Sam Spade

Created by Dashiell Hammett (1894-1961)

"When a man's partner is killed he's supposed to do something about it. It doesn't matter what you thought of him. He was your partner and you're supposed to do something about it."

The original blonde Satan, Dashiell Hammett's SAM SPADE is surely one of the most important figures in the entire private eye genre. He made his debut in 1929 in the pages of Black Mask, in the serialized first part of The Maltese Falcon, and the genre has never been the same. He's a "hard and shifty fellow," a partner in the Archer and Spade Detective Agency of San Francisco. He doesn't particularly like his partner, and he's not above sleeping with his wife, but when Miles is murdered, he swings into action, and ends up mixed up with a quest for a priceless statuette, a rara-avis, called the Maltese Falcon.

Collected and published in book form, the novel was a bestseller when it first appeared, and remains one of the true classics of the genre, a vastly-influential piece of work, featuring one of the very first P.I.s "with his own private, unorthodox, but absolutely inviolable code of ethics," according to William DeAndrea, in his Encyclopedia Mysteriosa. But it's biggest impact was undoubtedly in another medium. The Maltese Falcon may have left its stamp on literature, but it also became one of the most popular and important films in history. Mind you, it took awhile. It was filmed twice before rookie director John Huston finally released the definitive version in 1941.

The first attempt, starring Ricardo Cortez as Sam Spade was a solid, if unspectacular film. Cortez played Spade as a smirking womanizer, too smug to possibly be taken seriously. But the women in it were well cast, and easy on the eyes. The film was flawed by an anti-climatic jailhouse ending that merely reinforced the notion of Spade as something of a shit. The worst thing about the 1931 version is the awful anti-climatic last scene in the prison. But there was a lot I liked about this version. I liked the guy who played Archer --his being much older than Iva made sense. And I did like the fact Spade at least appeared to have a sex drive (which made him even more credible as a shit to Iva than Bogart was). I thought the women on the whole were more believable (and a whole lot sexier) and the exposition a lot clearer (even if some of the book was MIA). But what struck me the most was how much Huston's version followed this one. The identical camera angles, the set-ups, the framing of shots -- even the way the lines were read are often exactly the same. And the 1941 cast looks like it was chosen for its resemblance to the 1931 originals. It's like they filmed the rehearsal and ten years later Huston tidied up the rough edges.

I'm beginning to think the whole story about Huston handing his secretary Hammett's book, and telling her to type up just the dialogue is a crock. I think possibly he gave her the earlier script, and told her to put his name on it. then he went back and put in some of the missing scenes.

The second version, Satan Met a Lady (Warner Bros., 1936), seemed "incapable of deciding whether to be a screwball comedy or a murder mystery" Many changes were made to the original plot, the characters, even the title. None were for the better.

Sam Spade is now Ted Shane, the Fat Man is now the Fat Lady, Bette Davis is lack lustre as Miss Wonderly, and the Black Bird is now a ram's horn. Generally considered poorly acted, forced and dull. Intended, perhaps, as a spoof, but of what? Warren William as Spade had possibly the biggest head in Hollywood, but so what? At the end of the film, having finally grabbed the bejewelled horn, he gives it a tentative toot. "Honey, it blows," he informs Miss Wonderly. I know how he feels.

The third time was the charm. The Maltese Falcon, released in 1941 by Warner Brothers, written and directed by John Huston, and starring Humphrey Bogart as Spade was an amazing, powerful piece of work. Okay, Bogey didn't match the description of Spade in the book. He was too small and too dark, but can anyone ever picture anyone else ever playing Spade? In fact, Bogart was so good as Spade, that his later appearance as Chandler's Philip Marlowe never seemed right to me. Add a memorable cast of colourful characters (with Mary Astor as Bridgid O'Shaugnessy, Lee Patrick as Effie Perine, Sydney Greenstreet as Casper Gutman, Peter Lorre as Joel Cairo and Elisha Cook Jr. as Wilmer Cook) and a taut moody screenplay that was essentially the novel itself, and you've got the making of the archetypical private eye film. Decades later, film makers are still trying to crawl out from its shadow.

The film proved to be such a success that Sam Spade started showing up all over. Three short stories written by Hammett and published back in the early thirties (all pretty weak, compared to The Maltese Falcon), were collected and published in book form.

There was even a plan to do a sequel with Bogart and the rest, but it nevercame to fruition. A comic sequel, The Black Bird, with George Segal as Sam Spade's son, spoofed the original in the early '70s.

