Maltese Falcon stolen from John's Grill

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Tristan Indiana
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2007/02/13 17:21:56 (permalink)

Maltese Falcon stolen from John's Grill

I read on sfgate that someone stole the Maltese Falcon from San Francisco's John's Grill over the weekend. The restaurant is mentioned as a hangout for Sam Spade in Hammett's book of the same name. Owner John Konstin is offering 25Gs for its safe return. The statue was the one used in the Bogart movie.
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    Ashphalt
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    RE: Maltese Falcon stolen from John's Grill 2007/02/13 17:49:19 (permalink)
    Hollywood legend I've heard is that there are several of the "original" Maltese Falcons floating around. It was done not only for the sake of ease in filming, but to create a mystique about the object.

    But, that still just stinks that John's has been stolen.
    #2
    C Turner Joy
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    RE: Maltese Falcon stolen from John's Grill 2007/02/13 17:59:54 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Tristan Indiana

    I read on sfgate that someone stole the Maltese Falcon from San Francisco's John's Grill over the weekend. The restaurant is mentioned as a hangout for Sam Spade in Hammett's book of the same name. Owner John Konstin is offering 25Gs for its safe return. The statue was the one used in the Bogart movie.


    It wasn't the one from the movie.

    "The real one was made of lead and heavy like the stone you'd tie around a dead man's neck before you tossed him into the bay. They said Bogey dropped it on his toe and limped through the whole picture. The movie people made a couple others, for publicity, out of plaster. This was one of those."

    #3
    koblak
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    RE: Maltese Falcon stolen from John's Grill 2007/02/13 18:14:56 (permalink)
    look for the fat man
    #4
    BT
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    RE: Maltese Falcon stolen from John's Grill 2007/02/13 19:02:13 (permalink)
    The Crime Scene


    The Victim


    The Loot


    quote:
    Maltese Falcon flies the coop
    Copy of famed statuette, long a resident of John's Grill, is stolen over the weekend
    John Koopman, Chronicle Staff Writer
    Tuesday, February 13, 2007

    The busted cabinet doesn't look like much. It's old wood and is stained with the smoke of a thousand cigarettes. A piece of molding on the front dangles from a nail like the hopes and dreams of every tourist who ever fell in love with the foggy city on the Bay.
    It's the last place anyone ever saw the Maltese Falcon. Except for the weasel who took it.
    John Konstin owns the joint. It's been in his family forever, or 40 years. That writer, Dashiell Hammett, used to eat at his place, called John's Grill over on Ellis. When he wrote the book, "The Maltese Falcon," he mentioned the place a couple of times. Said Sam Spade used to eat there. Chops, potatoes and sliced tomatoes, to be exact. And smoked there.
    So John's Grill is some kind of shrine to Hammett and Sam Spade and "The Maltese Falcon." The book and the movie with that actor, Humphrey Bogart.
    Konstin likes the Maltese Falcon so much, he tried to buy it once. The real one. The one from the movie. Which wasn't worth anything, if you saw the flick, but everyone thought it was worth a fortune. "The, uh, stuff that dreams are made of," Spade says at the end of the moving picture show.
    The real one was made of lead and heavy like the stone you'd tie around a dead man's neck before you tossed him into the bay. They said Bogey dropped it on his toe and limped through the whole picture. The movie people made a couple others, for publicity, out of plaster. This was one of those.
    Konstin got it from one of the actors in the movie, Elisha Cook Jr. A local boy made good in the movie business. If you saw the movie, you remember him as Wilmer the gunsel. Spade's favorite whipping boy. There's a line in the movie, Spade humiliating the young thug, hitting him and saying, "When you're slapped, you'll take it and like it."
    Later, Wilmer says, "Keep on riding me and they're gonna be picking iron out of your liver."
    Spade responds: "The cheaper the crook, the gaudier the patter, eh?"
    Konstin misses the bird. It's a part of his spirit and soul. He looks at the empty shelves of that old cabinet like he can't believe his eyes.
    "At first I thought it was a joke, or maybe the waiters were playing a prank," he said, pouring a glass of sparkling water. The kind Spade would have spat on the already-spat-on sidewalk.
    It was no joke.
    Now the coppers want to know who lifted the goods. The list of suspects is as long as the line of tourists waiting to get on the cable car at Powell Street.
    Konstin showed off the Falcon in a corner cabinet on the second floor. The bird kept company with books. Lots of books. Old books by Hammett himself, and signed. Even a copy of a Herb Caen book. All gone now.
    Konstin reckons it was one of his many customers. The second floor is open only for dinner. The thief was probably someone who had dinner in the upstairs dining room and saw the Falcon and the books. He might have hid up there, waiting for the right moment to leap out, bust open the door and snag his booty.
    Or was it an inside job?
    "Don't look at me," said waiter Jimmy Hazard. That's Hazard, he said, as in "trouble."
    The caper could have been about jealousy and revenge. And maybe Jack Immendorf, who's been a private dick in this town since giants walked the Earth, wanted it. He threw in with Konstin years ago to buy the real McCoy, and he admits that he loves Spade and Hammett and all that old San Francisco lore.
    "Yes, I suppose I could be a suspect," Immendorf said with a laugh. He was clearly startled by the idea. Before that, he went on and on about who might have been the skell who did it.
    Could have been a common thief who figured to sell it to make a quick bundle. Could have been a fan of the movie or the book or the writer. Could be a private collector. Could be a lot of people.
    Konstin wants the bird and the books back so much he's willing to fork over some cash. $25,000 in cold, hard for whoever brings the stuff back to his joint.
    "No questions asked," he said.
    They never are. Not in this town.
    The Falcon legend
    The statue: In Dashiell Hammett's novel "The Maltese Falcon" and the movie starring Humphrey Bogart, the falcon was a jewel-encrusted gold statuette of a bird, covered in black enamel to hide its value.
    The story: Stolen again and again over the centuries, the falcon apparently found its way to San Francisco, pursued by detective Sam Spade.
    The twist: A copy of the statuette used in the movie resided at John's Grill for years until it was stolen over the weekend.
    E-mail John Koopman at jkoopman@sfchronicle.com.
    This article appeared on page A - 1 of the San Francisco Chronicle


