Monday, February 12, 2007

The stuff that dreams are made of

Paging Sam Spade: The Maltese Falcon is missing once again.

Okay, so it's not the actual Maltese Falcon from the legendary 1941 Humphrey Bogart film of the same name. It's a replica of identical vintage, used originally in publicity stills for the movie. The stolen statue most recently resided at John's Grill, the venerable San Francisco restaurant where Falcon author Dashiell Hammett held court decades ago.

The filched Falcon was birdnapped sometime last weekend, along with several books autographed by Hammett, from a locked cabinet on the second floor of the eatery. The replica bears the signature of actor Elisha Cook Jr., a San Francisco native who played a nervous gunsel named Wilmer in the film.

Kasper Gutman was unavailable for comment.

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