The Maltese Falcon

The Maltese Falcon quotes

50 total quotes (ID: 776)

Brigid O'Shaughnessy
Joel Cairo
Multiple Characters
Sam Spade


Brigid: Don't, Sam. Don't say it even in fun. Ha, ha, ha. Oh, I was frightened for a minute. I really thought...You do such wild and unpredictable things.
Spade: Don't be silly. You're taking the fall.
Brigid: You've been playing with me. Just pretending you care to trap me like this. You didn't care at all. You don't love me!
Spade: I won't play the sap for you!
Brigid: Oh you know it's not like that. You can't say that.
Spade: Do you ever fight square with me for half an hour at a stretch since I've known you?
Brigid: You know down deep in your heart and in spite of anything I've done I love you.
Spade: I don't care who loves who!! I won't play the sap for you. I won't walk in Thursby's - and I don't know how many other's - footsteps. You killed Miles and you're going over for it.
Brigid: How can you do this to me, Sam? Surely, Mr. Archer wasn't so much to you as... [crying]


Spade: Now give me all of it fast. When you first came to my office, why did you want Thursby shadowed?
Brigid: I told you, Sam. I thought he was betraying me and I wanted to find out.
Spade: That's a lie...You wanted to get rid of him before Jacobi came with the loot so you wouldn't have to split it with him. Isn't that so? What was your scheme?
Brigid: I thought if he knew someone was following him, he'd be frightened into going away.
Spade: Miles wasn't clumsy enough to be spotted the first night. You told Thursby he was being followed.
Brigid: I told him. I told him. Yes, but please believe me, Sam. I wouldn't have told him if I thought Floyd would kill him.
Spade: If you thought he wouldn't kill Miles, you were right, angel. Miles hadn't many brains but he'd had too many years experience as a detective to be caught like that by a man he was shadowing up a blind alley with his gun in his hip and his overcoat buttoned. But he'd have gone up there with you, angel. He was just dumb enough for that! He would have looked you up and down and licked his lips and gone, grinning from ear to ear. And then you could have stood as close to him as you liked in the dark and put a hole through him with a gun you got from Thursby that evening. The police will be here any minute. Now talk!
Brigid: Oh, why do you accuse me?
Spade: This isn't the time for that school girl act. We're both of us sitting under the gallows. Now, why did you shoot Miles?
Brigid: I didn't mean to at first. Really, I didn't. But when I found out that Floyd couldn't be frightened, I...oh, I can't look at you and tell you this... [hiding her head in her hands]
Spade: You thought Thursby would tackle Miles, and one or the other of them would go down. If Thursby was killed, you were rid of him. If it was Miles, you'd see that Thursby was caught and set up for it, isn't that right?
Brigid: [sobbing] Something like that.
Spade: When you found that Thursby wasn't going to tackle him, you borrowed his gun and did it yourself, right? And when you heard Thursby was shot, you knew Gutman was in town, and you knew you needed another protector, somebody to fill Thursby's boots. So you came back to me.
Brigid: Yes. But oh, sweetheart. It wasn't only that. I'd have come back to you sooner or later. From the very first instant I saw you, I knew...
Spade: Well, if you get a good break, you'll be out of Tehachapi in 20 years and you can come back to me then. I hope they don't hang you, precious, by that sweet neck...Yes, angel, I'm gonna send you over. The chances are you'll get off with life. That means if you're a good girl, you'll be out in 20 years. I'll be waiting for you. If they hang you, I'll always remember you.

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

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.

(To Brigid O'Shaughnessy) You're good, you're very good.

(To Effie Perrine) You're a good man, sister.

Gutman: That would amount to a vastly greater sum.
Spade: How much greater?
Gutman: Who knows? Should we say a hundred thousand? Would you believe me if I name a sum that seems a probable minimum?
Spade: Why not?
Gutman: What would you say to a quarter of a million?
Spade: And you think the dingus is worth a million, huh?...That's a lot of dough....Minimum, huh? What's the maximum?
Gutman: The maximum I refuse to guess. You'd think me crazy. I don't know. No telling how high it could go, sir. It is the one and only truth about it.

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.

