Monday, May 12, 2008

Pre-Code films based on Dashiell Hammett novels

Author Dashiell Hammett wrote some of the great novels of the 1930s. These, in turn, were made into some of the classic films of the era. Below are reviews of two of these films, both made in what is now termed the "pre-Code" era.
  • The Maltese Falcon (1931) — The main difference in tone between this and the 1941 version with Humphrey Bogart comes from Ricardo Cortez's portrayal of Sam Spade. Cortez's Spade is much more of a ladies man than Bogart's.... He goes throughout the movie with a huge smirk on his face, as if everything going on around him is endlessly entertaining. And I can imagine why. When Ruth Wonderly (Bebe Daniels) comes into his office, he probably already knows she'll end up naked in his bath, in his bed, and in his kitchen....

    Read my entire review of The Maltese Falcon.
  • The Thin Man (1934) — William Powell and Myrna Loy are the best things on the screen. Their banter floats the film from being a normal sleuth picture to another level. This is my idea of the perfect married couple. The wordplay gives a welcome break from the detection....

    Read my entire review of The Thin Man.

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