sam spade

Humphrey Bogart, 1941, a publicity photo for The Maltese Falcon

“I’m not good-looking. I used to be but not any more. Not like Robert Taylor. What I have got is I have character in my face. It’s taken an awful lot of late nights and drinking to put it there. When I go to work in a picture, I say, ‘Don’t take the lines out of my face. Leave them there.’ “

Dashiell Hammett (May 27, 1894 – January 10, 1961) 

American author of hard-boiled detective novels and short stories, screenwriter, and political activist. Among the enduring characters he created are Sam Spade (The Maltese Falcon), Nick and Nora Charles (The Thin Man), and the Continental Op (Red Harvest and The Dain Curse).

Hammett “is now widely regarded as one of the finest mystery writers of all time”. In his obituary in The New York Times, he was described as “the dean of the… ‘hard-boiled’ school of detective fiction." His novels and stories also had a significant influence on films. (Wikipedia)

From our stacks: Dust cover detail from The Maltese Falcon By Dashiell Hammett. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1945. Jacket design by Warren Chappell.

The Maltese Falcon”, 1941. The office of ‘Spade and Archer’. 

“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.” ~ Spade