The Black Bird

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Giler's first film, a parody-sequel to John Huston's The Maltese Falcon, has Segal as Bogie's inept son, Sam Spade Jr, bumbling about present-day San Francisco, harried by father's blowsy secretary (Lee Patrick, from the original) and pursued by Elisha Cook, three murderous Hawaiians, and a crazy dwarf. Giler's earnest screenplay scrupulously updates the Hammett novel: Audran plays the daughter of the late General Kemidov who, you may remember, was the last legitimate owner of the priceless black bird. However, despite a strong cast which pulls together several sharply written episodes, as a whole the movie fails to top the wry tone of Huston's classic or to produce a surprise denouement equal to the impact of Mary Astor's treachery.

By: JPy

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