HE CREATED “THE MALTESE FALCON”, SAM SPADE AND “THE THIN MAN”. BUT HE DIDN’T WRITE THIS MYSTERY-THRILLER… HE LIVED IT.
Former Pinkerton detective Dashiell Hammett (Frederic Forrest) makes a living in San Francisco writing pulp fiction, but a visit from an old partner (Peter Boyle) throws him back in danger. Wim Wenders’s first American film is a heartfelt celebration of 1940s noir cinema, with dames and action, an atmospheric score by John Barry, good production design and more than a few nods to the predecessors, for example in the shape of a Maltese falcon and a Sydney Greenstreet character. The story isn’t much, but Forrest is fun to watch as a very Humphrey Bogart-ish, fictionalized version of Hammett.
1982-U.S. 97 min. Color. Directed by Wim Wenders. Novel: Joe Gores. Music: John Barry. Cast: Frederic Forrest (Dashiell Hammett), Peter Boyle (Jimmy Ryan), Marilu Henner (Kit Conger/Sue Alabama), Elisha Cook, R.G. Armstrong, Richard Bradford… Sylvia Sidney, Samuel Fuller, Jack Nance.
Trivia: Co-executive produced by Francis Ford Coppola. Nicolas Roeg was allegedly considered for directing duties. The studio was allegedly so unhappy with Wenders’s work that he had to reshoot 80 % of the movie.