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I plan on being the supreme dictator of the country, if not the world. Therefore, you might want to stay on my good side. Just a hint: ABBA rules!

7.9.05

Let's cast The Maltese Falcon remake!


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Sure, The Maltese Falcon is a great movie, but that's never stopped people from remaking movies in the past! It's also been made more than once, and we only remember the 1941 version because it's the last time it's been made. Come on! Let's cast the remake!

Okay, the last time I did this, only Thomas participated, because he's awesome. But everyone should jump right in this time!

In case you're unfamiliar with this rather excellent slice of film noir, well, shame on you. But here is the cast list. So let's do some casting!

The reason most movies shouldn't be remade isn't because of the story, but because the casting is perfect. Come on - Audrey Hepburn or Julia Ormond in Sabrina? John Huston's version of The Maltese Falcon has an almost perfect cast, and that's why no one has redone it. I'm sure Jerry Bruckheimer is considering it! Of course, he'd have to find a Sam Spade. In the original it was Bogart:

Boy, what a good choice. Who can replace him? Posted by Picasa

The femme fatale in a film noir is also pretty important. Mary Astor played Brigid O'Shaughnessy in the 1941 version:

That's her on the left, by the way. Posted by Picasa

The magnificent Peter Lorre played Joel Cairo, whom Lorre played a tad effeminate. Of course, Lorre played everything a bit effeminate. And creepy!

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And Sydney Greenstreet played Kasper Gutman, who wants the Falcon more than anything and has that great scene at the end when he goes a bit ballistic as he discovers the bird is fake. He's a big man - who can fill that role?

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Here's the whole cast, in case you forgot what they looked like:

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A couple of key cast members for whom I could not find pictures: Effie Perine, played by Lee Patrick, as Spade's girl Friday, and Elisha Cook, Jr. as Wilmer Cook, the idiot gunsel whom they all frame at the end. Cook, of course, is also known as Ice Pick from Magnum, P.I. What a great show.

Anyway, get to work, people! It opens Christmas of 2006, just in time for Oscar consideration!

20 Comments:

Blogger Krys said...

We discussed this already, but for the record...

Sam Spade: George Clooney

Brigid: Charlize Theron

Joel Cairo: either Steve Buscemi or William H. Macy

Wilmer: Topher Grace

Effie: Parker Posey could probably make this role much more interesting than it was in the original.

Kasper Gutman: This was a tough one--if only Brando was still alive. He's not, so I'll have to go with John Goodman--that's still not quite right though. Maybe someone else will have a better idea for this role.

We need more fat, stately actors!

7/9/05 4:51 PM  
Blogger San Nakji said...

I always thought the movie was about Malta. I was disappointed to find it out it wasn't. If it is remade, they need to shoot it entirely around Valetta!

7/9/05 5:21 PM  
Blogger Thomas said...

Sam Spade - a younger Harrison Ford.

Brigid - Hilary Swank

Joel Cairo - Peter Stormare

Kaspar - Robert De Niro (he can do the fattening up thing)

7/9/05 6:02 PM  
Blogger Jason said...

My money's on Samuel Jackson as Sam Spade and reimaging Brigid as Spade's reluctant buddy-private dick played by Ben Stiller because movies that humorously highlight the differences between white people and black people bank a lot more money than noir romances.

Then I'd say Adam Sandler as Cairo. This way, when Jackson slaps him, he can go flying through a table, get up and scream really loud only to have Spade slap him again.

Gutman is going to be reimaged into a breakdancing robot voiced by James Earl Jones.

(Damn, I failed the "are you a human" test you need to pass to post)

7/9/05 7:56 PM  
Blogger Roger Owen Green said...

OK- actually, I like Krys' selections, but:

Pierce Brosnan
Thandie Newton
Matt Dillon
Charles S. Dutton
Ginnifer Goodwin
Jack Black

8/9/05 2:50 AM  
Blogger Gordon said...

For the Kasper Gutman role, how's about Maury Chaykin? He stars as Nero Wolfe on A & E, he's a big guy, and he could probably pull it off.

My second choice would be a digitially inserted Orson Welles, with Maurice LaMarche doing voice overs - it would be cool.

Creepy, but cool.

8/9/05 6:39 AM  
Blogger Krys said...

I thought of someone else good for the Kasper Gutman role: The dude that played Imhotep in 'The Mummy', and more recently starred on '24'--I think his name is Arnold Vosloo.

He's not fat, but he is sort of imposing & a bit more dignified than John Goodman (or the break-dancing robot).

8/9/05 11:36 AM  
Blogger Greg said...

I think, although Jason is insane, Samuel L. could actually work as Spade. He's maybe not seedy enough, but otherwise - score!

Let's see - I like Thandie Newton, then Hilary Swank as Brigid, Buscemi as Cairo, Jack Black as Wilmer, Parker Posey as Effie, and Maury Chaykin is an inspired choice for Gutman (although I like Vosloo as well). I think we have a movie!

8/9/05 1:50 PM  
Blogger tomthedog said...

