The Maltese Falcon is a 1941 film noir directed by John Huston in his directorial debut. Huston's screenplay was based on the novel of the same name by Dashiell Hammett. (Original publisher Alfred A. Knopf, Inc. in 1929.) The film stars Humphrey Bogart as private investigator Sam Spade and Mary Astor as his femme fatale client. Gladys George, Peter Lorre, and Sydney Greenstreet co-star, with Greenstreet appearing in his film debut. The story follows a San Francisco private detective and his dealings with three unscrupulous adventurers, all of whom are competing to obtain a jewel-encrusted falcon statuette.
The film premiered on October 3, 1941, in New York City, and was nominated for three Academy Awards. The Maltese Falcon was selected for inclusion in the Library of Congress' National Film Registry in 1989.
The Maltese Falcon is a part of Roger Ebert's "Great Movies" series and was cited by Panorama du Film Noir Américain as the first major film noir.