Has anyone ever seen an accurate Maltese Falcon?

Discussion in 'Replica Props' started by MK, Jul 1, 2003.

  1. MK

    MK New Member

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    All the one I have ever seen were from some resculpt with fat heads.
     
  2. ZenBird

    ZenBird New Member

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    Me too, and I'd love one. I've been trying to lay hands on one of these since I got into props a buncha years ago, but all I see are crappy casts and bad sculpts.
     
  3. DARTH SABER

    DARTH SABER Master Member

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    I think Acme used to make them (Same guys that used to make the gold plated Staff of Ra headpiece)...
    Im not sure how accurate they were though..
     
  4. Treadwell

    Treadwell Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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  5. Ryusui

    Ryusui Well-Known Member

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  6. Probe Droid

    Probe Droid Master Member

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    I have one of the cheapo plaster ones that look pretty close. Not as much detail in the feathers, but as has been said, even the original RKO prop is soft looking.

    Several years ago there was a story in the newspaper about a guy who bought one of these at a flea market and it turned out to be one of the three original RKO props (it had some info scratched into the bottom that was traceable back to the studio). The guy was a budding filmmaker and he resold it for a fortune and used the money to finance a film. Nice story, but probably as phony as the black bird itself.
     
  7. patsmear

    patsmear Sr Member

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    I will try to get some pics on July 14th.

    Harry Anderson is opening a shop here and he has what he says is an original. He said he swiped it after filming an episode of Night Court that it was featured in.


    Pat
     
  8. Ryusui

    Ryusui Well-Known Member

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    </SPAN><TABLE BORDER=0 ALIGN=CENTER WIDTH=85%><TR><TD CLASS=$row_color>
    patsmear wrote:
    <HR></TD></TR><TR><TD CLASS=$row_color>
    Harry Anderson is opening a shop here and he has what he says is an original. He said he swiped it after filming an episode of Night Court that it was featured in.
    </TD></TR><TR><TD><HR></TD></TR></TABLE><SPAN CLASS=$row_color>
    Bloody lucky bastard! [​IMG]
     
  9. patsmear

    patsmear Sr Member

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    He is a really nice guy too.

    You will always find him drinking in Molly's or Harry's corner.


    Pat
     
  10. MK

    MK New Member

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    What do you think of this one?

    [attachmentid=4577]

    [attachmentid=4578]
     
  11. obi1kenny

    obi1kenny Well-Known Member

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    Looks great MK!
     
  12. Droidboy

    Droidboy Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    To further expand on the Anderson story, I saw him on the Tonight Show years ago talking about it. I guess he took a replica that he had to the set to be a part of his office set dressing. An executive heard he wanted to take it home, and instead offered him one of two that were in a box somewhere at the studio. This turned out to be a real one.

    Harry went back later to take the other with a friend, who got the other copy. The friend...the one and only Mel Torme.


    MK....

    Your bird looks awesome. This is definitely one of the holy grails for my collection.

    Gregg
     
  13. LZeitgeist

    LZeitgeist Well-Known Member

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    If you're offering that one, I'm curious of price/availability... but even if it (or any 'brothers' it might have) aren't available, it's still gorgeous...
     
  14. misterfusion

    misterfusion Sr Member

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    As of about a year and a half ago, Warner Bros. had one on display in their studio museum, along with Sam's piano and a handful of documents.
     
  15. patsmear

    patsmear Sr Member

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    Wow,

    I forgot about this thread. I still haven't gone to Harry's shop.

    Droidboy,

    That is a great story. I wasn't sure how he got it and didn't want to ask!

    Pat
     
  16. Probe Droid

    Probe Droid Master Member

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    There were two screen-used Falcon props. One is a 50-pound lead statue used in the scene where Gutman attacks it on Spade's desk. The other is lighter so the actors could lift it. Both are accounted for. One, which is owned by a man named Gary Milan, who also owns Sam's piano from Casablanca as well as several other Casablanca screen-used props and set pieces, is on display in the Warner Brothers museum in CA. Warners had a bunch of Falcons cast to give away as promotional pieces after the film was released. This might be what Harry Anderson has.
     
