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DVD Review by David Blackwell

DETAILS: 97 minutes

STUDIO: Paramount/ Zoetrope

RELEASE DATE: 11-1-2005

Dashiell Hammett is one of the those writers responsible for two novels that turned into the two of the best films of the 1930s: THE MALTESE FALCON and THE THIN MAN (which spawned five sequels). Hammett only wrote six novels and several stories, but much of the material in his fiction was inspired from the days when he was a private detective working for the Pinkerton Agency. Now HAMMETT is a film based on a novel about a fictional adventure of the PI turned crime author. Dashiell Hammett (Frederic) Forrest) thought he left behind his old life when his ex-boss asks him to help him find a 17 year old Asian girl, Crystal Ling). He feels he has to do it, but he finds himself over his head as a bigger game is being played. Why is Gary salt following him and why are the police so interested? Has his ex-boss used Hammett as a pawn?

HAMMETT was directed by Wim Wenders, who would go on to direct such masterpieces as UNTIL THE END OF THE WORLD and THE END OF VIOLENCE years later. HAMMETT is an 1982 film from Francis Ford Coppola's Zoetrope Studios. The film has elements of the old crime films, but this one just happens to be color instead of black and white. Also it has elements from THE MALTESE FALCON and THE THIN MAN. It is a well written movie with good direction and a solid cast.

VIDEO: 1.85:1 (Anamorphic Widescreen)

Lots of grain or video noise. The transfer is soft looking at times. Colors and image detail is just OK.

AUDIO: English Stereo

Subtitles: English

It's average. Dialogue is easy to hear.


FINAL ANALYSIS: HAMMETT is well worth a rental. Although it is probably cheap enough to buy despite the way the transfer looks.

this DVD Review is (c)11-5-2005 David Blackwell and cannot be reprinted without permission (except for excerpts and a link to the review). Look for additional content at http://www.livejournal.com/users/enterlinemedia and send all comments to lord_pragmagtic@hotmail.com