Synopsis: The novel writer Dashiell Hammett is involved in the investigation of the mysterious disappearance of a beautiful Chinese cabaret actress in San Francisco.
Genre: Crime, Drama, Mystery
Director(s): Wim Wenders
Production: LionsGate Entertainment
  2 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
97 min

- [Dog barking]

- [Car engine revving]

[Children shouting]

[Dog barking, howling]

[Typewriter keys clicking]

[Clicking continues]

[Trolley bell ringing]

[Children yelling]

[Dog barking]

[Breathing deeply]


Oh, jesus.

[Typewriter keys clicking]

[Clicking continues]


The pearls were insured for 100,000.

So when the thief offered

to sell them back for five...

the insurance company

came to us.

There was just one hitch:

The thief insisted

on a woman go-between.

The old man suggested sue alabama,

who worked for us a few years back.

When he asked me

what i thought, i said i thought

she'd be perfect, just perfect.

That'll stop a kitten,

if you're lucky.

- [Clicking]

- It'll stop a tiger,

if you know how to point it.

[Man] her name

wasn't really sue alabama.

It was sue something greek

and unpronounceable.

But all of us called her alabama,

so she had it changed back in '25.

- [Car door closing]

- That was just after she and i

took nowhere nickelton...

at the biltmore in l.a.

She primed him,

and i went in on the cleanup.

Sex was nearly all

sue alabama ever needed.

And she could use it the way

some guys use a blackjack.

I still think she was probably

the best i ever worked with.


- 5,000 bucks?

- Inside coat pocket.

He needed one hand for the money

and the other for the gun.

He wasn't good enough

to handle both.

If it isn't pen pal morrison.

Hello, pen pal.

- At least you didn't hit the money.

- I didn't aim at the money.

I can't figure him

for a cannon.

- [Foghorn blaring]

- The only thing pen pal

would ever use is the u.s. Mail.


That's why they parked him

in atlanta for three years.

Maybe he just

got ambitious.

Maybe he did.

- No pearls, though?

- No pearls. It was

a cute heist, that's all.

Just one small step up

from extortion.

Where were you gonna

fence 'em? Chicago?

- Cincinnati.

- If you still want 'em, you're

gonna have to use that shooter.

- Give me two hours.

- Why?

- For old times' sake.

- I'll give you one.

Okay. One.

[Man] i didn't give her an hour.

I didn't even give her 15 minutes.

[Typewriter keys clicking]

They picked her up at the union station

with a ticket for chicago in her bag.

I was almost sorry

she didn't make it.

Back in '26, sue alabama and i

nearly got married.

I suppose it's just as well

we didn't.

[Man coughing]


[Coughing continues]

[Breathing heavily]

[Water running]


[Breathing heavily]

[Papers shuffling]


Jesus, ryan.

- James francis xavier ryan.

- Himself.

Look at you, kid.

You're whiter than i am.


Clean living.

- You still a lunger?

- Cured. Almost, anyway. Thirsty?


I looked at this

while i was waiting...

except her name

wasn't sue alabama.

It was betty philadelphia,

and i did marry her. Worst luck.

- Ever hear from her?

- You ever hear from yours?


- Let me ask you a literary question.

- Sure.

I'll be sittin' around

with nothin' to do...

and i'll pick up one of those pulp rags

just to see if you've got a story in it.

When you do, it's usually

about this tough old bird...

who's about two and a half hops

ahead of everybody else.

How come he hasn't got a name?

Are names hard to write?

Shoot, i can write names.

Foxfire mccabe,

bitsy glass...

- [chuckles]

- Joe pickles.

- You think he's you, right?

- I know he is.

He goes around doin'

everything i used to do.

Half the time i don't know whether to be

flattered or embarrassed as hell.

What brings you to town?

That's what i want to talk to you about.

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Joe Gores

Joseph Nicholas "Joe" Gores (born December 25, 1931, in Rochester, Minnesota, United States; died January 10, 2011, in Greenbrae, California) was an American mystery writer. He was known best for his novels and short stories set in San Francisco and featuring the fictional "Dan Kearney and Associates" (the "DKA Files") private investigation firm specializing in repossessing cars, a thinly veiled escalation of his own experiences as a confidential sleuth and repo man. Gores was also recognized for his novels Hammett (1975; made into the 1982 film Hammett), Spade & Archer (the 2009 prequel to Dashiell Hammett's The Maltese Falcon) and his Edgar Award-winning or -nominated works, such as A Time of Predators, 32 Cadillacs and Come Morning. more…

All Joe Gores scripts | Joe Gores Scripts

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Submitted on August 05, 2018


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"Hammett" Scripts.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2020. Web. 9 Aug. 2020. <https://www.scripts.com/script/hammett_9531>.

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