Jeopardy! hasn’t hit the Hammett clew pile lately as much as it did back in the Golden Age of Alex Trebek.
But every now and then they just can’t avoid it. . . .
For the show broadcast December 23rd, the Double Jeopardy round sported a category called Rian Johnson Loves a Whodunit — and Whodon’t, right?
The whole row of statements featured Johnson — writer and director of the popular crime puzzler Lights Out from 2019. Plus the just-released this week Glass Onion: A Lights Out Mystery.
For the $2000 clew in the category — the big money — they featured a closeup of Myrna Loy and William Powell, with Johnson saying:
The loving relationship in The Thin Man between these two lead characters is endearing, and the only killing they do is of 12 martinis between them at a sitting.
Current multi-game champ Ray buzzed in with the correct answer: “Who are Nick and Nora Charles?”
Yeah, who else?
And if you stream Glass Onion, you’ll find that Nick and Nora aren’t the only Hammett sleuths familiar to Johnson (his first feature, Brick from 2005, is kind of The Maltese Falcon set in high school — the late great Bill Arney enthusiastically recommended it to me at the time).
Think it’s about the 2:03 time marker, around there, big showdown in a display gallery with tons of glass sculptures on pedestals. Keep your eyes peeled, it only shows up for a moment, but near actress Madelyn Cline (in the role of “Whiskey”) you’ll find another ref to the Sam Spade novel — with the Black Bird done in crystal.
A Glass Onion Maltese Falcon.