Jessica May ought to have the edited version of FlashCast 25 in my grubby little hands shortly, but, in the meantime, have you fully enjoyed our weekend releases?
Tonight we’re off to the bright lights and cold pavement of the city, so that we might take in The Maltese Falcon on the big screen. You’ll have to excuse me if I get a little wound up on the topic in today’s blogging: it probably ranks above Casablanca for my favourite Bogart film.
Warner hated to see actors smoking on the screen, fearing it would prompt smokers in the movie audience to step out into the lobby for a cigarette. During the filming of _Maltese Falcon, The (1941)_, Warner told director John Huston that smoking in the film should be kept to a minimum. Bogart and Lorre thought it would be fun to annoy Warner by smoking as often as possible, and got their co-stars, Mary Astor and Sydney Greenstreet to go along with the joke. During the initial filming of the climactic confrontation, all four actors smoked heavily. After seeing the rushes, Warner furiously called Huston to his office and threatened to fire him from the picture if he didn’t tell Bogart and Lorre to knock it off. Realizing their prank had backfired, Bogart and Lorre agreed to stop smoking on camera. However, when the next series of rushes came back, it was obvious that the *lack* of smoking by the actors was taking away from the sinister mood of the scene. Huston went back to Jack Warner, and convinced him that the smoking added the right amount of atmospheric tension to the story, arguing that the characters *would* smoke cigarettes while waiting nervously for the Maltese Falcon to arrive.
The topic also reminds me of this fantastic Adam Savage talk from TED. It’s a bit of a geek-out-on-pixie-sticks, but the ride is definitely worth the price of admission.
Sam Spade refers to Wilmer as a “gunsel”, a term the censors assumed was a slang reference to a gunman. […] It is more usually an “underground” term which refers to a person who is either a “fall guy” or a “stool pigeon”, in which case Spade is making both a direct and an indirect reference to Wilmer’s character.