Fictional account of real-life mystery writer Dashiell Hammett, and his involvement in the investigation of a beautiful Chinese cabaret actress' mysterious disappearance in San Francisco.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Jimmy Ryan
...
Kit Conger / Sue Alabama
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English Eddie Hagedorn
...
Eli the Taxi Driver (as Elisha Cook)
Lydia Lei ...
Crystal Ling
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Lt. O'Mara
...
Detective Bradford
Michael Chow ...
Fong Wei Tau
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The Punk
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Donaldina Cameron
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Elmer Kline ...
Doc Fallon
...
Pops
...
Old Man in Pool Hall
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Storyline

The novel writer Dashiell Hammett is involved in the investigation of the mysterious disappearance of a beautiful Chinese cabaret actress in San Francisco. Written by Michel Rudoy <mdrc@hp9000a1.uam.mx>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

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The mystery writer who lived his own stories ! [Video] See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Mystery

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »
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Details

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Language:

Release Date:

17 September 1982 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Investigación en el Barrio Chino  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The first shoot of the film co-starred Ronee Blakley and Brian Keith in the roles ultimately played by Marilu Henner and Peter Boyle. Director Wim Wenders was married to Blakely at the time of the first shoot. By the time the second version was shot a year-and-a-half later, Wim Wenders had divorced Blakely and her part was recast. See more »

Quotes

Crystal Ling: He was good.
Hammett: He was the best - in his heyday.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Le bourreau des coeurs (1983) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Hammett-Just plain old great entertainment
27 April 2007 | by (Texas) – See all my reviews

Hammett was produced by the sadly, now defunct Zoetrope Studios of Francis Ford Coppola. Hammett is a great movie that will most likely achieve cult status over time, especially with the folks who love the old 30's and 40's type crime and mystery movies. If you are a fan of this genre, you will most certainly notice the scenes which are very similar to scenes from the Maltese Falcon, but that is understandable as Dashiell Hammett penned the novel and Hammett is a who-dunnit which places the writer right in the thick of things as an old friend and mentor returns to San Francisco to seek help from Hammett played by Fredrick Forrest (The Rose). The old friend and P.I., Jimmy Ryan, played by Peter Boyle (Joe) seeks Hammett's help in locating one, Crystal Ling played by Lydia Lei aka Lydia Lei Kayahara. Crystal ran away from a brothel owned by Fong Wei Tau played by Michael Chow. I won't go any further with this as I don't wish to add any spoilers to this review, but I will say that Marilu Henner (Taxi) plays Hammett's neighbor and drinking buddy, Kit Conger/Sue Alabama. While she doesn't have the biggest part in the world, she does a good job with the part she does have and the sweater beret and black shiny coat that she was wearing at the end of the movie, well, made me long for the good old days. Other old time favorites show up here as well. Roy Kinnear plays English Eddie Hagedorn and Elisha Cook Jr.

plays the taxi driver Eli. Hammett's nemesis in this movie is Lt. O'Mara played by R.G.

Armstrong, while the ever present bad-boy punk is played to perfection by David Patrick Kelly (The Warriors)(Last Man Standing). Sylvia Sidney plays Donaldina Cameron and is only given a small part as is Elmer Kline who plays Doc Fallon. Jack Nance plays Gary Salt. The movie goes back and forth between what our main character has written and what is actually happening, but the two are pretty much the same. Dark and brooding as this film is, it is still worth your time and it is available, at least for now, so grab a your copy while you can as it is worth it to have it in your collection. Too bad that it seems that Lydia Lei only had an 11 year run in movies and TV. I thought she played her character wonderfully. According to the information on IMDb she started in 1977 and her last entry was 1988.


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