In 1946, The Maltese Falcon was presented in comic book form, adapted by Rodlow Williard, published by David McKay, as Feature Book #48, The adaptation was supposedly quite well-done, very faithful to both the book and the film.

And in the forties, Spade was a staple of the airwaves, thanks to The Adventures of Sam Spade, a popular radio show, featuring Howard Duff in the lead role, and sponsored by Wildroot Hair Oil. In fact, a series of single-page comic strip/hair tonic ads appeared in magazines, newspapers and comic books, featuring Spade shilling for Wildroot Hair Oil. (The ads were drawn by Golden Age artist Lou Fine, who later went on to do the Peter Scratch comic strip.)

In fact, the only real sequel to The Maltese Falcon was not produced for either prose or film, though, but for radio. Both The Adventures of Sam Spade and the great mystery anthology show Suspense were both produced by the same man, William Speir. During the first year or two that Sam Spade was on the air, Suspense was an hour show, hosted by Robert Montgomery. To get fans of Suspense listening to Sam Spade, Speir produced a special one-hour Spade episode called "The Khandi Tooth Caper" and aired it on Suspense.

The episode is a direct sequel to The Maltese Falcon, with Spade once again meeting Gutman, Cairo, and another "gunsel." It explains what happened to the real Falcon, alludes to Brigid O'Shaugnessy's fate, and sets Spade and the bad guys at odds as they again contend in the search for another quest object, the fabled Khandi Tooth. As an inside joke, host Montgomery, who played Philip Marlowe in the screen version of The Lady in the Lake made a cameo appearance as Marlowe in the episode. Later, the episode was presented as a two-parter on Sam Spade's own series. It's available from various radio nostalgia dealers if you're interested in hearing it.

When Hammett and his political views fell out of favor and landed him in hot water during the McCarthy witchhunts in the fifties, the popular radio show starring Howard Duff was canned. Suddenly Hammett didn't exist. Sam Spade was now Charlie Wild, the show was retitled Charlie Wild, Private Eye (to cash in on Wildroots commercial slogan: "Get Wildroot Cream Oil, Charlie") and all connections to Hammett were dropped. And just for good measure, Duff was also out. But it was essentially the same show, the same hair tonic sponsor, etc. And it was Charlie Wild, not Sam Spade, who eventually made the jump to television.

Hammett's one of the seminal creators in detective fiction. As if writing The Maltese Falcon wasn't enough, he was also responsible for The Continental Op and The Thin Man, the novel that introduced husband and wife sleuths Nick and Nora Charles to the world, and became the basis for a string of popular movies.

Hammett also created and wrote (or at least lent his name to) Brad Runyon, The Fat Man for radio.



  • "Don't be so sure I'm as crooked as I'm supposed to be."

  • "Childish, huh? I know, but, by God, I do hate being hit without hitting back."

  • "Here. A crippled newsie took these away from him, but I made him give them back."
    -- Spade delivering a subdued Wilmer and his guns to Gutman.





  • "The Maltese Falcon, Part 1" (September 1929, Black Mask)
  • "The Maltese Falcon, Part 2" (October 1929, Black Mask)
  • "The Maltese Falcon, Part 3" (November 1929, Black Mask)
  • "The Maltese Falcon, Part 4" (December 1929, Black Mask)
  • "The Maltese Falcon, Part 5" (January 1930, Black Mask)
  • "A Man Called Spade" (1932, The American Magazine; also in A Man Named Spade and Other Stories)
  • "Too Many Have Lived" (1932, The American Magazine; also in A Man Named Spade and Other Stories)
  • "They Can Only Hang You Once" (1932, The American Magazine; also in A Man Named Spade and Other Stories)


  • The Adventures of Sam Spade and Other Stories (1944)
  • A Man Called Spade (1945)


  • THE MALTESE FALCON ...Buy the video...Buy it on DVD
    (aka "A Dangerous Female")
    (1931, Warner Brothers)
    80 minutes
    Based on the novel by Dashiell Hammett
    Screenplay by Maude Fulton, Lucien Hubbard, Brown Holmes
    Directed by Roy del Ruth
    Starring Ricardo Cordez as SAM SPADE
    with Bebe Daniels as Ruth Wonderly
    Dudley Digges as Casper Gutman
    Dwight Fry as Wilmer
    Otto Matiesen as Joel Cairo
    Una Merkel as Effie Perine
    Also starring
    Robert Elliot, Thelma Todd, Walter Long, J. Farrell MacDonald