Spade: Uh-huh. Now, let's talk about the black bird.
Gutman: Lets. Mr. Spade, have you any conception of how much money can be got for that black bird?
Spade: No.
Gutman: Well, sir, if I told you - if I told you half, you'd call me a liar.
Spade: No, not even if I thought so. But you tell me what it is and I'll figure out the profit.
Gutman: [chuckles] You mean you don't know what that bird is?
Spade: Oh, I know what it's supposed to look like. And I know the value in human life you people put on it.
Gutman: She didn't tell you what it is? Cairo didn't either?
Spade: He offered me ten thousand for it.
Gutman: [dismissively] Ten thousand. Dollars, mind you, not even pounds. Do they know what that bird is, sir? What is your impression?
Spade: Oh, there's not very much to go by. Cairo didn't say he did and he didn't say he didn't. She said she didn't, but, uh, I took it for granted she was lying.
Gutman: Not an injudicious thing to do. If they don't know, I'm the only one in the whole wide, sweet world who does.
Spade: Swell. When you've told me, that'll make two of us.
Gutman: Mathematically correct, sir, but I don't know for certain that I'm going to tell you.
Spade: Oh, don't be foolish. You know what it is and I know where it is. That's why I'm here.
Gutman: Well, sir, where is it? You see, I must tell you what I know but you won't tell me what you know. That's hardly equitable, sir. No, no, I don't think we can do business along those lines.
Spade: [violently angry] Now think again and think fast. I told that gunsel of yours you'd have to talk to me before you're through. I'm telling you now, you'll talk to me today or you are through! [throwing his drink to the floor] What are you wasting my time for? I can get along without you! And another thing: Keep that gunsel out of my way when you're makin' up your mind! I'll kill him if you don't, I'll kill him!
Gutman: [calmly] Well, sir, I must say you have a most violent temper.
Spade: [leaving] Think it over. You've got till 5 o'clock, then you're either in or out! For keeps!

Brigid: It's more than I can ever offer you if I have to bid for your loyalty.
Spade: That's good coming from you. What have you ever given me beside money? Have you ever given me any of your confidence, any of the truth? Haven't you tried to buy my loyalty with money and nothing else?
Brigid: What else is there I can buy you with?
[Spade kisses her roughly]
Spade: I don't care what your secrets are. But I can't go ahead without more confidence in you than I've got now. You've got to convince me that you know what this is all about, that you aren't just fiddling around, hoping that it will all come out right in the end.
Brigid: Can't you trust me a little longer?

Kasper Gutman: Well, Wilmer, I'm sorry indeed to lose you, but I want you to know I couldn't be fonder of you if you were my own son. Well, if you lose a son, it's possible to get another. There's only one Maltese falcon. When you're young, you simply don't understand these things.

Gutman: We begin well, sir. I distrust a man who says 'when'. If he's got to be careful not to drink too much, it's because he's not to be trusted when he does. Well, sir, here's to plain speaking and clear understanding. [They drink.] You're a close-mouthed man.
Spade: No, I like to talk.
Gutman: Better and better. I distrust a close-mouthed man. He generally picks the wrong time to talk and says the wrong things. Talking's something you can't do judiciously unless you keep in practice. Now, sir, we'll talk if you like. I'll tell you right out - I'm a man who likes talking to a man who likes to talk.
Spade: Swell. Will we talk about the black bird?
Gutman': [chuckling] You're the man for me, sir. No beating about the bush, right to the point. Let's talk about the black bird, by all means. But first, answer me a question. Are you here as Miss O'Shaughnessy's representative?
Spade: Well, there's nothing certain either way. It depends.
Gutman: It depends on? Maybe it depends on Joel Cairo.
Spade: Maybe.
Gutman: The question is, then, which you represent. It'll be one or the other.
Spade: I didn't say so.
Gutman: Who else is there?
Spade: There's me.
Gutman: Ah. That's wonderful sir, wonderful. I do like a man who tells you right out he's looking out for himself. Don't we all? I don't trust a man who says he's not.

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.

Brigid: You know whether you love me or not.
Spade: Maybe I do. Well, I'll have some rotten nights after I've sent you over, but that will pass. If all I've said doesn't mean anything to you, then forget it and we'll make it just this: I won't because all of me wants to, regardless of consequences, and because you counted on that with me the same as you counted on that with all the others.

Brigid: You know I never would have placed myself in this position if I didn't trust you completely.
Spade: That again?
Brigid: You know that's true, you know.
Spade: You don't have to trust me so long as you persuade me to trust you. Don't worry about that now. He'll [Cairo] be along any minute.
Brigid: You are a god-send.
Spade: Oh, now don't overdo it.