He created "The Maltese Falcon," "Sam Spade" and "The Thin Man" but he didn't write this mystery thriller... he lived it.
"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.


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

Leave a Review?

You must be registered and logged in to submit your review.

Recently Searched

Mary Poppins Faith Hope And Love Hotel Transilvania 3 Roho The Spectacular Playing With Fire Gloria Bell The Son Of Bigfoot The Hobbit The Odd Family Zombie On Sale The Blackkklansman Generation Wealth Next Gen The Spy Who Dumped Me Goliyon Ki Ishq Fate Of Furious Everybody Knows Im Read Fish Pajaros De Verano John Wicked The Wrath The Art Of Self Defense Easy River Hotel Transilvanos 3 Climax Pajaros De Verano 2018 Sex Education Milla22 En Espanol Against All Enemies Show Dogs My Son Sex What Men Brahms The Boy Ii The Aftermath Hayden Christensen Wet Hot American Summer Journey To China The Mystery Of Iron Mask Stockholm The Upside De Verano Sorry Angel Summer Night Next Gen 2018 The Boy Romeo Akbar Walter Guillaume Canet Between Me And My Mind Extreme Job Geukhanjikeob Dark Phoenix How To Train Sonchiriya Hotelttanssilvana 03 Skull Island Porn Miss Bala Catching Fire Sherkock Gnomes Inhuman Kiss After The Wedding Fanboys Dora And The Lost City Five Feet Killerman Christian Carion Run The Race Mike Wallace Is Here The Divine Fury Anand Donnybrook Avengers Infinity War 21 Jump Street The Lion Iggy Azalea Yardie Dark Money Anal Damsel 2018 Full Movie Kalank Nancy Saint Judy Blackfox Fast And Furious The Mule Knives Out Hummingbird Wonder Park Far From The Tree Night School Norm Of The North King Sized Adventure Captive State David Crosby Remember My Name I Spit On Your Grave Deja Vu Little Italy Once Upon A Time In Hollywood Danny D Green Book The Divine Fury 2019 The Hummingbird