"The Stuff that Dreams are Made of..."
Because of course that's what I was looking for. That yacht is WAY more influential than the 1941 film starring Humphrey Bogart. Why would I be interested in some stupid black-and-white movie that delves into the nature of human greed? Why would I want to see one of THE movies that defined Noir as a genre?
YACHTS. That's what I'm about.
It's tough to say what would make you sicker, though: Sailing, or this drinking game.
"The Malt Liquor Falcon": The Rules
Those of us who drank scotch neat actually got less drunk than those who played with mixers, because they had to take smaller sips. So keep that in mind.
- Drink for Title drops. For easy mode, that's "The Maltese Falcon"
- Drink when they drink.
- Drink for Daddy Issues. Nowhere to be found. But you won't need that rule.
- Drink when someone lights a cigarette (twice for a cigar).
- Drink when someone accuses another of being a liar. They should use the word "liar" or "lying".
All the above rules apply. Also...
- Drink for Title Drops. For Medium Mode, that's "Falcon".
- Drink whenever you see a man not wearing a hat.
- Drink whenever Spade takes something from somebody's pockets. He's just doing a thorough investigation.
All the above rules apply. Also...
- Drink whenever someone makes or receives a phone call. Half the exposition gets delivered this way.
- Drink for title drops. For Hard Mode, that's whenever they say "bird". They're not always talking about the falcon.
Williams: The police officer (Easy)
ChampJagne AustGin: The leading lady (Medium)
Seb: The double-agent (Medium)
Paul [Big Moose]: The informant (Medium)
This game is good, it's very good. Just how good? Let's find out!
Putting the "Hump" in "Humphrey"
But about fifteen minutes in, we started to analyze our reactions, because most of us think too much. What makes Bogie so attractive? It's not like he's particularly handsome. He's got kind of a weird face. And by all accounts he's remembered as being kind of a tool to other people. So what gives?
"I think it's his huge eyes," put in Seb. "I think that's what makes him handsome."
Of course, big eyes aren't everything.
"This wouldn't work if he weren't billed as the main character who we're supposed to sympathize with," said Paul after Humphrey extorted $500 from Mary Astor. "We excuse his doucheness."
Later he turned to me and said, "You know he does cowboy movies too, right?"
Speaking of San Francisco...
Among other things, homosexuality (still widely considered a sexual perversion at the time) was a verboten topic for any film. But the book The Maltese Falcon was based on contains numerous gay men as characters! Not just background goons either, major players like Joel Cairo, or Spade's police officer foils, Polehaus and Dundy. If he wants to stay true to the source material, what's a director to do?
The answer: be subtle.
The Hays Code was taken seriously by a lot of people for about two decades. See if you can find other ways filmmakers tried to subvert censorship!
A Detective's Duty
"When a man's partner is killed, he's supposed to do something about it. It doesn't make any difference what you thought of him. He was your partner and you're supposed to do something about it. And it happens we're in the detective business. Well, when one of your organization gets killed, it's-it's bad business to let the killer get away with it, bad all around, bad for every detective everywhere."
Even before then, though, we were all pretty raucous. The melodrama was contagious, and we couldn't help gasping or shouting whenever a character did something unexpected. The only difference the scotch made was the loss of our sparkling wits and large vocabularies.
"This is the first time I've seen the entire room collectively lose grammar," Seb remarked.
Woke up without a hangover, though. So that's something.
The other problem is that Easy Mode is WAY too easy. Williams drank beer instead of scotch and didn't even make it through her second can, so she was none too tipsy. Here are some extra rules to tack onto Easy Mode.
Drink whenever Humphrey Bogart touches his face.
I have no idea if it's a character choice or a mannerism of his, but there are several instances in this movie of Bogie playing with his lips or something. It's still compelling, but it strikes you as odd.
Drink whenever a woman shows weak or defensive behavior.
Despite moments of badassery, the women in this film are all kind of wet blankets. If they scheme, they scheme from the background while the men do the heavy lifting, and they cry and/or faint frequently. Drink for the fairer sex!
This movie features several exchanged blows, including a punch to the throat! Yay, violence!
Thanks for reading! Next week we're taking a look at a modern classic, as recommended by a fan in the comments section.