Sam Spade adult male, in his 30s, tall, with "yellow-grey" eyes, thick brows, a hooked nose, and pale brown hair growing down from a point on his forehead -- "....like a blond satan."
Joel Cairo adult male, possibly homosexual or bisexual, small-boned, shorter than Spade, black hair, wears lots of jewelry and cologne.
Ethnicity: Joel Cairo is described as "Levantine" and carries a Greek passport.
The noir films that focus on Los Angeles or San Francisco are also Orientalist, as they tend to emphasize and demonize their Asian collectives and locales. From the hideaway of D.O.A. 's Persian Majak . . ., West Coast noir takes us on an Orientalist tour that includes Geiger's Asian opium den in The Big Sleep , the apartment of noir's first homosexual Hong Kong-based and Istanbul-bound family in The Maltese Falcon , or to the similarly marked beach house of Jules Amthor in Murder, My Sweet , who is looking for his jewels (which happen to be Chinese). In West Coast noir, the West is a threshold to the racialized East, and the sexually perverse Chinatown is often the portal.
While Oliver and Trigo attribute evil of the East "in parts: as jewels" and other objects, the
name "Cairo" has rendered the character a metonym, an embodiment of the
Orient. The part that is an Oriental and the whole that is the Orient
are wedded. Any ornament or physical feature, however small, on Cairo
's person, comes to crystallize the East. Fastidiously, decadently
dressed, with his less than manly posture, his exotic, alluring
perfume, Cairo resembles a castrated Charlie Chan, a feminized
A Touch of Yellow in Film Noir
[note: apologies to Sheng-mei Ma, could not locate your contact information.]
Edward Said’s “Orientalism revisited"