  • SATAN MET A LADY ..Buy the video...Buy it on DVD
    (1936, Warner Brothers)
    74 minutes
    Based on the novel by Dashiell Hammett
    Screenplay by Brown Holmes
    Directed by
    William Dieterle
    Starring Warren William as TED SHANE (Sam Spade)
    Alison Skipworth as Madame Barabas (Caspar Gutman)
    and Bette Davis as Valerie Purvis (Miss Wonderly)
    Also starring Arthur Treacher, Winifred Shaw, Marie Wilson, Porter Hall, Olin Howlin, Charles C. Wilson, Barbara Blane, Maynard Holmes

  • THE MALTESE FALCON ..Buy the DVD...Buy the 3-disc Special Edition ..Buy the Blu-Ray
    (1941, Warner Brothers)
    100 minutes, US
    Based on the novel by Dashiell Hammett
    Screenplay by John Huston
    Directed by John Huston
    Assistant Director: Claude Archer
    Associate Producer: Henry Blanke
    Exectutive Producer: Hal B. Wallis
    Starring Humphrey Bogart as SAM SPADE
    with Mary Astor as Bridgid O'Shaugnessy
    Lee Patrick as Effie Perine
    Sydney Greenstreet as Casper Gutman
    Peter Lorre as Joel Cairo
    Elisha Cook Jr. as Wilmer Cook
    Also starring
    Gladys George, Barton MacLane, Ward Bond, Jerome Cowan, James Burke, John Hamilton, Emory Parnell and
    Walter Huston as Captain Jacobi

  • See also THE BLACK BIRD
    (1975, Columbia)
    A sorta sequel, sorta spoof of The Maltese Falcon, with Sam Spade's son hot on the trail of "the Black Bird."


    (1943, CBS)
    60 minutes
    Based on the novel by Dashiell Hammett
    Starring Edward G. Robinson as SAM SPADE
    Also starring
    Laird Cregar as Casper Gutman
    The first radio adaptation of the Hammett classic, making Robinson the first (although certainly not the last) radio SAM SPADE. Generally considered far superior to the 1946 Academy Award Theatre version with Humphrey Bogart.

    (1946, CBS)
    30 minutes
    Based on the novel by Dashiell Hammett
    Starring Humphrey Bogart as SAM SPADE
    with Mary Astor, Sidney Greenstreet
    The second radio version of the classic novel, this time performed by the stars of John Huston's film, but crammed into thirty minutes, it's reportedly nothing but sad, sad, sad. The 1943 Lux Radio Theatre version is generally considered far superior. But reader Bob Toomey begs to differ: "I think the Academy Award Theatre version is the better one. Lux had an hour to do the show, but it just doesn't capture the feel for the story the way this version does -- although Edward G. Robinson and Laird Cregar are interesting as Spade and Gutman."
    (1946, ABC)
    13 30-minute episodes
    Jason James, Bob Tallman
    Starring Howard Duff as SAM SPADE
    with Lurene Tuttle as Effie
    (Duff replaced on some occasions by Stephen Dunne)
  • "Sam And The Guiana Sovereign" (July 12, 1946)
  • "Sam And The Farewell Murders" (July 19, 1946)
  • "Sam And The Unhappy Poet" (July 26, 1946)
  • "Sam And Psyche" (August 2, 1946)
  • "Death And Company" (August 09, 1946)
  • "Two Sharp Knives" (August 16, 1946)
  • "Zig Zags Of Treachery" (August 23, 1946)
  • "Sam And The Scythian Tiara" (August 30, 1946)
  • "The Corporation Murders" (September 6, 1946)
  • "The Dot Marlow Caper, Part 1" (September 13, 1946)
  • "The Dot Marlow Caper, Part 2"(September 20, 1946)
  • "The Count On Billy Burke" (September 27, 1946)
  • "The Gutting Of Couffignal" (October 4, 1946)

In 1947, writers Jason James and Bob Tallman received an Edgar Award for Best Radio Drama from the Mystery Writers of America for their work on this show.

