hammett, dashiell

Cultural Dictionary

Hammett, Dashiell definition


A twentieth-century American writer of finely crafted detective fiction. His novel The Maltese Falcon introduced Sam Spade, a tough, cynical, “hard-boiled” type of private eye. Hammett was jailed briefly and blacklisted after the infamous “red-baiting” hearings of the early 1950s.

Note: The popular 1941 film version of The Maltese Falcon starred Humphrey Bogart with Sydney Greenstreet and Peter Lorre, who reunited for the classic film Casablanca.
The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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