Tag Archives: The Big Knockover

Frisco Beat: Lon Chaney Hits the Old Mint Again!

If you’ve ever caught the 1920 Lon Chaney silent flick The Penalty, you no doubt remember the sequence where Lon and his mob are looting the Old Mint on the corner of Fifth and Mission. On Thursday March 29 — and, … Continue reading

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Frisco Beat: Back to the TL Museum for The Penalty

At top and bottom, a couple of shots from my July 13 appearance in the Tenderloin Museum, talking up The Thin Man and with some snippets of the 1931 Falcon — high point being when we spotted the heart of the … Continue reading

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Sinister Cinema: Lon Chaney’s The Penalty

When I met the mysterious CitySleuth he mentioned that he was working on finding San Francisco location shooting for the Lon Chaney flick The Penalty from 1920 — one of my favorites, with Chaney in one of his greatest roles as the legless … Continue reading

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Frisco Beat: Reeling in the History

Did a couple of groups by appointment yesterday, got lucky with the brutal winter rains holding off. . . . On one of them the mysterious CitySleuth came along and tossed in some tidbits of film/Frisco history — one was … Continue reading

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Hammett: “The Gatewood Thing” Caper

Today is the 54th anniversary of the death of Dashiell Hammett — and starts us toward the five year marker for this blog (although the website itself kicked off in late 2000 — hey, a fifteen year anniversary!). As a mini-memorial, how about a … Continue reading

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Hammett: All He Wrote

 And now, on Birthday 120, it is time to do a recount — we’ll call these The Zobeck Statistics. As anyone who has been on the tour knows, I personally count The Big Knockover as a novel (if a short novel), … Continue reading

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Hammett: “Corkscrew” Part III

When Frederic Dannay, a.k.a. Ellery Queen, collected the Continental Op yarn “Corkscrew” in the 1948 Lawrence Spivak digest Nightmare Town, he resurrected it from the crumbling wood pulp pages of Black Mask much like Dr. Frankenstein rescued the monster from the grave … Continue reading

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Hammett: “Corkscrew” Part II

As Terry Zobeck noted in the first part of his pure text survey for “Corkscrew,” the editorial changes were rampant — scanning down this post and then the next post will give you the clew. A hell of a lot … Continue reading

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Hammett: “You’ve Never Read Hammett!”

A few years ago I was in the now gone “M” Is For Mystery Bookstore for a talk. Near the end of the remarks the speaker — kind of an absurd little guy — suddenly remembered that the collection Crime Stories … Continue reading

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Tour: Portland Weighs In

Out of the blue, a double-whammy from Portland. Over on the Davy Crockett Almanack site Evan Lewis does a nice appreciation of Hammett’s The Big Knockover — the Op adventure that ought to make anyone with a pulse a Hammett fan for … Continue reading

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