German New Wave direct or Wim Wenders grew up on Hollywood B-movie noirs, and his first US film offers a loving homage to Dashiell Hammett, co-father with Raymond Chandler of the American hard-boiled thriller.
Hammett is a fictional imagining of how the ex-Pinkerton agent began his writing career, plunging him into a labyrinthine intrigue of San Francisco corruption, blackmail and skulduggery.
Fragments of Hammett’s novels (The Maltese Falcon, The Thin Man) are mixed into the plot, while lead Frederic Forrest riffs on Bogart’s Sam Spade.
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