The Maltese Falcon (1941 Film)


In 1975, Columbia released The Black Bird, a parody sequel to The Maltese Falcon starring George Segal as Sam Spade, Jr., with Patrick and Cook reprising their roles as Effie and Wilmer from the 1941 version. In 1974, during production for this film, one of the seven plaster figurines of the original 1941 Falcon on display at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art was stolen, and it was alleged that the "disappearance" of the figurine was staged as a publicity stunt for the Segal film. If it was, it came up short since news accounts of the missing Falcon exceeded those of the Segal film.[47]

In 1969, the film was spoofed in the sixth season of The Avengers television series, starring Patrick Macnee and Linda Thorson as John Steed and Tara King. The episode "Legacy of Death" features multiple assassins trying to obtain an ornate dagger known as the Falcon that will unlock a treasure, a black pearl. Near the end, one of the characters called Sidney Street, played by Stratford Johns, says to his partner Humbert Green, played by Ronald Lacey, that there is another treasure they should go after.[48][49]

In 1988, an homage to the film was presented in "The Big Goodbye", a first-season episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation. Captain Jean-Luc Picard, played by Patrick Stewart, is a fan of detective stories of the early 20th century, including the fictional Dixon Hill, a stand-in for Sam Spade. In a holodeck simulation, Picard-as-Hill is opposed by Cyrus Redblock, whose name is a play on "Sydney Greenstreet". Redblock is looking for "the item", which is never identified, standing in for the Falcon.

In 1990 the film was also paid homage in issue 62 of The Transformers called "Bird of Prey!" with the character of Nightbeat in the Sam Spade role which also mentions actor Peter Lorre and shows an image of Humphrey Bogart.

In 2001, the film was paid homage again in "Charmed Noir", a seventh-season episode of Charmed. In it, two siblings at Magic School write an immersive novel in which all characters are seeking the "Burmese Falcon". The boys become inadvertently trapped in the novel for decades, though time basically stands still for them. Paige Matthews, played by Rose McGowan, and an associate become trapped in the book as well many years after the boys do. Matthews asks one of the boys if the Burmese Falcon is "Like the Maltese Falcon?" in an attempt to understand the situation in which she finds herself. The boy replies that everyone knows that the Maltese Falcon was a fake, and that the Burmese Falcon is the genuine article.[50]

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