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Wim Wenders' "Hammett" (1982)


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Are there any fans of Wim Wenders' Hammett here?


It had been ages since I'd watched this. Finally had a chance to revisit the film on DVD - and what a big difference it makes. The last time I'd seen it, it was only available on a very very old out-of-print VHS tape that suffered from a horrible video transfer.


The new DVD makes the movie look as good as you could imagine. The concept here is very simple - Wim Wenders takes writer Dashiell Hammett and places him right in the middle of a convoluted story, full of intrigue and double-crossing, that's probably not much unlike the works of the author himself. Think of it as a noirish Shakespeare in Love.


And it also benefits from a great cast of character actors - Frederic Forrest in the title role, Peter Boyle, Marilu Henner, and the great Elisha Cook, Jr., as Hammett's regular driver. Though the movie was probably shot mostly in soundstages, there appears to have been quite a bit of location shooting in San Francisco, as well, which really helps give the movie the required atmosphere.

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