Created by Dashiell Hammett (1894-1961)
City Streets (Paramount, 1931) was one of the few Dashiell Hammett stories written to be adapted to film (After the Thin Man and Another Thin Man are the only others), and as such probably deserves our attention. I've no idea if the film itself is worth digging up or not, but who knows? There's some good camera work, supposedly, and a guy gets stabbed with a fork. And Carl Macek, in Film Noir: An Encyclopedic Reference to the American Style (1980), calls it "an unusually decadent and stylish gangster film."
It's not a private eye tale, but it does star Gary Cooper as "THE KID", a laidback, hick carny working the shooting gallery racket at a travelling fair. Nan, a mobster's daughter, falls in a big way for The Kid, despite his lack of interest in joining daddy's business and supporting her in the lifestyle she's accustomed to. But, when daddy dearest frames her on a murder beef, and she's sent to prison, Nan's attitude changes. While she's whiling away her time in the big house, her father cons The Kid into joining the gang in order to help free Nan, only to have The Kid end up running the gang. But when Nan is sprung, she wants nothing more to do with the mob and tries to get The Kid to quit.
Respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith.
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