Both Evan Lewis and Brian Wallace alerted me to a major Hammett/Falcon cameo in the cop show Blue Bloods.
“Friday night, February 12, 2021,” Brian reported. “Season 11, Episode 7 — ‘In Too Deep.’
Alison Gable (Erin Neufer) is introduced to viewers as a childhood friend of Sgt Jamie Reagan.
“She is a bit of a nerd and has a true crime podcast called ‘Murder in Manhattan.’
“Allison is convinced that she has single-handedly solved a cold case murder.
“In discussing the case with the New York City officials in the District Attorneys office, the topic of Dashiell Hammett comes up and Alison is asked if she knows who he is. She not only mentions Sam Spade and The Maltese Falcon but that Sam Spade appears in four short stories.
“I thought, ‘What? That can’t be correct.’ So I checked and, of course, it’s true. A total embarrassment to me because up until yesterday, I thought Sam Spade only appeared in The Maltese Falcon.”
Brian — dude! I don’t know how a major Mean Streets gumshoe didn’t know about the Spade shorts — but let me add that the info that there are four of them is kind of new, since the fourth only showed up in the 2013 collection The Hunter and Other Stories.
Evan said, “Here’s one for your ongoing TV watch.”
Just a point of info: the only tube I’ve been tracking Hammett on would be Jeopardy!, but Evan might recall that time I spotted the falcon statue in a Hawkman sex scene. I heard some glancing ref to Hammett on a show the other night, but didn’t bother taking a note.
The best Hammett/Falcon ref I spotted recently showed up in Season 3 of the Prime crime comedy Get Shorty, where what is supposed to be an original movie prop gets dropped by some mook and breaks. Because its plaster. (I think the idea that original 1941 Bogie flick used plaster props is being pushed so that plaster statues can be sold to monied mooks who don’t know any better. The original props are lead, with a bronze patina. I’ve seen two in person, so far.)
Evan’s recap: “On this week’s episode of Blue Bloods, somebody mentions Sam Spade.
“A character says, ‘Just so you know, Sam Spade was a fictional character.’
“Another character, trying to show off, continues, ‘Created by Dashiell Hammett in the 1930s for the novel The Maltese Falcon, who then appeared in four subsequent short stories and six film adaptations.’
“No one corrected her. The others in the room just seemed awestruck at her knowledge of the subject.”
I know where they get the four short stories, but not the six movies (unless Evan heard it wrong, or they’re confusing Sammie with the six in the Nick and Nora series).
“The writer credited for this episode is Daniel Truly,” Evan added, “who is also one of the many executive producers of the show.”