Continuity mistake: At Spade's apartment, Brigid O'Shaughnessy tells Joel Cairo, "I haven't got the falcon, I'll have it in another week at most, though". The lamp on the table of the right of the screen changes position throughout the scene without anyone going near it. At first it's pointing downward then later it's pointing sideways at the three of them.
Continuity mistake: The police visit Spade's apartment after Miles Archer murder and we see a nice tie rack with several ties hanging off of it behind the lamp near his night stand. Earlier in the movie we saw this spot when he got the call about the murder and the tie rack was not there.
Continuity mistake: Brigid O'Shaughnessy goes into the kitchen to make some coffee and hands Kasper Gutman the $10,000. He shows Spade nine bills and claims that she pocketed one of the thousand dollar bills. Spade gets Gutman to admit that he, "palmed it" but if you look closely the money is never out of our sight and he never palmed anything.
Continuity mistake: Kasper Gutman drugs Spade and as they get up from the couch after speaking about the black bird we see a vase on table with roses in it. The roses have been rearranged and the items on top of the table have moved throughout the scene even though no one has gone near it.
Continuity mistake: Spade walks into his office and Effie tells him that Kasper Gutman called and that Brigid O'Shaughnessy is in his private office. When he first walks in there's nothing by the water cooler on their left but several shots later he walks out to talk to Effie again and now there's a coat rack with several coats on it moved up next to the water cooler.
Continuity mistake: Joel Cairo plays with his umbrella as he speaks to Spade about the possibility of him finding the Maltese Falcon. When he says, "I am prepared to pay, on behalf of the figure's rightful owner, the sum of $5,000 for its recovery," the handle of the umbrella changes positions between shots.
Continuity mistake: At the end of the movie everyone meets up at Spade's apartment. When he walks in he throws his hat down on the table with the phone on it in front of the window. The next time we see it up close the hat is reversed, everything on the table has been rearranged and his alarm clock appears next to the phone. Later the hat moves without anyone going near it.
01:13:50 - 01:15:50????
Revealing mistake: In the final scene where Miss O'Shaughnessy is in the elevator with the detective, the door closes and the elevator starts to 'descend', indicated by dark glass going down, supposedly because the lighted elevator is passing beyond the view of the exterior door. But if you look, you can still see the silhouette of Miss O'Shaughnessy behind the glass, not moving. It is just a piece of wood or something being lowered behind the glass to simulate the elevator going down.
Factual error: In the opening credits, it says that the Knights Templar of Malta paid tribute to the King of Spain with the Falcon in 1539. The Knights that were in Malta were the Knights Hospitallers of the Order of St. John of Jerusalem. They mixed with the order of the Knights Templar, which went out of existence in 1314 and has also been founded in Jerusalem. They had nothing to do with Malta.
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