The novel has been filmed three times, twice under its original title:
- The Maltese Falcon (1931), the first version, a pre-Code production starring Ricardo Cortez as Sam Spade and Bebe Daniels as Brigid O'Shaughnessy. In 1936, Warner Brothers attempted to re-release the film, but were denied approval by the Hays Production Code censors due to its "lewd" content; this led to the production of the 1936 version. It was not until after 1966 that unedited copies of the 1931 film could be shown in the U.S.
- Satan Met a Lady (1936), a light-comedy adaptation starring Bette Davis and Warren William, with Sam Spade becoming "Ted Shane".
- The Maltese Falcon (1941) the third version, considered to be a film noir classic, starring Humphrey Bogart, Mary Astor, Peter Lorre, and Sydney Greenstreet.
In addition, there have been many spoofs and sequels, including 1975's The Black Bird, a spoof featuring George Segal as Sam Spade, Jr., and Elisha Cook Jr. and Lee Patrick reprising their roles from the 1941 film.
- The Maltese Falcon (2001), an audio adaptation by the BBC starring Jane Lapotaire, Tom Wilkinson, and Peter Acre was published as an audio book in 2001 and broadcast on BBC Radio 7 in 2009.
- Dashiell Hammett's The Maltese Falcon (2008), a Grammy-nominated audiobook dramatization by the Hollywood Theater of the Ear, starring Michael Madsen, Sandra Oh, and Edward Herrmann, was released in 2008 by Blackstone Audio.
- The Maltese Murder (2008), by playwright Bryan Colley, was commissioned by the Johnson County Library in Kansas as part of the National Endowment for the Arts Big Read.