Re: RARA-AVIS: THE DAIN CURSE dramatized: Thornton

Date: 15 May 2002


Re your message below:

> and James Coburn played the Op, named in the tv
> version "Hamilton Nash".

That's "Dashiell Hammett" spelled sideways. Sort of.

Clearly Coburn was chosen for the role less for his physical resemblance to the Op than to the Op's creator. The producers emphasized this, dressing him in suits and hats that made Coburn look like Hammett did on the dust jacket photos.

Incidentally, it was in three parts, not two, and it was originally broadcast on CBS, not in syndication. I'm rather surprised Todd found it unengaging. I really enjoyed it. Aside from changing the setting
(Baltimore instead of San Francisco), naming the Op, and changing the name of the agency (from the Continental to the Dickinson, which may have been an inside joke referring to former Pinkerton op Charlie Siringo), it was quite faithful to the novel, and I thought the mini-series format served the episodic plot well.

For those who are awards buffs (like me), it got the Edgar for best mystery teleplay special.


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