Saturday, February 25, 2012

Dashiell Hammett

 Saturday February 25, 1:41 p.m.

It's been a Dashiell Hammett afternoon on Turner Movies. I saw the entirety of "After the Thin Man", a few hours ago, and it's been "The Maltese Falcon"right now.

Some years ago, I'd caught the former movie in its last 5 minutes, so I knew that the mad killer was  none other than a youthful Jimmy Stewart, getting his first really meaty role in Hollywood, a few years before "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington". It was a fun 2 hours considering the age of the flick (it's a year older than my Dad); although the banter wasn't quite as spitfire as I'd been led to believe (legend tends to overstretch even the best of things), I enjoyed it for the chemistry between William Powell and Myrna Loy (Nick and Nora Charles), and just for all of the 30s atmosphere...I've been a long fan of the old movies dating back to the Chaplin silents. The cornball "Hi ya doin', Toots?"dialogue, the Art Deco and the fashion have always appealed to me although I am very much aware of what the times were like economically and racially. I would like to see the original movie sometime.

courtesy of cinema_lasuperlativ2 of Flickr
As for Hammett's magnum opus, "The Maltese Falcon", I have it on the special anniversary DVD, so I've already seen it a couple of times already, so I'm typing this entry as the TV is playing it behind me. And really, the only good time to watch a film noir is at night, not in broad daylight.