Adventures of
Sam Spade
From Old Time Radio

    (1946-49, CBS)
    157 30-minute episodes
    Sponsor: Wildroot Cream Oil
    Writers: John Michael Hayes
    Starring Howard Duff as SAM SPADE
    with Lurene Tuttle as Effie
    Guest stars:
    Sandra Gould (played the "new secretary" while Lurene Tuttle was on vacation, in the June 27, 1948 show), William Conrad, Jack Webb.
  • "The Blood Money Caper" (September 29, 1946)
  • "The Unwritten Law Caper" (October 6, 1946)
  • "The Ten Clues Caper" (October 13, 1946)
  • "The Fly Paper Caper" (October 20, 1946)
  • "The Midway Caper" (October 27, 1946)
  • "The Certified Czech Caper" (November 3, 1946)
  • "Sam And The Farewell Murders" (November 10, 1946)
  • "The Hot Ice Caper" (November 17, 1946)
  • "The Kandy Tooth Caper, Part 1" (November 24, 1946; (originally aired on Suspense)
  • "The Kandy Tooth Caper, Part 2" (December 1, 1946)
  • "The Minks Of Turk Street" (December 8, 1946)
  • "The Picture Frame Caper" (December 15, 1946)
  • "Sam And The Three Wise Men" (December 22, 1946)
  • "The Golden Horeshoe" (December 29, 1946)
  • "The Liewelyn Caper" (January 5, 1947)
  • "The Cremona Clock Caper" (January 12, 1947)
  • "The False Face Caper" (January 19, 1947)
  • "The Agamemnon Caper" (January 26, 1947)
  • "The Dead Duck Caper" (February 2 1947)
  • "The Girl With The Silver Eyes" (February 9, 1947)
  • "Inside Story On Kid Slade" (February 16, 1947)
  • "The Big Production Caper" (February 23, 1947)
  • "The Uncle Money Caper" (March 2 1947)
  • "Orpheus And His Lute" (March 9, 1947)
  • "The Ingnorance About Bliss" (March 16, 1947)
  • "Too Many Spades" (March 23, 1947)
  • "The Dancing Pearl Caper" (March 30, 1947)
  • "The Poisonville Caper" (April 6, 1947)
  • "The Double-Scar Caper" (April 13, 1947)
  • "The Scrooge Of Portrero Street" (April 20, 1947)
  • "The Debutante Caper" (April 27, 1947)
  • "Duet In Spades" (May 4, 1947)
  • "The Yule Log Caper" (May 11, 1947)
  • "The Assistant Murderer" (May 18, 1947)
  • "Jury Duty" (May 25, 1947)
  • "The Mishakoff Emeralds" (June 1, 1947)
  • "The Calcutta Trunk Caper" (June 8, 1947)
  • "The Convertible Caper" (June 15, 1947)
  • "The Greek Letter Caper" (June 22, 1947)
  • "The Cosmic Harmony Caper" (June 29, 1947)
  • "The Simile Caper" (July 6, 1947)
  • "The Buff-Orpington Caper" (July 13, 1947)
  • "Sam And The Unhappy Poet" (July 20, 1947)
  • "The Gold Rush Caper" (July 27, 1947)
  • "The Crooked Neck Caper" (August 3, 1947)
  • "The Commonwealth Tankard" (August 10, 1947)
  • "The Doctor's Dilemma Caper" (August 17, 1947)
  • "The Jade Dragon Caper" (August 24, 1947)
  • "The Corkscrew Caper" (August 31, 1947)
  • "The Forty-Nine Cent, Caper" (September 7, 1947)
  • "The Cinderella Caper" (September 14, 1947)
  • "The April Caper" (September 21, 1947)
  • "The Madcap Caper" (September 28, 1947)
  • "The Adam Figg Caper" (October 5, 1947)
  • "The Tears Of Buddha Caper" (October 12, 1947)
  • "The Untouchable Caper" (October 19, 1947)
  • "The Bonnie Fair Caper" (October 26, 1947)
  • "The Wrong Guy Caper" (November 2 1947)
  • "The Bow Window Caper" (November 9, 1947)
  • "The Purple Poodle Caper" (November 16, 1947)
  • "The Caper With Eight Diamonds" (November 23, 1947)
  • "The Full House Caper" (November 30, 1947)
  • "The Palermo Vendetta Caper" (December 7, 1947)
  • "The Gumshoe Caper" (December 14, 1947)
  • "The Nick Saint Caper" (December 21, 1947)
  • "The Perfect Score Caper" (December 28, 1947)
  • "The One Hour Caper" (January 4, 1948)
  • "The Short Life Caper" (January 11, 1948)
  • "The Pike's Head Caper" (January 18, 1948)
  • "The Gold Key Caper" (January 25, 1948)
  • "The Nimrod Caper" (February 1 1948)
  • "The Great Drought Caper" (February 8, 1948)
  • "The Goldie Gates Caper" (February 15, 1948)
  • "The Mason Grayson Caper" (February 22, 1948)
  • "The Grim Reaper Caper" (February 29, 1948)
  • "John's Other Wife's Other Husband"(March 7, 1948)
