The Maltese Falcon

The Maltese Falcon quotes

50 total quotes (ID: 776)

Brigid O'Shaughnessy
Joel Cairo
Multiple Characters
Sam Spade


Spade: You, uh - you aren't exactly the sort of a person you pretend to be, are ya?
Brigid: I'm not sure I know exactly what you mean.
Spade: The schoolgirl manner, you know, blushing, stammering, and all that.
Brigid: I haven't lived a good life - I've been bad, worse than you could know.
Spade: That's good, because if you actually were as innocent as you pretend to be, we'd never get anywhere.
Brigid: I won't be innocent.
Spade: Good.


Wilmer: Keep on ridin' me. They're gonna be pickin' iron out of your liver.
Spade: [laughing] The cheaper the crook, the gaudier the patter, huh?

[The falcon has turned out to be a fake.] Spade: [to Brigid] All right, you've had your little joke, now tell us about it.
Brigid: No, Sam! No! That's the one I got from Kemidov, I swear it!
Cairo: [to Gutman] You. It's you who bungled it. You and your stupid attempt to buy it! Kemidov found out how valuable it was. No wonder we had such an easy time stealing it! You, you imbecile! You bloated idiot! You stupid fathead, you! [sobbing]

[to Spade] You're absolutely the wildest, most unpredictable person I've ever known. Do you always carry on so high-handed?

Aw, don't you know that you're being kidded?...When I heard the buzzer, I said to Miss O'Shaughnessy and Cairo here, I said, 'There's the police again. They're getting to be a nuisance. When you hear them going, one of you scream and then we'll see how far along we can string 'em until they tumble.'...Don't be a sap. That gun was a plant. It was one of mine. Too bad it was only a .25 or maybe you could prove that was the gun that Miles and Thursby were shot with.

Don't be too sure I'm as crooked as I'm supposed to be. That sort of reputation might be good business, bringing high-priced jobs and making it easier to deal with the enemy, but a lot more money would have been one more item on your side of the scale.

Everybody has something to conceal. And as far as I can see, my best chance of clearing myself from the trouble you're trying to make for me is by bringing in the murderers all tied up. And the only chance I've got of catching them and tying them up and bringing them in is by staying as far away as possible from you and the police because you'd only gum up the works...Now if you want to go to the board and tell them I'm obstructing justice and ask them to revoke my license - hop to it! You tried it once before and it didn't get you anything but a good laugh all around...And I don't want any more of these informal talks. I have nothing to say to you or the police. And I'm tired of being called things by every crackpot on the city payrolls. So if you want to see me, pinch me or subpoena me or something and I'll come down with my lawyer. I'll see you at the inquest - maybe.

He wouldn't tell me where Corinne was. He said she didn't want to see me. I can't believe that. He promised to bring her to the hotel if she'd come this evening. He said he knew she wouldn't. He promised to come himself if she didn't.

Hey, what's this bird, this falcon that everybody's all steamed up about?

I don't mind a reasonable amount of trouble.

I'm trying to recover, an ornament that, ah, shall we say has been mislaid...I thought and hoped you could assist me. The ornament, ah, is a statuette, the black figure of a bird...I am prepared to promise that - what is the phrase? [He gestures knowingly] 'No questions will be asked!'

I've got to keep in some sort of touch with all the loose ends of this dizzy affair if I'm ever gonna make heads or tails of it.

I've no earthly reason to think I can trust you, and, if I do this and get away with it, you'll have something on me that you can use whenever you want to. Since I've got something on you, I couldn't be sure that you wouldn't put a hole in me some day. All those are on one side. Maybe some of them are unimportant - I won't argue about that - but look at the number of them. And what have we got on the other side? All we've got is that maybe you love me and maybe I love you.

Miss O'Shaughnessy is an operative in my employ since yesterday...Cairo is an acquaintance of Thursby's. He came into my office late this afternoon and hired me to find something that Thursby was supposed to have on him when he was bumped off. It, uh, looked funny to me, the way he put it, so I wouldn't touch it. Then he pulled a gun on me. Well, that's neither here nor there unless we start proffering charges against each other. Anyway, Miss O'Shaughnessy and I discussed the matter and we decided to find out exactly how much he knew about Miles' and Thursby's killings so we asked him to come up here. Now maybe we did put the questions to him a little roughly. You know how that is, Lieutenant. But we didn't hurt him enough to make him cry for help.

Miss Wonderly's sister ran away from New York with a fellow named Floyd Thursby. They're here in San Francisco. Miss Wonderly is seeing Thursby and has a date to meet him tonight. Maybe he'll bring the sister with him. The chances are he won't. Miss Wonderly wants us to find the sister, get her away from him and back home...If - after we've found her - she still doesn't want to leave him, well, we have ways of managing that.