Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Everything I Consume: The Dain Curse

This movie dates from the late 1970s, the Golden Age of TV mini-series. It's actually three episodes coming in at about five hours. I'm a huge Dashiell Hammett fan but had never gotten around to seeing it for one reason or another. While it wasn't as bad as many of the commenters on Netflix think ("borderline horrible due to a weak script, hammy overacting/miscasting and a mind-bogglingly AWFUL jazz score that never shuts up") it's not that bad either. I'll admit some of the acting is pretty bad and the lead of Gabrielle is horribly miscast. Also, I wasn't crazy about giving the Continental Op a name and setting the story in New York instead of San Francisco. And there's a lot of padding. But on the whole it's kind of nice in a meandering, casual viewing sort of way. The crazy plot had enough going on to keep me interested and the sets were awesome.

The Wife likes to point out how the hair often gives away the year a movie is made even if it's set in the past or future. This movie has some severe 1970s hair.

Here's a cool page of old Dain Curse covers.

I almost forgot there are some nice touches for the Hammett fan. One of the character's last name is Collinson (Peter Collinson was an early nom de plume of Hammett) at one point a detective asks the Op, "That girl in Poisonville trusted you, didn't she?" a reference to Red Harvest.

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