Showing posts from October, 2013

Sam Spade, the Hardest of the Hard Boiled

When we think of a Hard-Boiled Detective , the image that first pops into our heads is none other than Sam Spade . The question is: how accurate is that picture? The answer is both "very" and "not very". It is far from uncommon for a character or even a story to be modified from the original author's vision. This is especially true when a literary character is adapted for other media. What is interesting in  Sam Spade  's  transformation is that the more he is adapted,  the more correct  he feels to the audience. Convention dictates that the  Sam Spade   introduced to us by Dashiell Hammett would be the correct one. Spade seems to be an amalgam of the actual private detectives that Hammett had worked with when he was an investigator. In the introduction, to the 1934 edition of The Maltese Falcon , Hammett writes that the real private detective has no desire "to be an erudite solver of riddles in the Sherlock Holmes manner; he wants to be a hard a