6.5/10
2,555
23 user 31 critic
Trailer
2:31 | Trailer

On Disc

at Amazon

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.

Director:

Wim Wenders

Writers:

Joe Gores (novel), Dennis O'Flaherty | 2 more credits »
2 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

On location in Portugal, a film crew runs out of film while making their own version of Roger Corman's Day the World Ended (1955). The producer is nowhere to be found and director Friedrich... See full summary »

Director: Wim Wenders
Stars: Allen Garfield, Samuel Fuller, Isabelle Weingarten
Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

An aging cowboy movie star deserts a film set and tries to reconnect with his mother, whom he hasn't seen in thirty years, only to learn that he has a child he never knew about.

Director: Wim Wenders
Stars: Sam Shepard, Jessica Lange, Tim Roth
Drama | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A goalkeeper Josef Bloch is ejected during a game for foul play. He leaves the field and goes to spend the night with a cinema cashier.

Director: Wim Wenders
Stars: Arthur Brauss, Kai Fischer, Erika Pluhar
Tokyo-Ga (1985)
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Moved by the work of director Yasujirô Ozu, Wim Wenders travels to Japan in search of the Tokyo seen in Ozu's films.

Director: Wim Wenders
Stars: Chishû Ryû, Werner Herzog, Yûharu Atsuta
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A traveling projection-equipment mechanic works in Western Germany along the East-German border, visiting worn-out theatres. He meets with a depressed young man whose marriage has just broken up, and the two decide to travel together.

Director: Wim Wenders
Stars: Rüdiger Vogler, Hanns Zischler, Lisa Kreuzer
Wrong Move (1975)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A writer goes on a road trip across West Germany with a group of eclectic people he meets along the way.

Director: Wim Wenders
Stars: Rüdiger Vogler, Hanna Schygulla, Hans Christian Blech
Lisbon Story (1994)
Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

The director Friedrich Monroe has trouble with finishing a silent b&w movie about Lisbon. He calls his friend, the sound engineer Phillip Winter, for help. As Winter arrives Lisbon weeks ... See full summary »

Director: Wim Wenders
Stars: Rüdiger Vogler, Patrick Bauchau, Vasco Sequeira
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A drama that investigates anxiety and disillusionment in America.

Director: Wim Wenders
Stars: Michelle Williams, John Diehl, Wendell Pierce
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Wim Wenders talks with Japanese fashion designer Yohji Yamamoto about the creative process and ponders the relationship between cities, identity and the cinema in the digital age.

Director: Wim Wenders
Stars: Wim Wenders, Yohji Yamamoto
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

After the wild life-style of a famous young German photographer almost gets him killed, he goes to Palermo, Sicily to take a break. Can the beautiful city and a beautiful local woman help him calm himself down?

Director: Wim Wenders
Stars: Campino, Giovanna Mezzogiorno, Dennis Hopper
Action | Drama | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

In 1999, Claire's life is forever changed after she survives a car crash. She rescues Sam and starts traveling around the world with him. Writer Eugene follows them and writes their story, as a way of recording dreams is being invented.

Director: Wim Wenders
Stars: William Hurt, Solveig Dommartin, Pietro Falcone
Drama | Fantasy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A group of angels in the German capital look longingly upon the life of humans.

Director: Wim Wenders
Stars: Otto Sander, Bruno Ganz, Peter Falk
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Frederic Forrest ... Hammett
Peter Boyle ... Jimmy Ryan
Marilu Henner ... Kit Conger / Sue Alabama
Roy Kinnear ... English Eddie Hagedorn
Elisha Cook Jr. ... Eli the Taxi Driver (as Elisha Cook)
Lydia Lei ... Crystal Ling
R.G. Armstrong ... Lt. O'Mara
Richard Bradford ... Detective Bradford
Michael Chow ... Fong Wei Tau
David Patrick Kelly ... The Punk
Sylvia Sidney ... Donaldina Cameron
Jack Nance ... Gary Salt
Elmer Kline Elmer Kline ... Doc Fallon
Royal Dano ... Pops
Samuel Fuller ... Old Man in Pool Hall
Edit

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

Taglines:

He Created 'The Maltese Falcon," "Sam Spade" and "The Thin Man". But He Didn't Write This Mystery-Thriller...He Lived It. See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Mystery

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

17 September 1982 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Investigación en el Barrio Chino See more »

Edit

Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$8,222, 19 September 1982, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$42,914
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Zoetrope Studios See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

One of around five cinema movie collaborations of actor Frederic Forrest and director Francis Ford Coppola. The films include Hammett (1982), The Conversation (1974), Apocalypse Now (1979), One from the Heart (1981), and Tucker: The Man and His Dream (1988), See more »

Quotes

Hammett: I want two things. One, I want my story back, it's not much but its what I do. And two, I want to be left alone.
See more »

Connections

References The Maltese Falcon (1941) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Underrated, undervalued, almost designed to be a cult film from the onset
11 April 2001 | by bigpurplebearSee all my reviews

In the background/historical notes to his novel, "Hammett," author Joe Gores says of one character, ". . . and if you don't know who he's based on, you need to read more Hammett." The movie, more or less based upon the novel, takes Gore's dicta to heart with several key characters. The result can be a whole lot of fun if you know your Hammett; if you're a little weak in that category, the result is merely a lot of fun.

Set in 1927 San Francisco, the film catches Dashiell Hammett in transition: Trying to firmly put his Pinkerton days behind him while establishing himself as a writer, dealing with the twin scourges of his World War I - induced tuberculosis and the alcoholism that will plague him almost to the end of his days, he finds himself drawn back into his old life one last time by the irresistible call of friendship and to honor a debt. By the time he's done, he finds himself having paid a far higher price, learning that he had only thought himself to be totally disillusioned beforehand.

"Hammett" the movie is as much an homage as "Hammett" the novel. It is a rare thing for neither a movie nor a novel to suffer by comparison to each other -- especially when the two are so divergent -- but that is exactly what happens here. The screenplay is strong, the production values uniformly excellent (check out the 1920s Market Street Railway streetcar which passes by in the background briefly in one scene, for example; only one in a thousand viewers might recognize it, and only one in possibly two thousand might appreciate the verisimilitude it provides), the direction and pacing authoritative.

Frederic Forrest is virtually perfect as Hammett; by turns ravaged and buoyant, hardboiled and outraged, at every turn ultimately unstoppable. By the film's close, he makes it very clear that, for Hammett, there will be no turning back; those moodily tapping typewriter keys which formed such an eerie backdrop for much of the action will also provide his salvation, and that this is a good thing.

And anyone who disputes that, as Joe Gores would say, needs to read more Hammett.


29 of 30 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 23 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Popular Action and Adventure Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular action and adventure titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed