Hammett: Via the Film Buff Lens

Mifune Op

A Mean Streets tip from Brian Wallace took me over to Paste Monthly and an article on Hammett with a heavy emphasis on movies pulled from Hammett’s work — such as Mifune doing a Samurai version of the Op. If interested, surf over and check it out.

It’s by no means perfect — you’ve got to grin at the movie buff idea of the “largely forgotten crime writer Dashiell Hammett.”

Please. And you think lots of people today are watching the b&w movies you’re referring to?

The line that Hammett’s T.B. “spared” him from the draft in WWI is of course incorrect — he picked up the Doc Holliday disease while he was serving in the war effort. Anyway, lots of little quibbles can be made, but it’s worth it to see some attention paid to Red Harvest.

And as the author of Bogie’s star-making turn in the 1941 Falcon — or creator of the essence of the plot for Clint Eastwood’s first Spaghetti Western — it’s obvious Hammett is embedded in the culture as much or more than the average writer who died 55 years ago.

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