Hammett 1982 PG CC

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(35) IMDb 6.5/10
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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.

Starring:
Frederic Forrest, Peter Boyle
Runtime:
1 hour 38 minutes

Available in HD on supported devices.

Hammett

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Product Details

Genres Drama, Mystery
Director Wim Wenders
Starring Frederic Forrest, Peter Boyle
Supporting actors Marilu Henner, Roy Kinnear, Elisha Cook Jr., Lydia Lei, R.G. Armstrong, Richard Bradford, Michael Chow, David Patrick Kelly, Sylvia Sidney, Jack Nance, Elmer Kline, Royal Dano, Samuel Fuller, Lloyd Kino, Fox Harris, Rose Wong, Liz Roberson, Jean-François Ferreol
Studio Lionsgate
MPAA rating PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Captions and subtitles English Details
Rental rights 24 hour viewing period. Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Instant Video (streaming online video and digital download)

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Customer Reviews

It comes across as a German director's idea of what film noir is all about.
Gerald Mucha
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.
Robert Beveridge
This one of those movies where I was never certain if they were playing it straight or for laughs.
mike

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 25 people found the following review helpful By David Baldwin on 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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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Albert M. Bozzo on 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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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Robert Beveridge HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on 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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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By S. Jones on 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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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By John D. Steyers on 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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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Trevor Willsmer TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on November 13, 2007
Format: DVD
It's tempting to see Hammett as a real life variation of The American Friend with Francis Ford Coppola as Dennis Hopper's Ripley and Wim Wenders as Bruno Ganz's picture framer who gets conned into becoming a hitman. Part of Francis Ford Coppola's ill-fated attempt to recreate the old studio system with a stock company of players and his own studio, Zoetrope, that had a troubled history to match any of his own directorial efforts, the wunderkind lured Wenders to Hollywood with the promise of artistic freedom in an artist-friendly environment with Joe Gores' fictional novel about the revolutionary crime writer and former private eye Dashiell Hammett getting involved in a semi-fictional mystery involving the cops, the crooks and the big rich while writing Red Harvest as bait. Set in 1928 San Francisco, it presents the tubercular Hammett as a half-decent man in a 9/10ths dishonest world who's given up the detective racket for short stories for pulp magazines, drinking too much and coughing his lungs up all the way until his old mentor turns up to call in a favor that leads to a web of murder, corruption and blackmail, it's easy to see the attraction. Instead things went a little haywire...

When the film was in development in 1978, Wenders had originally wanted Sam Shepherd - not only was he gaunt enough to play Hammett and was a writer himself but, more importantly for the director, he could actually type, something most actors who tested for the film had real problems with. Instead, Coppola wanted Frederic Forrest, one of his stock company of actors at Zoetrope, to play the lead: it turned out to be an inspired choice, but was indicative of how far the film would veer from his original intentions.
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