  • "The Ides Of March Caper" (March 14, 1948)
  • "The Nightmare Town Caper" (March 21, 1948)
  • "The Blood Money Payoff" (March 28, 1948)
  • "Title Unknown" (April 4, 1948)
  • "The Judas Caper" (April 11, 1948)
  • "The Night Flight Caper" (April 18, 1948)
  • "The Great Lover Caper" (April 25, 1948)
  • "The Double-S Caper" (May 2 1948)
  • "The Curiosity Caper" (May 9, 1948)
  • "The Girl Called Echs Caper" (May 16, 1948)
  • "The Navarraise Falcon" (May 23, 1948)
  • "The Prisoner Of Zenda Caper" (May 30, 1948)
  • "The I.Q. Caper" (June 6, 1948)
  • "The Honest Cop Caper" (June 13, 1948)
  • "The Death Bed Caper" (June 20, 1948)...Listen to it free!
  • "The Bail Bond Caper" (June 27, 1948)
  • "The Rushlight Diamond Caper" (July 4, 1948)
  • "The Wheel Of Life Caper" (July 11, 1948)
  • "The Missing Newshawk Caper" (July 18, 1948)
  • "The Mad Scientist Caper" (July 25, 1948)
  • "The Dry Martini Caper" (August 1 1948)
  • "The Bluebeard Caper" (August 8, 1948)
  • "The Critical Author Caper" (August 15, 1948)
  • "The Bafio Cup Caper" (August 22, 1948; possibly "Vafio")
  • "The Lawless Caper" (August 29, 1948)
  • "The Stella Starr Caper" (September 5, 1948)
  • "The Lazarus Caper" (September 12, 1948)
  • "The Hot 100 Grand Caper" (September 19, 1948)
  • "The Dick Foley Caper" (September 26, 1948)
  • "The Sugar Kane Caper" (October 3, 1948)
  • "The Bostwick Snatch Caper" (October 10, 1948)
  • "The Rumanian Con Game Caper" (October 17, 1948)
  • "The Insomnia Caper" (October 24, 1948)
  • "The Fairley-Bright Caper" (October 31, 1948)
  • "The S.Q.P. Caper" (November 7, 1948)
  • "The Gin Rummy Caper" (November 14, 1948)
  • "The Golden Fleece Caper" (November 21, 1948)
  • "The Quarter-Eagle Caper" (November 28, 1948)
  • "The Neveroff Masterpiece Caper" (December 5, 1948)
  • "The Bouncing Betty Caper" (December 12, 1948)
  • "The Giveaway Caper" (December 19, 1948)
  • "The Nick Saint Caper" (December 26, 1948)
  • "The Three-Sided Bullet Caper" (January 2 1949)
  • "The Double Negative Caper" (January 9, 1949)
  • "The Betrayal In Bumpus Hell Caper" (January 16, 1949)
  • "The Main Event Caper" (January 23, 1949)
  • "The Double Life Caper" (January 30, 1949)
  • "The Firebug Caper" (February 6, 1949)
  • "The Brothers Keeper Caper" (February 13, 1949)
  • "The Attitude Caper" (February 20, 1949)
  • "The Three Cornered Frame Caper" (February 27, 1949)
  • "The Waltzing Matilda Caper" (March 6, 1949)
  • "The Underseal Caper" (March 13, 1949)
  • "The Trojan Horse Caper" (March 20, 1949)
  • "The Loveletter Caper" (March 27, 1949)
  • "The Vacation Caper" (April 3, 1949)
  • "The Stopped Watch Caper" (April 10, 1949)
  • "Edith Hamilton" (April 17, 1949)
  • "The Hot Cargo Caper" (April 24, 1949)
  • "The Battles Of Belvedere" (May 1 1949)
  • "The Fast Talk Caper" (May 8, 1949; aka "The Corpse In The Murphy Bed")
  • "The Darling Daughter Caper" (May 15, 1949)
  • "The Cartwright Clip Caper" (May 22, 1949)
  • "The Jane Doe Caper" (May 29, 1949)
  • "The Overjord Caper" (June 5, 1949; aka "The Corpse In The Murphy Bed)
  • "Sam And The Guiana Sovereign" (June 12, 1949)
  • "The Apple Of Eve Caper" (June 19, 1949)
  • "The Goat's Milk Caper" (June 26, 1949)
  • "The Hamburger Sandwich Caper" (July 3, 1949)
  • "The Queen Bee Caper" (July 10, 1949)
  • "The Cuttyhunk Caper" (July 17, 1949)
  • "The Tears Of Night Caper" (July 24, 1949)
  • "The Hot-Foot Caper" (July 31, 1949)
  • "The Champion Caper" (August 7, 1949)
  • "The Sourdough Mountain Caper" (August 14, 1949)
  • "The Silver Key Caper" (August 21, 1949)
  • "The Prodigal Daughter Caper" (August 28, 1949)
  • "The Flashback Caper" (September 4, 1949)
  • "The Costume Caper" (September 11, 1949)
  • "Over My Dead Body Caper" (September 18, 1949)
  • "The Chargogagogmanchogagogchabunamungamog Caper" (September 25, 1949)
    (January 10, 1948-is this right?)
    60 minutes
    Based on characters created by Dashiell Hammett
    Starring Howard Duff as SAM SPADE

