RE:RARA-AVIS: Red Harvest

Date: 05 Jan 2000

Appreciate Tim's comments on the historical company town violence that is obviously behind Hammett's novel. I liked the social history DH inserted in the novel, explaining how the town became poisonous in the first place. Gives the title a nice twist, the harvest of anti-"red" (union, IWW) activity
(Forshadowing Hammett's later difficulties too.) My somewhat negative comments on disbelief and action comics or cartoonlike action films had more to do with how unscathed, unnicked some ops can be when all around them are catching bullets.

BTW, those interested in the theme of company/union violence, espec. in small towns, might well want to check out John Sayles' classic, based on real events in a West Virginia mining town in the 1920s, Matewan. It certainly supports Hammett's vision of how bad it could get. If you're tastes extend to European film, the Italian film, The Organizer (starring Marcello Mastroianni) is quite good, along similar lines.

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