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Hammett Overview

"This is an entirely imaginary story about the writer Dashiell Hammett, who... in the words of one of his most gifted contemporaries... helped get murder out of the vicar's rose garden and back to the people who are really good at it. The detective story has not been the same since." So begins Hammett, the atmospheric and exciting tale of a young mystery writer who really lives the hard-boiled life he writes about -- and learns to dig beneath the surface of his characters to reveal their deeper, darker motivations.

Directed by: Wim Wenders

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Who Stars in Hammett

Frederic Forrest

Frederic Forrest

Peter Boyle
Jimmy Ryan

Peter Boyle

Marilu Henner
Kit Conger / Sue Alabama

Marilu Henner

Roy Kinnear
English Eddie Hagedorn

Roy Kinnear

Elisha Cook Jr.
Eli the Taxi Driver

Elisha Cook Jr.

Lydia Lei
Crystal Ling

Lydia Lei


Mado Mado
Strohfeuer Strohfeuer
Blanche Blanche
Drôle de drame Drôle de drame
Moscou sous la neige Moscou sous la neige
Neige Neige
Pas de scandale Pas de scandale
Bof... Anatomie d'un livreur Bof... Anatomie d'un livreur
Clair de femme Clair de femme
La Vieille Dame Indigne La Vieille Dame Indigne
Blue Jeans Blue Jeans
Two of a Kind Two of a Kind
Le caporal épinglé Le caporal épinglé
The Man Who Cheated Himself The Man Who Cheated Himself
House of Strangers House of Strangers
Eaux profondes Eaux profondes
Guernica Guernica
Człowiek na torze Człowiek na torze
Le déjeûner sur l'herbe Le déjeûner sur l'herbe
Dyrygent Dyrygent

Review for Hammett

Author: John Chard

She's a disaster. Hammett is a fictional story about the great writer Dashiell Hammett (played by Frederic Forrest). The story finds the writer retired from the Pinkerton Detectice Agency and nursing bad lungs and a taste for the liquor. When old colleague Jimmy Ryan (Peter Boyle) comes a calling, Hammett finds himself down in Frisco's Chinatown district in it up to his neck in muck and grime. The back story to the production of Hammett is long and disappointing, all of which makes for fascinating reading and available at the click of a mouse. The film we have to view now may not be the one originally envisaged by director Wim Wenders, but on repeat viewings it shows itself to be a very loving homage to the halcyon days of film noir, a film of great technical craft and guile. Though not without issues either... Production value is high, the set design that brings late 1920s Frisco to life is a joy, as is Joseph Biroc's luscious colour photography. John Barry provides a musical score that smoothly floats around the Gin Joints and Alleyways, while costuming is on the money. Cast are led superbly by the under valued Forrest, with Marilu Henner (Biroc lights her so well), Boyle and Lydia Lei striking the requisite film noir chords, while a host of cameos and short order roles will have the keen of eye putting names to the faces from similar films of yesteryear. The story is complex, which is purposely complimented by narration, canted angles, slatted shadows, billowing smoke, and of course a number of venues that all anti-heroic detectives must traverse to unravel the mystery bubbling away under the seamy surface. The problems are evident of course, it's a very uneven picture, the re-writes etc leaving a disappointing mark. It's also like watching a performance at the theatre, akin to watching a play, the predominantly stage bound shoot - and the almost forced delivery of lines - makes it synthetic. But ultimately there's a lot of noir love here, enough to ensure that repeat viewings for those of that persuasion should find themselves rewarded for their time. 7/10

Images related to Hammett

Hammett small poster
Hammett small poster
Hammett small poster
Hammett small poster
Hammett small poster
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Hammett small backdrop
Hammett small backdrop
Hammett small backdrop
Hammett small backdrop


Zoetrope Studios



Release Date

Original Language

1 hr 37 mins

Mystery Crime

historical figure writer

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