
* InspectorJavert: He's fairly close in his desire to take Spade down.
%%* ThoseTwoGuys: With Polahus.

[[folder:Captain Jacobi]]
->'''Played by:''' Creator/WalterHuston
* AlmostDeadGuy: He comes staggering into Spade's office with the Falcon before expiring.
* DyingMomentOfAwesome: [[spoiler:Jacobi survived a ship fire, was shot several times by Wilmer, managed to knock Wilmer down as he made his escape, and somehow still limped to Spade's office before dying. All of this is except the last one is shown off-screen, although considering how far he got is quite a feat.]]
* HarbingerOfImpendingDoom: Captain Jacobi shows up at Spade's office, having been shot multiple times but still carrying the Falcon, and he is only able to mumble a vague explanation before dying. It isn't long before his killer and the men for whom he is working catch up with Spade.%%* ImDyingPleaseTakeMyMacGuffin
%%* RedShirt

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