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Hammett (1982)

Frederic Forrest , Peter Boyle , Wim Wenders  |  PG |  DVD
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)

Price: $19.98 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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Hammett + Dashiell Hammett's The Dain Curse (complete mini series) (2 disc set)
Price for both: $39.17

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Product Details

  • Actors: Frederic Forrest, Peter Boyle, Marilu Henner
  • Directors: Wim Wenders
  • Writers: Ross Thomas, Dennis O'Flaherty
  • Producers: Francis Ford Coppola, Fred Roos, Ronald Colby, Donald Guest
  • Format: Color, Dolby, Widescreen, Subtitled
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: LIONSGATE
  • DVD Release Date: June 22, 2012
  • Run Time: 96 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #161,484 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Hammett" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Detective Dashiell Hammett thought that he had left his old life behind when he retired to become a writer. But when his ex-boss brings him on for one last case, Dashiell becomes the target of a deadly crime ring that involves the police. Academy Award® nominee Frederic Forrest, Marilu Henner (TV's "Taxi") and Peter Boyle (TV's "Everybody Loves Raymond") star in this suspense thriller that takes you from the back alleys of Chinatown to the bedrooms of the San Francisco elite.

This product is manufactured on demand using DVD-R recordable media.'s standard return policy will apply.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Engaging Homage to Forties Murder Mysteries November 10, 2005
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
It's a real shame that Francis Ford Coppola's Zoetrope studios went belly up. They may not have produced anything that would qualify as classic but "Hammett" is an example of the kind of care and quality in films that Zoetrope strove for. Zoetrope films are an example of the indie spirit with big budgets that ultimately bankrupted Coppola. The central storyline of "Hammett" about white slavery and blackmail in thirties San Francisco is intriguing. I won't say that this film is the equivalant of another homage to the Hammett-Chandler style, "Chinatown", but I wouldn't be remiss to say that both films would make a terrific double-bill. "Hammett" has style to burn with fantastic cinematography but the real star is art director Dean Tavoularis' jaw dropping art direction. It is a crime that Tavoularis wasn't nominated for an Oscar for his work here. Frederic Forrest is outstanding as the boozing but relentless Dashiell Hammett who'll get to the bottom of the film's labyrinthian mystery at the cost of life and limb. Great supporting cast that includes Peter Boyle, veterans R.G. Armstrong and Richard Bradford, and old pros Sylvia Sidney, Elisha Cook, and Hank Worden. David Lynch fans should note the presence of Jack Nance("Eraserhead"). Marilu Henner, on the other hand, won't make you forget her work as Elaine Nardo on TV's "Taxi".
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Film Noir from American Zoetrope... January 3, 2004
Format:VHS Tape|Verified Purchase
Excellent story line and acting. Forrest is a very credible Hammett. The seemless, innovative scene transitions are worth the price of the tape all by themselves! This title needs to be on DVD!!!
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the hundred best films ever made. May 30, 2008
Hammett (Wim Wenders, 1982)

Wim Wenders directs Frederic Forrest in a fictionalized biopic about Dashiell Hammett. What can possibly go wrong? Add in a number of other character actors equally as good as Forrest (including Elisha Cook, Jr.-- yeah, the guy who was in The Maltese Falcon as the gunsel) and a script by the late Ross Thomas, who wrote a pretty mean crime novel himself, and you're pretty much destined for cinema gold. Needless to say, the public ignored it-- the film grossed a total of forty-two thousand dollars in the theaters. In the intervening twenty-six years, the film has been criminally neglected, held up as a paragon of cinema virtue by a handful (at best) of fanatics, including myself and megacritic Jonathan Rosenbaum (who considers Hammett Wenders' most underrated film; I'd have to say that's kind of a gimme), who are, in this case at least, profoundly ignored. Well, it's time that that stops, and Hammett is brought back to the place where it belongs, as one of the best films ever made.

