You are a renowned academic in the field of Crime Fiction. Present a discussion paper on the significance of "The Maltese Falcon" as a text of value today. .
The Maltese Falcon movie (1941) was considered the first noir film and encapsulates conventions of Crime Fiction and it's sub genres: Film Noir and Hard Boiled detective fiction. Generically, value lies in its plot, its choice and the nature of the characters, and the visual conventions amongst others. The film also shows today's responder a glimpse of the context in which it was filmed, in specific the stereotyping of characters and the influence of societal unrest and insecurity. The text is therefore also contextually valuable for today's audience.
Considered the first noir film The Maltese Falcon showed dark, shadowy and contrasting images and gave true meaning to the term film "noir" and can be said to have set a standard for the film noirs to come. Set in the gritty urban 1940s San Francisco, the majority of the action happens at night time (interior and exterior) and within enclosed spaces (the alley ways, the side walks etc) where the setting is almost claustrophobic. Along with the black and white filming it sets the model of visual conventions of the noir films and is therefore a valuable example of its form. .
Character wise, the film depicts a perfect example of a hard-boiled, noir style detective -Samuel Spade, who comes across as cynical, sarcastic and pragmatic, with a hint of narcissism. He does not show any emotional concern when advised of his partner's death, and is lured by the sensuality of feme fetales. However like any hard-boiled detective, he is nevertheless a valuable and likeable character with respect to his intellect and precise observations. He represents the true crime fiction detective as he tugs on his ear lobe and ponders through tough schemes and investigations. He is specific in his directions "I"ll ring four times, long, short, long, short, you needn't come to the door, I"ll let myself in".