Nathan Ward just sent along a link to an article in Vanity Fair on the subject of falcon statues — from the 1941 Bogie flick or the George Segal The Black Bird or anywhere else you might grab a falcon statue from. . . .
Has a lot of “experts” questioning why — Why, God, WHY??? — would the props department have made the props out of metal so that the metal ones weigh so much?
Gee, I don’t know — maybe because the fake one the Russian switched out in the novel was made of lead, so the weight would fool anyone thinking it was the real treasure, made of gold.
Lead. Gold. Heavy.
Oh yeah, and a theory is floated that the guy who may have designed the 1941 statue could have been involved in the Black Dahlia murder. . . .
What the hell, why not?
Check it out, if interested. I am always amazed when anyone claims that a plaster version of the Black Bird is the real Hollywood deal. Accessories to Murder manufactured those babies for years, and I don’t think I have ever met a big Hammett fan who doesn’t have one.
Or two, like I do.
Just to be clear, I firmly believe that the two metal statues — lead, I think it is, with a golden bronze patina — are authentic. Which is why one sold for over $300,000 years ago (to the Harry Winston jewel heir) and the other jumped four million not long ago. I have seen both — even pulled a shoulder muscle lifting the case with the Winston bird from the back seat of a limo one time when it rolled through the burg.
And while I haven’t seen it in person, I accept that a much lighter bakelite version (or two) exists after Bogie dropped one of the lead ones on his foot.
Remember some years ago when the falcon statue in John’s Grill supposedly was stolen? Some guy from the press called me up to ask what I thought about it. I wasn’t that concerned.
“Hey,” I told him. “If necessary, I can give them one of mine.”
I’ve got two. Made of plaster.