A fascinating film, well worth seeing mainly to further cement the absolute brilliance of John Huston's brilliant remake. This film takes a lot of the same material from Hammett's novel, and makes a dreadful miscast hash of it. Ricardo Cortez' Sam Spade is a greased up loverboy who never convinces as having the brains necessary to unravel the strands of plot -- his brain is, at best, his second favorite organ.
The first attempt to film Dashiell Hammett's classic detective story was a complete misfire with a terrible tacked-on ending and a cast still struggling with the transition from silents to sound, especially the awful Ricardo Cortez as Sam Spade.
It's not bad (well, not that bad), but the plot and pacing move too slowly. It's worth watching the film, both as a comparison to John Huston's classic adaptation and as an example of an early talkie. I wouldn't recommend watching to someone who's only watching for entertainment.