THE FALCON QUOTE

Humphrey Bogart, who had to survive 1930s  Hollywood before becoming one of the biggest stars of all, made two films ,THE MALTESE FALCON and CASABLANCA which have some of the most iconic lines of dialogue in any movie.
Like everyone ,I’ve always loved Sam Spade’s final line in MALTESE FALCON ( ok,if you want to call Ward Bond’s “Huh?” the final line…).
Ward Bond lifts the Falcon and says, It’s heavy. What is it?”
Bogart puts his hand on the black bird and slowly and deliberately says:
“The – stuff that dreams are made of.”
The famous line is delivered perfectly – the hesitation after the first word,the quietness of his tone,he is almost unaware of the other man. All that has gone before is going through his mind including the final parting with Mary Astor.

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I know the line wasn’t in Dashiell Hammett’s book and the general consensus seems to be that Humphrey Bogart came up with the line.
What I didn’t  know until recently is that the line paraphrases none other than Shakespeare from his play,The Tempest,in which Prospero says,
“We are such stuff as dreams are made on – and our little life is rounded with a sleep.”

4 responses »

  1. Marvelous movie. Bogart was such a great actor. He could even elevate bad films to some form of watchable entertainment. And, yes, the amount of iconic lines he has under his belt from those two films alone is extraordinary.

  2. He could deliver a line like nobody else, and had so many great ones. Definitely agree with you that it’s a shame he had to wait for so many years to get his due – when you see him in those early “heavy” parts he always stands out.

  3. I think people like Hal Wallis and John Huston deserve credit for recognising that Bogart could carry a film and be a leading man even with his unconventional looks.

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