Hammett: An American Master

Just noticed that the documentary on Hammett done for the American Masters series in 1999 has shown up in the Edward R. Hamilton remainder catalog for $5.95 a copy — of course, there’s a $3.50 shipping fee (on one or as many copies as you order from the print catalog), and if you order from the online service maybe another $3.50 plus 40 cents per item. Still, more than half off (or you can grab one in that same range used off Amazon).

This DVD was the last documentary done on Hammett, and includes the only other brief film clip of the author of The Maltese Falcon found so far (but not as interesting as the clip of Hammett I featured for his birthday this year — that bit needs to show up in the next documentary). And still no audio — you’d think someone as active in film and radio as Hammett was would have left some sort of studio recording. In some archive somewhere. . . .

I haven’t watched this one since it first aired, but it’s pretty good, worth having if you assemble this sort of thing. Pay attention and you’ll spot me and Bill Arney, then the Inhabitant of the Sam Spade Apartment, drinking in a background shot, pulling cameos.

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