I wrote earlier today, apropos of The Turn of the Screw, that “all good adaptations” of pre-existing works of art are “fairly free.” Alas, John Huston’s film of The Maltese Falcon momentarily slipped my mind. It’s extremely faithful to Dashiell Hammett’s novel. In fact, it’s said that Huston’s secretary prepared the first draft of the script by simply going through the book and retyping it as dialogue. That can’t be right, but it’s not far wrong. I don’t know a more literally adapted film version of a well-known book, or a better one….
Read the whole thing here.