Wednesday, February 14, 2007

The Black Bird Is Missing

Maltese Falcon stolen from restaurant:

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Where's Sam Spade when you need him?

Thieves have stolen a copy of the bird statue at the heart of 'The Maltese Falcon' from the San Francisco restaurant used as a setting for the 1941 film classic starring Humphrey Bogart as the rough-and-tumble private detective.

The small, black figure was swiped over the weekend along with 20 vintage books, including copies of the 1930 Dashiell Hammett novel on which the film is based.

John Konstin, whose restaurant John's Grill bills itself as the 'Home of the Maltese Falcon,' said the thief broke into the case displaying the statue over the weekend. Konstin is offering a $25,000 reward for the replica's return.

While the statute is not the original movie prop, Konstin said he was offering such a big reward because this copy of the Maltese Falcon was signed by a cast member from the Bogart film.

'We want it back because of the historical and literary significance,' Konstin said in a telephone interview. 'It means a lot to us.'"

"Well, sir, you might say it belonged to the King of Spain, but I don't see how you can honestly grant anybody else clear title to it, except by right of article of that value that has passed from hand to hand by such means is clearly the property of whoever can get hold of it." -Caspar Gutman

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