Lorre's role would HAVE to be Buscemi. For Greenstreet, James Gandolfini. (He's maybe too young, but you could work around that.) For Mary Astor, maybe Jennifer Jason Leigh. (She might be too old now. Or not.) But to take over from Bogart -- man, that's tough. Can't be too handsome, has to be kind of worn down by life, but still cold and steely. Ed Harris comes to mind, but that's still not quite right. I'll have to think on that some.

8/9/05 2:13 PM  
Blogger layne said...

Sam: Billy Bob Thorton

Brigid: Judy Greer

Joel Cairo: Willem DeFoe (Oddly, my second choice to play Spade!) Or - dare I? - Chris Kattan!

Wilmer: Alfonso Ribeiro

Effie: Sara Rue

Kasper Gutman: Curse you all for beating me to Maury Chaykin! My second choice? Jeffrey Tambor. Hey now!

8/9/05 2:46 PM  
Blogger Krys said...

Tom! Ed Harris is kind of sexy in some weird way. Not a bad choice.

8/9/05 5:00 PM  
Blogger Ashley said...

Some initial thoughts for an eclectic cast:

Sam Spade: Benicio Del Toro or (another extreme) Jude Law (provided that he put on about 15 lbs of muscle).

Brigid: Anabella Sciorra (perhaps too old?) or Angie Harmon (understated)

Joel Cairo: Joe Pantoliano or Nathan Lane...

8/9/05 7:35 PM  
Blogger Greg said...

Hmmm ... More good choices. A casting director's dream!

I thought I'd throw Michael Wincott in there as Spade because, well, he needs the work.

9/9/05 7:17 AM  
Blogger Logan said...

You're all wrong!

The movie should be remade with the cast of Seinfeld!

It totally works!

9/9/05 7:41 AM  
Blogger Harvey Jerkwater said...

For added fun: “gunsel” doesn’t mean “gun-toting thug.” It means “boy-toy.” Hammett used it into the novel to indicate that Gutman and Wilmer were lovers. Or at least that Spade accused them of such. That it mutated into meaning “gun-toting thug” is kinda funny. So adding in a frisson of sexual attraction between the two might be worth considering. Okay, probably not.

Hammett described Spade as looking like a blonde Satan: sharp-featured, attractive, morally dubious. Wasn’t he having an affair with Archer’s wife? (It’s been a while since I read the book or saw the movie.)

The part should go to someone like William Holden: handsome, charming, always on the verge of screwing everyone over. You never know quite what Spade is thinking or what he’ll do, though you can be sure he’ll take care of himself first and foremost.

You shouldn’t cast a heroic actor to play him; you should get someone who the audience doubts, somebody who they see just might let the girl get away with it. The whole damn story pivots on the ending, and if Spade’s played as a white knight, the ending fizzles.

I’d get a handsome middle-aged actor who usually plays criminals to play Spade. Can’t think of one off the top of my head though. Dang it.

9/9/05 9:49 AM  
Blogger Greg said...

I'm speechless. Logan, that's brilliant. Only if Kramer plays Spade, though, and Jerry plays Joel Cairo.

Harvey, that's some good trivia. I didn't know that. And yes, the implication is that Spade and Archer's wife were getting busy. I can't remember if it's actually said, but it's pretty obvious (it's been a while since I've seen the very beginning - I always seem to catch it halfway through).

That's why I picked Michael Wincott as Spade. If you don't know him, you're wrong, because he's the bad guy from The Crow (and damn was he good in it). He's always a bad guy (Metro) or seedy kind of guy (Alien Resurrection). He doesn't get enough work, in my excellent opinion.

9/9/05 11:20 AM  
Blogger Aries327 said...

After Harvey's comment, perhaps someone like Gary Oldman for Spade. He's usually a villain but has played some good guys on occasion. Either way, he's got that double-edged feel to him.

I really like Parker Posey, Steve Buscemi and John Goodman for the other roles. And since Krys and Greg are leaning that way, you might as well go with George Clooney for Spade and have the Coen brother's direct it. They're probably the only guys who'd do it right today, anyway. Any other director would gloss it up and lose the story in favor of unbelievable special effects and gorgeous scenery.

11/9/05 11:44 AM  
Blogger Thomas said...

What is the next movie that we are going to recast, Greg?

11/9/05 5:22 PM  
Blogger Greg said...

I don't know, Thomas. It's usually a spontaneous thing, when the spirit moves me. This time I saw the movie on TCM or FMC or someplace like that and thought - cool thing to recast.

The Coen brothers would be a great choice to produce/direct. Very good, especially because they've done noir before.

11/9/05 6:02 PM  
Anonymous Tammy said...

Sam Spade: Brad Pitt
Brigid: Angelie Jolie
Effie: Maggie Gyllenhaal
Archer: George Clooney
Archer's wife: Jennifer Aniston
Cairo: Johnny Depp
Gutman: Jonathan Rhys-Davies
Wilmer: Brandon T. Jackson

I like the earlier version of the Falcon - its more overt sexiness. I'd love to see Effie pushed into a more butch bisexual just to make the flirtiness between her and Spade more intriguing.

5/2/12 10:07 AM  

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