AFI Top 100 Movie: The Maltese Falcon

I’m down to 66 movies left on the AFI top 100. Last night, I saw the film noir classic “The Maltese Falcon.” I thought it was pretty good, and it’s easy to see how it inspired many of the detective stories that have come since. When I watch the older movies on the list, I find myself fascinated by the little things specific to the era – The dressed-up fashions of the 1940’s, the pre-internet technology, the old-timey manner of speaking, and the more paternalistic attitudes of what a “manly” character should be. The history lesson seems to stick with me better than the particulars of plot. I was amused how often I thought to myself things like “wait, he can’t just talk about that on the phone, they can trace that,” before realizing that those technologies didn’t exist yet. I know that this is still the idealized Hollywood version of reality, but a culture’s ideals tell you a tremendous amount about the culture nonetheless.

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