No one except Wim Wenders, Francis Ford Coppola, and (one assumes) a few selected folks at Zoetrope has ever actually seen Hammett. Once Zoetrope got a copy of it, they recut the film (Wenders is on record as saying the released version is very little like the film he actually shot) to Coppola's standards. That's what got released, and that's what we've all seen. Well, the eighteen or so of us who've seen it, anyway.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great style February 12, 2006
This 1980's attempt to recreate the world of film noir might be a little thin on story or substance, but worth its weight in style. Outstanding sets and atmosphere, along with well paced direction and smooth transition keep the film from getting too trite. It's no 'Murder My Sweet' or 'Double Indemnity' but well worth seeing anyway.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Find March 16, 2007
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Despite my general taste for the private detective genre, this film had escaped my notice for a number of years. I was intrigued enough by its entry in Leonard Malten's ongoing book to rent it. I consider it a real find. I was very happy to rediscover it on DVD. It works on more than one level simultaneously. Most basically, it is a good "private eye" story in and of itself. Beyond that, its references to the genre in general, the period, and even the life and character of Dashiell Hammet himself, as well as the fact that it is not-quite-literal about any of the above, make for a very pleasing depth and richness of story texture which enhances the experience. The acting is very good across the board, particularly that of Peter Boyle as Hammett's mentor. As if all this weren't enough, Wenders's visual style is appropriate and very effective. There is an artificiality about the design, lighting and camera work which embodies to a great extent the pastiche element underlying the story. Many, if not most shots are consciously (I feel sure) made to resemble the cover art of early paperback editions of "private eye" fiction. This element enhances the pastiche and enriches the immediate experience as well as creating a nuanced world which refers interestingly to a specific time and place (San Francisco's Chinatown in the 1920's)without pretending to be strictly historical or naturalistic. This film is great entertainment.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Forgotten Gem July 17, 2005
The haunting piano score, realistic sets, and vivid cinematography immerse the viewer in 1930's San Francisco Chinatown. A fairly complex plot with good type casting and character portrayal, the film shifts from fiction to reality as Dashiell Hammett's latest novel envelops the author himself.

Unfortunately, at least one steamy sex scene makes the film inappropriate for young teenagers and adults with delicate sensibilities. For the rest of us who enjoy being transported to another time and world through the Private Eye experience this is a truly entertaining movie.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Fun film noir period piece
The '80s saw a comeback of film noir with hard-boiled detectives and dangerous dames. I guess it made sense to make a movie that featured Dashiell Hammett as a character in his... Read more
Published 5 days ago by Peter S. Bradley
4.0 out of 5 stars Great detective movie
Very good colored movie in black and white traditional style. This movie is well written, and directed, with a cast of highly talented actors. Read more
Published 9 days ago by David A. Leach
2.0 out of 5 stars Big stars but silly production ...
Bunch of familiar and great character actors from 50's and 60's. I guess it's meant to be a noir parody, but it sure didn't work for me.
Published 11 days ago by Old Hippy
1.0 out of 5 stars One Star
would have been fine except for swearing which doesn't seem to fit for the 1940s genre
Published 15 days ago by Richard Tuttle
5.0 out of 5 stars Worth a look
This was a HBO movie I think originally. I was very glad to find it available here. "He needed one hand for the money and the other for the gun; he wasn't good enough. Read more
Published 17 days ago by Joseph H. Roosth
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
I drove a old Cadillac in that film.
Published 1 month ago by charlene
4.0 out of 5 stars Pleasant surprise
I enjoyed this fun and fast moving film. I was pleased to find it among your offerings. Please add more!
Published 1 month ago by Irmgard Parker
1.0 out of 5 stars Don't waste your time!
I found this movie to be boring with terrible acting and poor, contrived story. It was a complete waste of my time.
Published 1 month ago by Denise Long
5.0 out of 5 stars If you are a film noir buff -- you're going to love this modern...
I like all of the older film noir classics & enjoyed this modern version of the noir genre when it was first released. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Steve Novak
4.0 out of 5 stars Good viewing if you like Hammett the writer
An interesting take on The Maltese Falcon. Dark and gritty with Hammett as his own hero, it explains where Hammett got the germ for his greatest novel. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Donna L. Pohlman
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