Associated Press Review:
The influence of both the book and the film on popular culture are difficult to exaggerate. You can draw a straight line from Hammett right through Chandler and Ross Macdonald to today's masters of the hard-boiled genre -- James Ellroy and Walter Mosely. And you can do the same from Huston's movie straight through the noir films of the 1950s and 1960s to "LA Confidential" and TV crime dramas like "The Shield."
Sam Spade and Brigid O’Shaugnessy are iconic. Shame that the intelligent strong female character is still so rarely found.
Hammett wrote... for people with a sharp, aggressive attitude to life. They were not afraid of the seamy side of things; they lived there. Violence did not dismay them; it was right down their street. Hammett gave murder back to the kind of people that commit it for reasons, not just to provide a corpse ... He put these people down on paper as they were, and he made them talk and think in the language they customarily used for these purposes. " (Raymond Chandler)
And finally, here is a short funny article on being a private detective, which Hammett wrote in 1923.
The secretary of the Butte City Purity League read me a long discourse on the erotic effects of cigarettes upon young girls. Subsequent experiments proved this tip worthless