    (1949-50, NBC)
    51 30-minute episode
    Writers: Gil Doud, Bob Tellman
    Director/Producer: William Spier
    Sponsor: Wildroot Cream Oil
    Starring Howard Duff as SAM SPADE
    with Lurene Tuttle as Effie
  • "The Junior G-Man Caper" (October 2 1949)
  • "The Hot Hothouse Caper" (October 9, 1949)
  • "The Pretty Polly Caper" (October 16, 1949)
  • "Title Unknown" (October 23, 1949)
  • "Title Unknown" (October 30, 1949)
  • "The Cheesecake Caper" (November 6, 1949)
  • "The Blues In The Night Caper" (November 13, 1949)
  • "The Peacock Feather Caper" (November 20, 1949)
  • "Title Unknown" (November 27, 1949)
  • "The Floppsey, Moppsey and Cottontain Caper" (December 4, 1949)
  • "Title Unknown" (December 11, 1949)
  • "The Whispering Death Caper" (December 18, 1949)
  • "The Canterbury Christmas 7(December 25, 1949)
  • "The Gorgeous Gemini Caper" (January 1 1950)
  • "The Third Personville Caper" (January 8, 1950)
  • "The Phantom Witness Caper" (January 15, 1950)
  • "The Wedding Belle Caper" (January 22, 1950)
  • "The Too Many Leads Caper" (January 29, 1950)
  • "The Black Magic Caper" (February 5, 1950)
  • "The Crossword Puzzle Caper" (February 12, 1950)
  • "The Valentine's Day Caper" (February 19, 1950)
  • "The Cornelius J. Morningside Caper" (February 26, 1950)
  • "The Homicidal Husband Caper" (March 5, 1950)
  • "The Barbary Ghost Caper" (March 12, 1950)
  • "The Emerald Eyes Caper" (March 19, 1950)
  • "The Bay Psalm Caper" (March 26, 1950)
  • "The Endurance Caper" (April 2 1950)
  • "The Picture Frame Caper" (April 9, 1950)
  • "The Kansas Kid Caper" (April 16, 1950)
  • "The Caldwell Caper" (April 23, 1950)
  • "The Hamite Curse Caper" (April 30, 1950)
  • "Caper With Marjorie's Things" (May 7, 1950)
  • "The Prodigal Son Caper" (May 14, 1950)
  • "The Red Amapola Caper" (May 21, 1950)
  • "The Honest Thief Caper" (May 28, 1950)
  • "The V.I.P. Caper" (June 4, 1950)
  • "The Color Scheme Caper" (June 11, 1950)
  • "The Elmer Longtail Caper" (June 18, 1950)
  • "The Toytown Caper" (June 25, 1950)
  • "The Beryl Green Caper" (July 2 1950)
  • "The Runaway Redhead Caper" (July 9, 1950)
  • "The Man Who Knew Almost Everything Caper" (July 16, 1950)
  • "The Stormy Weather Caper" (July 23, 1950)
  • "The Rod And Reel Caper" (July 30, 1950)
  • "The Bell Of Solomon Caper" (August 6, 1950)
  • "The Missing Persons Caper" (August 13, 1950)
  • "The Preposterous Caper" (August 20, 1950)
  • "The Too Many Clients Caper" (August 27, 1950)
  • "The Farmer's Daughter Caper" (September 3, 1950)
  • "The Big Little Woody Caper" (September 10, 1950)
  • "The Femme Fatale Caper" (September 17, 1950)
    (1950-51, NBC)
    24 30-minute episodes
    Starring Steve Dunne as SAM SPADE
    with Lurene Tuttle as Effie
  • "Caper Over My Dead Body" (November 17, 1950)
  • "The Terrified Turkey Caper" (November 24, 1950)
  • "The Dog Bed Caper" (December 1 1950)
  • "The Dry Gulch" (December 8, 1950)
  • "The 251235679 Caper" (December 15, 1950)
  • "The Caper Concerning Big" (December 22, 1950)
  • "The Prodigal Panda Caper" (December 29, 1950)
  • "The Biddle Riddle Caper" (January 5, 1951)
  • "The Red Star Caper" (January 12, 1951)
  • "The Cloak And Dagger Caper" (January 19, 1951)
  • "The Chateau Mccloud Caper" (January 26, 1951)
  • "The String Of Death Caper" (February 2 1951)
  • "The Sure Thing Caper" (February 9, 1951)
  • "The Soap Opera Caper" (February 16, 1951)
  • "The Shot In The Dark Caper" (February 23, 1951)
  • "The Crab Louis Caper" (March 2, 1951)
  • "The Spanish Prisoner Caper" (March 9, 1951)
  • "The Sinister Siren Caper" (March 16, 1951)
  • "The Kimberley Cross Caper" (March 23, 1951)
  • "The Vendetta Caper" (March 30, 1951)
  • "The Denny Shane Caper" (April 6, 1951)
  • "The Civic Pride Caper" (April 13, 1951)
  • "The Rowdy Dowser Caper" (April 20, 1951)
  • "The Hail And Farewell Caper" (April 27, 1951)


