On the Trail of The Black Bird…

The Whereabouts of the "Real" Maltese Falcon As of March 1995, the original movie prop (two were made, but only one was used) from John Huston's 1941 classic The Maltese Falcon had finally gone home to roost in San Francisco, site of the film and the original novel by Dashiell Hammett. The leaden statuette emerged … Continue reading On the Trail of The Black Bird…

George Webb

Created by Graham Swift "The things people ask you to do..." Who'd a thunk it? Remember, at the end of Hammett's The Maltese Falcon, when Sam Spade tells Brigid O'Shaughnessy, just as she's being carted off to prison, that he would wait for her? Well, with that concept in mind, Booker Prize-winning author Graham Swift … Continue reading George Webb

Hagedorn

Created by Peter Collinson Pseudonym of Dashiell Hammett 1894-1961) Hammett scholar Vince Emery, citing William F. Nolan, suggested that Dashiell Hammett's "The Road Home," featuring professional manhunter HAGEDORN and originally published in the December 1922 issue of The Black Mask is in fact "the first hard-boiled detective story," predating Carroll John Daly's "Three Gun Terry," which is … Continue reading Hagedorn

Who’s on First?

The First Hard-Boiled Private Eye Story "Firsts" are the sort of game literary historians, scholars and bookgeeks love to play, giving them a chance to strut their stuff, loudly and proudly offering up the most blurry of distinctions and the most wishy-washy of definitions, turning hair-splittery into a fine art -- and occasionally a contact … Continue reading Who’s on First?

My Bookshelf: The Hard-Boiled Omnibus by Joseph T. “Cap” Shaw

My Scrapshelf The Hard-Boiled Omnibus: Early Stories from Black Mask, edited by Joseph T. "Cap" Shaw   Is there a more pivotal collection of stories from Black Mask than The Hard-Boiled Omnibus? Published by Simon and Schuster in 1946, this almost mythical hardcover featured fifteen stories selected by editor  Joseph T. "Cap" Shaw (1874 - 1952), … Continue reading My Bookshelf: The Hard-Boiled Omnibus by Joseph T. “Cap” Shaw

Nick and Nora Charles

Created by Dashiell Hammett (1894-1961) Nora: "I read where you were shot five times in the tabloids." Nick: "Not true. He didn't come anywhere near my tabloids." -- from The Thin Man (1934 film) The glitzy adventures of Dashiell Hammett's retired private eye NICK CHARLES and his rich, beautiful (and not quite as ditzy as … Continue reading Nick and Nora Charles

Robin Thin

Created by Dashiell Hammett (1894-1961) "I am not privy to the quirk in Sergeant Hooley's mind which makes attendance at this particular university constitute, for him, a humorous situation; nor can I perceive why he should find so much pleasure in mentioning that famous seat of learning to me who, as I have often taken … Continue reading Robin Thin

“Flitcraft” by The Mekons

Words and Music by The Mekons From the album "Fear and Whiskey" (1985) The Mekons were a scrappy British punk band from Leeds that defied the odds and never quite went away. Instead, they grew up and ended up embracing country, folk, reggae, honky tonk, punk, rock and anything else that tickled their fancies in their … Continue reading “Flitcraft” by The Mekons

The Long Red Harvest

What a Long, Strange Trip It's Been Okay, so here's the thing: Dashiell Hammett’s classic 1929 hardboiled novel Red Harvest, featuring the private detective known only as The Continental Op, has been the basis for at least five movie adaptations, at least three that are well worth your time.  But Hammett has never been credited on … Continue reading The Long Red Harvest

My Scrapbook: Newspaper Ad for Roadhouse Nights

My Scrapbook Newspaper Ad for the 1930 film Roadhouse Nights Based on Dashiell Hammett's Red Harvest This ad was from the March 12, 1930 issue of The Sheboygan Press, from Sheboygan, Wisconsin, and proudly proclaims that Roadhouse Nights was declared to be the best picture of the month by Milwaukee papers. The pre-code gangster flick, … Continue reading My Scrapbook: Newspaper Ad for Roadhouse Nights