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San Francisco detective Ed Sampas is sitting in his office when Thelonius Noble enters and says he wants to hire Sampas to recover a stolen item.
It's a black statue of a bird, about a foot high, made of lead.
"Sounds like the Maltese falcon," Sampas jokes.
"It is," Noble responds.
Turns out, Noble owns the statue from the 1941 film, and it's worth a million dollars. Reel Life Crime mirrors the plot of Dashiell Hammett's novel and John Huston's film, while being an original mystery in its own right, a tongue-in-cheek hard-boiled detective story, an affectionate tribute to the noir genre, and a commentary on how much movies impact our culture and our everyday lives.