The Maltese Falcon


The Portrayal of the Characters in the Maltesse Falcon suffers from transistion to the Huston film. Spade is portrayed to have much more power in the Huston film than in the book. He seems to have more control over Brigid and the whole on going situation. First we see this when we enter the apartment of Spade. In the book we have the feeling that Spade?s apartment was small, "In his bedroom that was his living-room now the wall bed was up,"(Pg. 61), this tells us that Spade was living in a bachelor room. Spades room seemed to have an image of simplicity for example no pictures no designs etc. As one of the main images, I got the impression that his room was rented. As we see here, Spade was represented in a small rented room because it some ways it shows instability but this is balanced with the coldness and the plainness of the room which shows strength. This in ways gives us a distrusting side of Spade because it seems he has a duo personality. While in the movie, Spade room seemed warmer with drapes and lanterns. He had many expensive couches. It seemed bigger than what I expected and they represented his place as a permanent resistance because he had pictures of horses on the wall. Overall, Spade seemed to be living a wealthy lifestyle with expensive furniture, living in a big apartment; this is a demonstration of power because wealth in a way is power. Also the fact that the apartment was permanent portrays that he was very stable and nobody could move him and again power comes into our mind. Third, the horses, which were in the background view, were because horses are very quick, intelligent, sophisticated and very powerful animals, which resemble Spade in the movie. Overall Spade is portrayed to have all the power in the movie while in the book there was a balance between the instability and authority. Again we see Spade showing power when he is talking to Brigid in her own apartment. In the book, Spade says to Brigid, "Now you?re Dangerous"(Pg. 35), but he looked down on the floor. This shows that he knows that Brigid is playing her game with him and it also shows instability in his part. In the movie, while he was saying the same phrase, he did the quite opposite, he laughed a bit and he looked straight at her. This shows power and that he is not afraid. Here again, we see evidence that aids my statement. During the same situation Spade, after almost giving up on Brigid, decides to con her by asking her for more money but we see that he is kind of resisting this and he is getting frustrated with it because it says that "Spade made the growling animal noise", (Pg. 39) while in the movie, he right away asks for money with no hesitation. As I said earlier on, money is a great issue, and it is a big symbol of power. Also Spade lets himself out in the book but in the movie, they played around this and they made Spade to have the key of Brigid so that he can enter her apartment without her consent. Again this is a demonstration of power and how he has control over the whole situation. In the book, Brigid says to Spade, " Can I buy you with my body?"(Pg. 57). This shows that she is playing her game or that she just wants Spade to trust her and actually have feeling for her so she can use him to her advantage. While in the movie, Brigid did not have to say a thing because Spade just grabs her and kisses her. This shows his manly power and his control over Brigid. In conclusion, Spade in the movie seems to have all the power and control, especially on Brigid. This was done to hide any guilty feeling or the fact that Brigid killed Miles. Brigid is portrayed to be more innocent in the Huston film than in the book of The Maltese Falcon. Innocents is portrayed of having less power than Spade, also it eliminates suspicion toward Brigid character of any wrong doing. In the book, from the beginning Brigid makes an entrance to spade?s office. "She advanced