  17. MK

    MK New Member

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    </SPAN><TABLE BORDER=0 ALIGN=CENTER WIDTH=85%><TR><TD CLASS=$row_color>
    Probe Droid wrote:
    <HR></TD></TR><TR><TD CLASS=$row_color>
    There were two screen-used Falcon props. One is a 50-pound lead statue used in the scene where Gutman attacks it on Spade's desk. The other is lighter so the actors could lift it. Both are accounted for. One, which is owned by a man named Gary Milan, who also owns Sam's piano from Casablanca as well as several other Casablanca screen-used props and set pieces, is on display in the Warner Brothers museum in CA. Warners had a bunch of Falcons cast to give away as promotional pieces after the film was released. This might be what Harry Anderson has.
    </TD></TR><TR><TD><HR></TD></TR></TABLE><SPAN CLASS=$row_color>

    Mostly correct.

    The lead bird is 43&1/2 pounds. There were two made for the Bogart film. Dr. Milan owns the one for the reveal at the end of the movie. William Conrad owned the other which is not clear if it was seen on screen or a back up.

    I have not seen any evidence that plaster birds were cast. The better plaster ones you can by on e-bay and in Hollywood stores are from the 1975 movie, The Black Bird with George Segal. They are easily recognizable by the pronouced feathers on the chest....like this one:

    [​IMG]


    Thanks for the kind words about my feathered friend.
     
  18. LZeitgeist

    LZeitgeist Well-Known Member

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    Ahh, *that*'s why mine doesn't look quite accurate... mine is a replica from The Black Bird. The beak is much rounder and less-pronounced, too...

    So.. does the other one have any brothers? [​IMG] PM me if you prefer...
     
  19. Probe Droid

    Probe Droid Master Member

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    MK:
    I got that info from a friend of mine who is a leading Dashiell Hammett scholar. He visited Milan a few weeks ago, and Milan told him about Warners casting copies as giveaways. Considering his collection, Milan sounds like a guy who has done his homework. It also sounds like a perfectly logical thing for a studio to do to promote the film, so I believe they existed at one time.
     
  20. MK

    MK New Member

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    My information regarding the plaster birds comes directly from my conversation with Dr. Milan. The story about plaster birds given to execs is true......but they were from the 1975 movie. That is why none of the e-bay/Hollywood falcons look like the one from the Bogart movie. I have searched far and wide and have yet to see a plaster(....or any other material) falcon that is from the sculpture from the 1941 movie. Have you? Pictures anyone? If I am in error, please show me.

    The story about this prop is almost as sorted as the Falcon in the movie itself. [​IMG]
     
  21. Apollo

    Apollo Legendary Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    [​IMG] It is a Elusive Bird!! [​IMG]
     
  22. MK

    MK New Member

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    Here is a frame grab from the movie. The chest is very different from the e-bay birds.

    [​IMG]
     
  23. Probe Droid

    Probe Droid Master Member

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    MK wrote:

    </SPAN><TABLE BORDER=0 ALIGN=CENTER WIDTH=85%><TR><TD CLASS=$row_color>Quote:<HR></TD></TR><TR><TD CLASS=$row_color>The story about this prop is almost as sorted as the Falcon in the movie itself.</TD></TR><TR><TD><HR></TD></TR></TABLE><SPAN CLASS=$row_color>

    I have to laugh, because when I asked my friend about this he said exactly: "There is about as much controversy about the movie falcon as the real one in the novel."

    So that seems to be the universal concensus on the bird. I'm going to be talking this guy some time in the next few weeks. He has a book coming out on Hammett and the writing of The Maltese Falcon, which I'm reviewing, so I'll ask him if he knows anything more on those casts, and I'll give him your info about the casts from The Black Bird. Maybe he got the two mixed up. I'll let you know what he says.
     
  24. MK

    MK New Member

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    Fair enough. I look forward to your findings.
     
  25. SinkTube Jedi

    SinkTube Jedi Well-Known Member

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    Well MK, I see you frequent this board. Too bad about the Falcon over at the Fedora Lounge, I guess you had to be part of the "club" to be part of it. Or read your email a little earlier.....
     
  26. MK

    MK New Member

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    [attachmentid=4579]
     
  27. yodaman

    yodaman Sr Member

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    archived
     
  28. Fresno

    Fresno Member

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    MK time for another run of the black bird?
     