    (1946, Feature Books #48, David McKay Publications)
    Artist: Rodlow Willard

    Single page comic strips
    Appeared in newspapers, magazines, comic books.
    Artist: Lou Fine

Tie-in with radio show The Adventures of Sam Spade, which Wildroot also sponsored.


This deluxe, full-size replica of the 1941 Maltese Falcon Prop Statue, cast in reinforced, hardened resin. stands 12 inches tall, weighs in at a hefty thirteen pounds, and comes in optional exclusive gift packaging, wrapped in Chinese newspapers and bound with twine in Captain Jacobi's La Paloma burlap sea bag, and comes complete with a personalized Certificate of Authenticity. Sure, at somewhere around $180 or so, it's a little pricey, but considering one of two dinguses actually made for the movie -- and the only one known to have appeared on film -- sold at auction in November 2013 for four million bucks, you might call this a bargain.


The Whereabouts of the "Real" Maltese Falcon.

Matt Hirsch's mailing list dedicated to discussion of the original Sam Spade series radio show.

A tall tale from the days of The Adventures of Sam Spade radio show.

In this New York Sun article, Otto Penzler talks about the 75th anniversary of the publication of what he calls "possibly the greatest, and certainly the most famous, American detective novel, Dashiell Hammett's "The Maltese Falcon." and argues that Hammett might just be the most influential American writer of the 20th century.

A link to an episode of NPR's Talk of the Nation, featuring a discussion of The Maltese Falcon on the book's 75th anniversary. Guests include Richard Layman, executor of Hammett's literary estate, and Robert B. Parker, the creator of Spenser.

January Magazine does Hammett right with this star-studded feature, including comments from Richard Layman, George Pelecanos, S.J. Rozan, Peter Robinson, Denise Hamilton, Ken Bruen, Loren D. Estleman and a cast of thousands. Plus yours truly, who is presumably there to cleanse the palate. No, really, check this out. An amazing job, and a superb tribute.

Some great private eyes who've appearred in only one novel.

Report respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith. Thanks to Jim Doherty for the scoop on the Maltese Falcon radio sequel, Steve Tussel, who runs Detective Fiction on Stamps for (what else?) the stamp of approval, Matthew Hirsch for letting me in on whodun it and Norma Cooper for not letting me get lost in the Sea of Cortez.

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