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Hammett (1982)

Frederic Forrest , Peter Boyle , Wim Wenders  |  PG |  DVD
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)

Price: $19.98 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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Hammett + Dashiell Hammett: Detective/Writer
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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: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000AOEMYG
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #100,584 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Hammett" on IMDb

Special Features

None.

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.

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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
Format:DVD
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
Format:DVD
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 Story within a story..within a story...within a story February 8, 2008
By DS
Format:DVD
It is a story ...within a story...within a...

If you don't understand, then check out how in the opening scene the writer's clothing and entire presentation change.

The film is a story about a writer who's writing a story about a writer who gets involved in all the action of the movie. But there is at least one more layer below that!

So THAT explains a lot of the look and feel of the film.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
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 1 month ago by Donna L. Pohlman
2.0 out of 5 stars mediocre
I found this film stilted, contrived, dull, and the acting not convincing. Overall, a poor effort to make a "film noir".
Published 3 months ago by SnapDoc
3.0 out of 5 stars Nothing special but worth the time.
It wasn't bad. A fictional account of an adventure the mystery writer and author of The Dain Curse, Red Harvest, and The Maltese Falcon, Dashiel Hammett had during his rough years... Read more
Published 3 months ago by James Aker
3.0 out of 5 stars From a Book by Dashiell Hammett
I didn't like this, and didn't watch it all the way through. I like "dark" mysteries, but this one failed to hold my interest.
Published 3 months ago by dalia
5.0 out of 5 stars Hammett
Very well photographed and directed. A must for any Film Noir fan or fan of Dashiel Hammett. Just seeing Elisha Cook Jr. again was worth the price. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Neil ross
3.0 out of 5 stars HAMMETT Up.
Some wag (or maybe several) joked that Francis Ford Coppola turned out to be Wim Wenders' real-life "American Friend. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Gregor von Kallahann
2.0 out of 5 stars Pansy Leading Man
Casting the lead with a masculine personality would go a long way in improving this movie. The plot was interesting but the acting was so poorly done that the viewer was on his own... Read more
Published 14 months ago by Carolina Kat
1.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing Parody of Film Noir
Bad acting (embarassing for stars like Peter Boyle and Marilu Henner), poor settings, bad camera angles, and comic book characters are only the start of this poorly done... Read more
Published 14 months ago by Gerald Mucha
3.0 out of 5 stars The box is beautifully wrapped but the presen't missing
Francis Ford Coppola's answer to "Chinatown," "Hammett" is a hugely evocative film that looks and sounds like it was made in the 1940s. Read more
Published 14 months ago by M2
5.0 out of 5 stars Behind the Falcon
Dashiell Hammett is one of my favorite authors. This story is of the "maybe could have happened" category. Read more
Published 15 months ago by John D. Moore
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