    Better days
    #5
    EdSails
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    RE: Maltese Falcon stolen from John's Grill 2007/02/13 19:22:46 (permalink)
    My bet's on Joel Cairo. I never trusted him.

    I do regret that the last time I was in SF, I walked past John's Grill on the way back from a dinner and never stopped in. I'm sure I would have enjoyed a drink there.

    #6
    Davydd
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    RE: Maltese Falcon stolen from John's Grill 2007/02/13 19:43:06 (permalink)
    Well it wasn't me. It's been 15 years since I stopped in at John's Grill.
    #7
    Oneiron339
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    RE: Maltese Falcon stolen from John's Grill 2007/02/14 07:12:23 (permalink)
    I think John did it for the publicity.
    #8
    buffetbuster
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    RE: Maltese Falcon stolen from John's Grill 2007/02/14 08:04:24 (permalink)
    Apparently, it is the stuff that dreams are made of.
    #9
    mr chips
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    RE: Maltese Falcon stolen from John's Grill 2007/02/14 21:56:46 (permalink)
    I own an imitation Falcon and it is on my desk at home. Son Sam thought the one at John's Grill was an imitation of mine. And we all know which detective agency to hire to look for it.
    #10
    mayor al
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    RE: Maltese Falcon stolen from John's Grill 2007/03/05 21:20:15 (permalink)
    Where is Dirty Harry when we need him? He'd have that damn Bird back on the shelf in a minute, and a string of two-bit hoods laying in the street waiting for the Hammer to click on that empty chamber! "Did I fire 5 or 6 times, Hmm, Do you remember? Well, Do Ya, Punk?"

    (Ok so I mix the Movie Metaphors a bit. At least I got the city right!)
    #11
    UncleVic
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    RE: Maltese Falcon stolen from John's Grill 2007/03/05 21:33:43 (permalink)
    Hire Kojak.. He'll solve the crime in an hour.
    #12
    Ashphalt
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    RE: Maltese Falcon stolen from John's Grill 2007/03/06 12:18:42 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by UncleVic

    Hire Kojak.. He'll solve the crime in an hour.



    Nah! If you're going 70s it's gotta be Pepper Anderson, "Police Woman." She'll dress up like a prostitute to get to the bottom of the case, slam back something pink at John's bar, chase the bad guys in heels and never muss one platinum blonde hair.

    Now that's detective work!
    #13
    Extreme Glow
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    RE: Maltese Falcon stolen from John's Grill 2007/03/06 17:45:51 (permalink)
    How about Detective Lt. Mike Stone and Inspector Steve Keller? Right city anyway.
    #14
    Salustra
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    RE: Maltese Falcon stolen from John's Grill 2007/03/06 17:56:02 (permalink)
    Hmmm, my money's on BT. He posted the before and after crime scene photos right on this site!
    #15
    Pat T Hat
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    RE: Maltese Falcon stolen from John's Grill 2007/03/06 20:08:51 (permalink)
    Ted Turner did the boostin' I tell ya! Yeah yeah see...it's like this see...

    I was watchin' the picture box when alls the sudden there it is...The back bird!

    With my shamus like detective skills I quickly deduce I'm on the Turner Classic Movie channel.

    Gotta go and see if Bogey needs another arm!
    #16
    mr chips
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    RE: Maltese Falcon stolen from John's Grill 2007/03/06 20:19:06 (permalink)
    Another possibility woud be police commissioner Stewart McMillan. I understand his wife is quite attractive and sometimes helps him on his cases.
    #17
    Davydd
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    RE: Maltese Falcon stolen from John's Grill 2007/03/06 20:35:06 (permalink)
    Maltese Falcon is on Turner Classic Movies as I type. Go watch it if you can break yourself away from American Idol.
    #18
    CajunKing
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    RE: Maltese Falcon stolen from John's Grill 2007/03/07 13:17:33 (permalink)
    The MF is 1000 times better than IDOL
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    buffetbuster
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    RE: Maltese Falcon stolen from John's Grill 2007/03/07 13:56:28 (permalink)
    Davydd-
    I actually caught about the last hour of the movie last night. Great movie! It also got me thinking about that strange song in the 80's by Jon & Vangelis, "The Friends of Mr. Cairo". I wouldn't mind getting a copy of that.
    #20
    Salustra
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    RE: Maltese Falcon stolen from John's Grill 2007/03/07 14:02:38 (permalink)
    I missed it last night, so it's now on top of my Netflix list.
    #21
    Extreme Glow
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    RE: Maltese Falcon stolen from John's Grill 2007/03/07 18:55:58 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Extreme Glow

    How about Detective Lt. Mike Stone and Inspector Steve Keller? Right city anyway.


    That would be Karl Malden and Michael Douglas in The Streets of San Francisco, if you didn't know.

    Yes, I watched it last night. I've seen it many times but I watch it every time it's on TCM, just like The Big Sleep, Casablanca, and They Were Expendable.
    #22
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