The US Post Office just released stamps depicting famous film directors with scenes from one of their best-known films. 

Here’s a little John Huston with an image of Sam Spade with The Maltese Falcon.

And Billy Wilder with Marilyn and her ukelele from Some Like It Hot.

RED HARVEST, Dashiell Hammett. Vintage edition.
All I can remember about this one is mobsters and bullets flying. Not a good sign. Must reread.

RED HARVEST, Dashiell Hammett. Vintage edition.

All I can remember about this one is mobsters and bullets flying. Not a good sign. Must reread.

I realize this dates me but I watched the mini-series of Dashiell Hammett’s THE DAIN CURSE when it first aired on TV in 1978. I was kid then, and the plot was a muddle. Enjoyed the book, though.
James Coburn played The Continental Op, who is nameless in all the stories but named here.

I realize this dates me but I watched the mini-series of Dashiell Hammett’s THE DAIN CURSE when it first aired on TV in 1978. I was kid then, and the plot was a muddle. Enjoyed the book, though.

James Coburn played The Continental Op, who is nameless in all the stories but named here.

I’ve read all of Hammett but only have a few paperbacks in the older Vintage editions. I grew up with the black cover depicting the bird. This cover, left, which debuted in the 1970s, retailed for $1.95. 

In recent years, Vintage (aka Random House) has switched to a more lurid pulpy cover for the title.

The older cover credits the Atkins Museum in St Louis with the image of the black bird. The sculpture is actually a 2200-year-old Egyptian piece depicting the god Horus as a hawk. You can see the real thing at the museum’s website here. It delighted me to see that the museum (on another page) unofficially refers to the bird as the Maltese Falcon.

I’d love to visit that museum, walk in, and ask the guards to see the Maltese Falcon. I bet they’d know where to direct me.