6.4/10
254
2 user 2 critic

Dash and Lilly (1999)

Biographical look at the bombastic love affair that writers Dashiell Hammett and Lillian Hellman shared in 1940 and 50's Hollywood. Refusing to marry, but deeply in love, the two engaged in... See full summary »

Director:

Kathy Bates

Writer:

Jerrold L. Ludwig (as Jerry Ludwig)
Reviews
Nominated for 3 Golden Globes. Another 1 win & 12 nominations. See more awards »

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

One Against the Wind (TV Movie 1991)
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Mary Lindell works for the French Red Cross in Occupied France during World War II and helps allied soldiers who have been shot down to escape to the unoccupied side. Her activities are ... See full summary »

Director: Larry Elikann
Stars: Judy Davis, Sam Neill, Anthony Higgins
Biography | Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

The Judy Garland story from the 1930s until her death.

Stars: Judy Davis, Victor Garber, Hugh Laurie
The Reagans (TV Movie 2003)
Biography | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

A more leftist look at the legacy and career of Ronald Reagan.

Director: Robert Allan Ackerman
Stars: Judy Davis, James Brolin, Zeljko Ivanek
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Based on the true story of mother/son tag-team Sante Kimes and her offspring, Kenny, who crisscrossed the country and committed a string of crimes, among them robbery, fraud, arson, slavery, and murders that shocked the world.

Director: Richard Benjamin
Stars: Judy Davis, Jonathan Jackson, Chelcie Ross
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

The true story of a decorated officer's legal challenge to her involuntary discharge when she admitted she was homosexual.

Director: Jeff Bleckner
Stars: Glenn Close, Judy Davis, Jan Rubes
Comedy | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

Alone in a foreign city, Cassandra must solve a family's darkest, deepest secrets before she can confront her own past.

Director: Susan Seidelman
Stars: Judy Davis, Marcia Gay Harden, Lili Taylor
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Few knew that Stalin spent his last night in the arms of a young Australian woman. Few still knew that their "love-child" brought Australia to the brink of civil war. Until now ...

Director: Peter Duncan
Stars: Judy Davis, Sam Neill, F. Murray Abraham
A Cooler Climate (TV Movie 1999)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Iris is broke after her divorce and takes a job working as a housekeeper for a wealthy woman named Paula. When Paula and her husband separate, an unlikely friendship blossoms between the women.

Director: Susan Seidelman
Stars: Sally Field, Judy Davis, Winston Rekert
Coast to Coast (TV Movie 2003)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Barnaby and Maxine Pierce's son is getting married in California and they decide to drive across the country to attend. Along the way they reflect on their tattered relationship and the ... See full summary »

Director: Paul Mazursky
Stars: Richard Dreyfuss, Judy Davis, Selma Blair
Edit

Cast

Credited cast:
Sam Shepard ... Dashiell Hammett
Judy Davis ... Lillian Hellman
Bebe Neuwirth ... Dorothy Parker
Laurence Luckinbill ... Joseph Rauh, Lillian's Attorney
David Paymer ... Arthur Kober, Lillian's Husband
Zeljko Ivanek ... Mel Berman (writer)
Ned Eisenberg ... Bob Constantine
Mark Zimmerman Mark Zimmerman ... Walter Winchell
Victor A. Young ... Harvey Chernoff, Theatrical Producer
Stephanie Morgenstern ... Studio Secretary
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Yank Azman ... Doctor
Boyd Banks ... Prison Guard
Terrence Beasor ... Radio Announcer-voice over
Stephanie Belding ... Hospital Receptionist
Sharon Bernbaum Sharon Bernbaum ... Children's Hour Actress #2
Edit

Storyline

Biographical look at the bombastic love affair that writers Dashiell Hammett and Lillian Hellman shared in 1940 and 50's Hollywood. Refusing to marry, but deeply in love, the two engaged in many affairs and battled the bottle. Dashiell served in both World wars, but in the 1950's, he was branded a Communist and cast into prison during the McCarthy witch hunts. Hellman likewise was branded a Communist, but was kept out of prison. Neither were able to work, requiring Lillian to take a job as a sales-woman in a boutique while Dashiell suffered from tuberculosis and eventually lung cancer. Bebe Neuwirth also appears as socialite-writer Dorothy Parker. Written by John Sacksteder <jsackste@bellsouth.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

1950s | blacklist | See All (2) »

Genres:

Drama

Edit

Details

Country:

UK | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

31 May 1999 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Dash ja Lilly See more »

Filming Locations:

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Stereo

Color:

Color
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Connections

Features The Thin Man (1934) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

duelling typewriters and egos
13 August 2002 | by petershelleyauSee all my reviews

This made-for-TV movie about the 30 year old relationship between writers Dashiell Hammett (Sam Shepard) and Lillian Hellmann (Judy Davis) gives more detail than what was presented in Fred Zinnemann's 1977 feature Julia which starred Jason Robards and Jane Fonda as Hammett and Hellmann respectively.

The teleplay by Jerry Ludwig frames Hellmann's memory of Hammett, who she met in Hollywood in the 1930's, with her appearance in Washington in 1952 for the House Un-American Activities Committee, who had subpoened her. The majority of the narrative is then in flashback testiment to their stormy relationship which resulted in her being treated as Hammett's widow when they had never married. Both characters are presented as alcoholic and promiscuous, the selfish artist who lives beyond the acceptable moral code, both with career peaks and lows, and the difference in their ages - Hammett was much older than Hellman - not an issue. It is Ludwig's conceit that Hammett based his Thin Man series on himself and Hellman, and whilst the inclusion of film of William Powell and Myrna Low in the Thin Man feature by director Kathy Bates is pleasing, it also shows that different the real Hellmann was to Hammett's idealised version. As the treatment is clearly told from Hellmann's point of view, with her final deference to Hammett as the greater artist, it's surprising that she is described as a `ballbuster'. Ludwig has Hellmann tell Hammett her biography in an amusing dismissive way, he includes actors rehearsing Hellmann's hit play The Children's Hour, when Hammett shows concern over Hellmann cutting his hair she replies `My contented customers include Vincent Van Gogh', and Lillian's desperate finances forcing her to work in a department store has great comic potential.

Shepard's casting provides a nice resonance, although his Hammett is less realised as a character than Hellmann, possibly because he is weakness to her strength. However Davis is more successful. A master at playing cynical neurotics, Davis' initial seduction of Shepard and her drunk scenes are hilarious, one on a staircase in particular has her both ferocious and poetic. She presents Lillian as a sensualist and looks beautiful in the period clothes by Nic Ede. Davis' American accent has the suggestion of Hellmann's New Orleans origins, and Bates gives her a long reaction shot to news of cancer.

Also good is Bebe Neuwirth as Dorothy Parker, her alcoholism paralleled with that of Hammett's, and her sense of humor with Hellmann's lack of same. Bates uses newsreel footage and mixes in recreations for Hammett's WW2 involvement, and a wedding announcement defies an expectation, but the music score of Laura Karpman is too much, distracting us from the actor's faces in close-up.


13 of 15 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 2 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page



Recently Viewed