American Masters (1985– )
8.5/10
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Dashiell Hammett: Detective, Writer 

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30 June 1999 (USA)  »

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Cliffnotes version of an intriguing life gives no sense of the man himself
28 June 2009 | by (Glen Cove, New York) – See all my reviews

Empty biography of writer Hammett which spins out a great deal of nothing over its 55 minute running time. Told in an almost detail-less way the film essentially reduces Hammett's life to he was detective until he couldn't do it any more. He then became a writer. left his wife for Lilian Hellman and other women, wrote five or six book and good number of stories before going to Hollywood where he didn't do much. Was in the army during WW2. He was a drunk and a member of the communist party and he died poor. I got zero sense of the man or why we should like him either personally or professionally- and I like his prose and I'm fascinated by his life. It held my attention but at the same time half way in I realized they weren't telling me anything other then random facts. Reread the Maltese Falcon instead.


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