  29. SchubroProductions

    SchubroProductions Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I thought someone had a post on here to a link showing a video of Adam Savage trying to replicate it.
     
  30. Fresno

    Fresno Member

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    Here is the You Tube Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=29SopXQfc_s

    It is a talk he gave in 12/08 re his journey to produce an accurate Maltese Falcon. Very entertaining, as you would expect from Adam.

    I know he was going to continue this quest but I have not heard of any updates in some time.
     
  31. zenix

    zenix Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    i heard about the rpf from his ted talk. i found a plaster one at a salvation army for only $4 =)
     
  32. BronzeGiant

    BronzeGiant New Member

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    I have a plaster one that I bought from a shop in the Chicago area many years ago and, you know what, it's good enough for me.:D
     
  33. rodneyfaile

    rodneyfaile Sr Member

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    I purchased one for Haunted Studios off eBay and was very disappointed. I was expecting something great judging by the reviews posted on their eBay account. I promptly returned it and was given a full refund, but wasnt allowed to comment regarding what I thought of the item. I suppose the lesson is that reviews arent worth much seeing as how its only a collection of favorable opinions omitting the true critiques.
    It wasnt good enough. I want something more. Something along the lines of what Adam Savage is doing. Hopefully something like that will be available for purchase eventually. Something solid and quality.
     
  34. Fresno

    Fresno Member

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    I could not agree more. Adam was on the track but no updates in over a year. The biggest hurdle is clearly to obtain an original to laser scan. So far no one seems to have the right contacts.

    With an accurate laser scan a cmc master could be produced for duplication.

    I can supply the scanning, cnc, molding and casting if someone has the contact with an owner of an original prop.
     
  35. Zombie_61

    Zombie_61 Master Member

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    You also have to remember the "average Joe" doesn't have the discerning eye many of us here on the RPF have. To them it looks like the Maltese Falcon, and that's good enough. There's nothing wrong with that, but most of us here have at least a slightly higher standard. But, yeah, if you're selling a "not too accurate" product you'd want to minimize the negative critiques as much as possible.
     
  36. agent5

    agent5 Sr Member

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    WOW! Here's an "old thread" resurected back from the "dead"....
     
  37. DS Operative

    DS Operative Well-Known Member

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    I've been debating starting a new thread, but since this one has been necromanced I'll post here.

    I would love to have one of Adam's Falcon's, and I'm still hopeful that he will offer a limited run here for us. If he ever does, I will definitely be in for one. I know his will be accurate and it will bragging points to be able to say that I have one of Adam's birds.

    But I am getting impatient and would like to have one now to fill the void on my display shelf. I've been waiting for over a year now for an update from Adam, but he hasn't offered any news lately and I don't want to be a pest. I'm willing to settle for something a little less accurate until Adam makes his available, but I definitely don't want another Haunted Studios version. Maybe somebody else offers a very nice representation of the bird.

    Does somebody offer a good Maltese Falcon replica?
     
  38. Lightning

    Lightning Well-Known Member

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    I've got an unfinished hydrostone cast of my sculpt. It's a little rough, some bubbles that need to be filled, things like that.

    While we're on the subject can I get a critique of my falcon? I've never offered copies because I'm not sure if it's good enough. progress shots and finished photos in my flickr set.
    Maltese Falcon - a set on Flickr
     
  39. DS Operative

    DS Operative Well-Known Member

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    Lightning-- yours looks great, and definitely much better than the Haunted Studios piece. The detail on the chest/breast is much more accurate and the feathers/wings are much better too. However, I have only see the HS version up close and never seen any other versions-- I by no means consider myself an expert. That being said, I'd love to have yours displayed on my shelf. Great job!
     
  40. rodneyfaile

    rodneyfaile Sr Member

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    its not just the fact that there are major inconsistencies in the haunted Studios reproduction. (when you take time to really compare, its no where close)

    my major problem is the material. it was made out of some sort of brittle VERY LIGHTWEIGHT chalky plaster and covered in cheap soft paint.
     
  41. Mike J.

    Mike J. Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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  42. Mike J.

    Mike J. Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    One of the lead ones.
     
  43. Mike J.

    Mike J. Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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  44. Mike J.

    Mike J. Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Two more pics of the resin one.
     

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