The Maltese Falcon

The Maltese Falcon quotes

50 total quotes (ID: 776)

Brigid O'Shaughnessy
Joel Cairo
Multiple Characters
Sam Spade


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.


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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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!'

You will please clasp your hands together at the back of your neck. I intend to search your offices, Mr. Spade. I warn you, if you attempt to prevent me, I shall certainly shoot you.

Titlecard: In 1539, the Knights Templar of Malta paid tribute to Charles V of Spain by sending him a Golden Falcon encrusted from beak to claw with rarest jewels- - - - - but pirates seized the galley carrying this priceless token and the fate of the Maltese Falcon remains a mystery to this day.

Effie Perine: Do the police really think you shot this 'what's-his-name'? Do they? Look at me, Sam. You worry me. You always think you know what you're doing but you're too slick for your own good.

Kasper Gutman: By gad, Sir. You are a chap worth knowing, an amazing character...

Polhaus: It's tough, him getting it like that, ain't it? Miles had his faults just like any of the rest of us, but I guess he must have had some good points too, huh?
Spade: I guess so.

Spade: I've never seen Thursby dead or alive.
Dundy: Well, you know me, Spade. If you did it, or if you didn't, you'll get a square deal from me and most of the breaks. Don't know as I blame you much - a man that kills your partner, but that won't stop me from nailing ya.
Spade: Fair enough. [toasting] Success to crime!

Iva: Sam, did you kill him?
Spade: Who put that bright idea in your head?
Iva: Well, I thought you said if it wasn't for Miles, you'd --- Be kind to me, Sam!
Spade: [smiles broadly, laughs, and claps his hands mockingly] You killed my husband, Sam. Be kind to me.

Brigid: Do they have to know about me, I mean - can't you shield me so that I won't have to answer their questions...I can't tell you now. I will later when I can. You've got to trust me, Mr. Spade. Oh, I'm so alone and afraid. I've got nobody to help me if you won't help me. Be generous, Mr. Spade. You're brave. You're strong. You can spare me some of that courage and strength surely. Help me, Mr. Spade. I need help so badly. I've no right to ask you, I know I haven't, but I do ask you. Help me.
Spade: You won't need much of anybody's help. You're good. It's chiefly your eyes, I think, and that throb you get in your voice when you say things like 'Be generous, Mr. Spade.'
Brigid: I deserve that. But the lie was in the way I said it. Not at all in what I said. It's my own fault if you can't believe me now.
Spade: [smiling] Now you are dangerous.