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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The Maltese Falcon \"Heater\"

I just bought The Maltese Falcon on DVD, which was made in 1941. In one of the scenes, the character played by Peter Loree, brandishes his semi-auto pistol at Bogart's character, Rick. Rick knocks it out of his hand and they do a close up of the pistol. I put it on pause as it lay on the floor, and it sure looks like a Colt 25 semi-auto. It has the medallion on it but it's not clear enough to see the Rampant Colt. I do think Rick mentions it's a 25. He also calls the pistol a "heater." Don't you just love it. Where do you think the word "heater" originated? The classic movies sure used alot of gun action. Also, in the beginnig of the movie he sees a foreign made gun, names it, and calls it an automatic, but it sure looks like a revolver. I thought you movie and Colt enthusiasts would be interested in taking a look and giving feedback. Rick
 

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Re: The Maltese Falcon \"Heater\"

bisley, I'm sorry I don't know. Now I'm going to have to watch that again. Haven't seen it in quite a while.

I have a related question, though. What the heck is that thing that Rick uses to light his cigarette? Sitting on his desk-can't remember which scene.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Re: The Maltese Falcon \"Heater\"

I've never seen one before either until the movie. It looks like a match that when he pulls up on it, it lights. It's in at least 2 scenes, one time the "dame" lights one of his cigs with it. I can't remember if it was in this movie or Casablanca. Both movies had great gun scenes. How cool was Bogart with his semi-autos!!
 

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Re: The Maltese Falcon \"Heater\"

The foreign gun is a Webley-Fosbery automatic revolver. Most scarce in .38. Most were made in .455.
 

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Re: The Maltese Falcon \"Heater\"

bisley,
Up until about a year ago, I said the same thing about them calling the revolver and "automatic" in that movie when Ward Bond shows Bogart the Webley gun in the cloth. Figured it was one of those movie quirks. Script says one thing, reality says another. BUT, in this case THEY were right and WE were wrong:

http://www.thegunzone.com/webley-fosbery.html

The gun is called a webley-fosbery automatic pistol and by the time of that movie they did not make them anymore so the movie is accurate.

I seem to remember noticing the colt medallion on Peter Lorre's little .25 pistol.

I always assumed the called guns "heaters" back then because they got real hot when they were fired.

I like how the hotel detective subtly sticks his hand in his right pocket when questioning the thug in the chair "with the heaters bulging out of his clothes". Imagined a nice Detective Special in the pocket ready to drill him.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Re: The Maltese Falcon \"Heater\"

Guys how does an automtic revolver work? It did look like a revolver didn't it? Now I remember the name of the gun. Never heard of one. Did the autos Bogart handed Lorre look like 45's? They were definately bigger than the 25.
 

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Re: The Maltese Falcon \"Heater\"

Haven't seen the movie in a long time.
The Webley-fosberry revolver has a reciever that was split somewhat like the slide/reciever on an auto. The top part which held the cylinder was able to slide backwards then foreward. The cylinder had a zig zag slot around its circumferance and the lower reciever had a pin that engaged the slot. WHen the upper reciever recoiled back the cylinder turned half way and when the recoil spring returned it foreward the cylinder rotated the rest of the way. The hammer was also cocked by the movement of the upper reciever. I've seen many pictures of them and actually handled one once though I was not permitted to shoot it. They were a true single action semi-auto, and even had an external safety. They were once well thought of as a target weapon but I'm told they were overly suseptible to limp wristing.
 

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Re: The Maltese Falcon \"Heater\"

My uncle , who also is my boss here at the store has a pretty nice one in 455 cal . I have shot it and the sensation of the upper receiver assembly moving rearward is very different . It's definately Cool /forums/images/graemlins/cool.gif though !

I can recall 2 Colt .25 M1908 Vest Pockets in Bogey's movies . I'm sure there were more though . He almost exclusively used Colt autos & revolvers in his movies . Peter Lorre's has what appear to be pearl grips with medallion . When Bogey saves Sidney Greenstreet from the Philipino assasin in "Across the Pacific" , Greenstreet shows Bogey his .25 Colt . Bogey flashes his Government Model and says "Mines bigger" or something like that . /forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Re: The Maltese Falcon \"Heater\"

Was the Webley as complicated to shoot as it sounds? Was it a true automatic, or semi-auto revolver? I bet it weighed a bit. Talk about semi-auto action have you seen the movie, Last Man Standing with Bruce Willis? I love the scene where he is preparing for the gunfight with the mob and he's sitting at a table with about ten full clips in front of him, while he loading more. I think he uses all of them in one scene. Talk about "heaters." I really like movies that have good shootouts. Not alot of blood and guts just alot of firepower.
 

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Re: The Maltese Falcon \"Heater\"

[ QUOTE ]
Was the Webley as complicated to shoot as it sounds? Was it a true automatic, or semi-auto revolver? I bet it weighed a bit...

[/ QUOTE ]

No , not really complicated . It loads like any Webley . Push the brake lever and tilt the barrel/cylinder assembly forward . Load chambers and close . It fires as a semi-auto . When fired the whole upper assembly moves to the rear cocking the hammer and rotating the cylinder to make ready for the next shot . It does have a safety lever . I lubed it a few days ago . Not really overly heavy , but slightly top heavy . I'll try and post a few pics next week if i can .
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Re: The Maltese Falcon \"Heater\"

Thanks Mitch, It would be great to see some pictures. The revolver in the movie was shown very quickly and not a good view of it. Rick
 

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Re: The Maltese Falcon \"Heater\"

Sam Spade uses a form of desk lighter made by Ronson and at one time very popular. They were made of Bakelite.
For such a simple device, its operation is hard to describe. If you remember the old "endless match", it works the same.
There is a brass (I think) tube stuffed with cotton and topped with a Bakelite handle. The tube fits in a hole in the top of a reservoir filled with lighter fluid. The cotton soaks up the lighter fluid. When the brass tube is withdrawn, static electricity ignites the lighter fluid in the cotton-stuffed tube.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Re: The Maltese Falcon \"Heater\"

Thats a strange looking revolver. How much are they usually worth? I sure like the Colt look much better!!
 

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Re: The Maltese Falcon \"Heater\"

VERY COOL! I'd love to have one but zero chance of any more being made and I could never afford an original.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Re: The Maltese Falcon \"Heater\"

Look at several replies earlier, there is one for sale on gunbroker. It is odd looking to me, but surely unique.
 

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Re: The Maltese Falcon \"Heater\"

Looked at that one earlier. Webley but not a fosberry
 

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Re: The Maltese Falcon \"Heater\"

[ QUOTE ]
Sam Spade uses a form of desk lighter made by Ronson and at one time very popular. They were made of Bakelite.

[/ QUOTE ]

Someone gave me one of these for Christmas back in the '70s - it was shaped like a "cut" crystal ball. I thought it was a new invention, until I saw the one in the movie. I still have it somewhere - maybe I'll give it to one of my grandkids, and she'll think it's a neat new invention. /forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif
 
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