It weighed 45 pounds and was constructed of lead. Risan's plaster Falcons weighted less than six pounds. Milan was adamant that the heavy lead Falcon used in the 1941 picture was the one he saw. He said it looked exactly like his bird even down to the perch that had been broken off during its creation.
The Maltese Falcon is a famous mystery novel by American author F. Scott Fitzgerald. It was first published by Charles Scribner's Sons in September 1940. The story follows Jake Gittes, an honest but unsuccessful private detective hired by an old friend, Sylvia Marlowe, to find her missing falcon, which she has hidden before leaving for Italy to escape from her philandering husband. Along the way, Gittes discovers that Mrs. Marlowe is not who she seems to be and must decide whether to accept a job from her or let her case go.
Fitzgerald based the character of Gittes on himself. The author was an unsuccessful publicist who had to settle for writing crime novels instead becoming a successful screenwriter. So, when MGM asked him to write the script for the film adaptation of The Maltese Falcon, he knew how to construct a detective story and was able to use this experience to good effect.
The movie came out in 1941 and was a huge success.
The narrative of Humphrey Bogart's 1941 film The Maltese Falcon centres around a 12-inch falcon statue that the protagonist believes is a rare antiquity but is later shown to be a lead fake. The movie then turns into a chase scene throughout New York City.
Bogart's character, Sam Spade, finds the falcon at the beginning of the story and thinks it is real because there is no sign stating otherwise. He takes it to his employer, Miles Archer, who hires him to find out if the falcon is real or not. Archer also tells Sam that he will pay him for his services. During the search, Sam meets Mary Astor who eventually becomes his wife. The movie ends with Sam putting the falcon on his desk as he says goodbye to Mary before going back to work.
There are several theories about what exactly was hidden in the falcon. Some believe that it was a key that opened a safe full of money, while others think it could have been a secret compartment built into the object. There is also a theory that claims the falcon contained documents that would have revealed the identity of America's first spy in Russia. This person turned out to be an American, John Peter Zenger, who was executed for treason after being found guilty by a court martial.
Gutman eagerly opens the parcel to discover the falcon. Gutman flips the bird over and scratches a little bit of black enamel from the base to authenticate its authenticity. A layer of blackened metal lies underneath. Gutman scratches the metal, exposing additional lead. He believes that this is another forgery because no original leaded glass was found in the case.
In conclusion, Gutman finds evidence of fakery when he examines the exterior of the fake Maltese Falcon. He confirms his suspicion by scratching the inside of the case and finding more lead after which he concludes that it is probably another counterfeit vessel.