Private eye investigates diamond theft, and becomes involved with an ancient family curse.



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Nominated for 3 Primetime Emmys. Another 1 win. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
 Hamilton Nash
 Ben Feeney
 Owen Fitzstephan
 Aaronia Haldorn
 The old man
 Alice Dain Leggett
Nancy Addison ...
 Gabrielle Leggett
 Sgt. O'Gar
 Jack Santos
Beeson Carroll ...
 Marshall Cotton
Martin Cassidy ...
 Eric Collinson
 Tom Vernon
Roni Dengel ...
 Daisy Cotton
 Dick Foley (1978)
Paul Harding ...
 Mr. Leggett


Hard-boiled private dick Hamilton Nash is hired to investigate a case of stolen diamonds, which leads him to a lovely and odd young woman named Gabrielle, who believes she has been stricken with the ancient curse of the Dain family. The curse has historically caused its victims to die prematurely. Written by Marty McKee <>

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Release Date:

22 May 1978 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Dashiell Hammett's The Dain Curse  »

Filming Locations:


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Technical Specs


| (4 episodes)

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


The production was nominated for three Primetime Emmy Awards in 1978, for Outstanding Writing in a Drama Series, Outstanding Directing in a Drama Series, and Outstanding Single Performance by a Supporting Actress in a Comedy or Drama Series for actress Beatrice Straight in Part 1, but the production failed to take home an Emmy in any of these categories. See more »

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User Reviews

A classic Dashiell Hammett detective novel brought to life
26 December 1999 | by See all my reviews

In Dashiell Hammett's world, nothing was ever what it seemed and people were mysteries to be unwrapped layer by layer. The characters in the "Maltese Falcon" and "The Thin Man" were enigmas to Sam Spade and Nick Charles and so it is in "The Dain Curse." If you are looking for a simple plot, go elsewhere. The hero of the novel was a nameless detective known as "The Continental Op." In the movie, the hero is Hamilton Nash (a nod to Hammett who once was a Pinkerton detective). The film captures the flavor of Hammett's writing and is well cast (look for Jean Simmons in a supporting role, Hector Elizondo as a local sheriff, Brent Spiner as a baddie and Sidney Tolar (the last film Charlie Chan) in a minor role. James Coburn is well suited to the part of Nash. The show captures the flavor of the roaring '20s very well and is a must see for Hammett fans.

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