(May 27, 1894—January 10, 1961) was an American author of hardboiled detective novels and short stories. Among the enduring characters he created are Sam Spade (The Maltese Falcon), Nick and Nora Charles (The Thin Man), and the Continental Op (Red Harvest and The Dain Curse). In addition to the significant influence his novels and stories had on film, Hammett "is now widely regarded as one of the finest mystery writers of all time" and was called, in his obituary in the New York Times, "the dean of the... 'hard-boiled' school of detective fiction." [Source: Wikipedia]
"I've been as bad an influence on American literature as anyone I can think of."
"Another man whose social life has ruined him."
"Feed the lettuce to the bunny and eat the bunny."
"People always say things like, Oh, well, he was suffering so much that he was better off dying. But that's not true. You're always better off living."
"I haven't any sort of plans for the future but I reckon things will work out in some manner."
The Thin Man (1929):
“How do you feel?”
“Terrible. I must have gone to bed sober.” (Nora & Nick)
“She keeps trying and you’ve got to be careful or you’ll find yourself believing her, not because she seems to be telling the truth, but simply because you’re tired of disbelieving her.” (Nick Charles)
“You got types?” (Nora)
“Only you, darling--lanky brunettes with wicked jaws.” (Nick)
The Maltese Falcon (1930):
"Samuel Spade’s jaw was long and bony, his chin a jutting v under the more flexible v of his mouth. His nostrils curved back to make another, smaller v. His yellow-grey eyes were horizontal. The v motif was picked up again by thickish brows rising outward from twin creases above a hooked nose, and his pale brown hair grew down-from high flat temples-in a point on his forehead. He looked rather pleasantly like a blonde satan." (Description of Spade)
“Our conversations have not been such that I am anxious to continue them in private.” (Cairo)
“The cheaper the crook, the gaudier the patter.” (Spade)