San Francisco-based Dashiell Hammett, trying to put his Pinkerton detective days behind him while establishing himself as a writer, finds himself drawn back into his old life one last time by the irresistible call of friendship and to honor a debt.
In 1928, Hammett, known to his librarian neighbor Kit and other acquaintances as “Sam,” is holed up in a cheap apartment, hard at work at his typewriter each day. He drinks heavily, smokes too much and has coughing fits.
One day, a friend and mentor from his Pinkerton days, Jimmy Ryan, turns up with a request, that Hammett help him track down a Chinese prostitute named Crystal Ling in the Chinatown district of San Francisco, an area Hammett is more familiar with than Ryan is.
Hammett is soon pulled into a multi-layered plot, losing the only copy of his manuscript, wondering how and why Ryan has vanished, being followed by a tough-talking gunsel, discovering a million-dollar blackmail scheme and being deceived by the diabolical Crystal, right up to a final confrontation near the San Francisco wharf.
Hammett is a 1982 homage to noir films and pulp fiction produced by Francis Ford Coppola and directed by Wim Wenders. The film is a fictionalized story about writer Dashiell Hammett, based on the novel of the same name by Joe Gores. The film was entered into the 1982 Cannes Film Festival. It stars Frederic Forrest, Marilu Henner and Peter Boyle.
Directed by: Wim Wenders
Starring: Frederic Forrest, Peter Boyle, Marilu Henner, Roy Kinnear, Elisha Cook Jr., Lydia Lei, Richard Bradford, Sylvia Sidney
Screenplay by: Dennis O’Flaherty
Production Design by: Dean Tavoularis, Eugene Lee
Cinematography by: Joseph F. Biroc
Film Editing by: Janice Hampton, Marc Laub, Robert Q. Lovett, Randy Roberts
Costume Design by: Ruth Morley
Set Decoration by: George R. Nelson, Steven Potter
Art Direction by: Leon Ericksen, Angelo P. Graham
Music by: John Barry
Distributed by: Orion Pictures, Warner Bros. Pictures
Release Date: May 18, 1982