Monday, December 27, 2010

The stuff that dreams are made of

Today is the birthday of actor Sydney Greenstreet. He played Kasper Gutman (the Fat Man) in The Maltese Falcon.

When Sam Spade, played by Humphrey Bogart, suggests to Gutman that he sacrifice his underling, the "gunsel" Wilmer, to the police, Gutman thinks a minute, then tells Wilmer:

"I couldn't be fonder of you if you were my own son. But, well, if you lose a son, it's possible to get another. There's only one Maltese Falcon."

The private eye, too, was complicit. A deeply flawed individual. But an individual nonetheless. Not part or portion of the mass. Where others courted chaos, he craved order. Justice. What was justice if not harmony, balance? Everything in its place. No loose ends.   --  Chapter 16, The Misforgotten.

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