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Publisher's Summary

The godfather of the hard-boiled detective novel, Dashiell Hammett is widely acknowledged as one of America's greatest mystery writers. This collection brings together the BBC radio adaptations of his works for the first time, including the iconic The Maltese Falcon, featuring his most famous character: Sam Spade.

The Maltese Falcon

San Francisco, 1928. When his partner is murdered on an assignment, private detective Sam Spade is drawn into a dangerous case involving a treacherous femme fatale and the priceless black statuette of a falcon.... Tom Wilkinson and Jane Lapotaire star in this thrilling dramatisation of Hammett's most famous novel.

Secret Agent X-9

New York, 1934, and Secret Agent X-9 is about to embark on his most deadly mission yet. Falsely accused of murder, he struggles to stay one step ahead of the law in his relentless pursuit of his arch enemy, 'The Top'. Dramatised from a comic strip co-created by Dashiell Hammett, this tale of mystery, murder and mayhem stars Stuart Milligan, Connie Booth and William Hootkins. 

Nightmare Town

Arriving in the desert boom town of Izzard, Arizona, sharp-edged tough guy Steve Threefall meets the beautiful, terrified Nova Vallance - and encounters danger, intrigue and a dark mystery.... Read by Stuart Milligan.

The Man Who Killed Dan Odams

An escaped killer fleeing cross-country stumbles upon an isolated farm in Montana, inhabited by a woman and her young son.... This mysterious and brooding noir western is read by Stuart Milligan.

The Maltese Falcon

Sam Spade - Tom Wilkinson

Brigid O'Shaughnessy - Jane Lapotaire

Mr Gutman - Peter Vaughan

Joel Cairo - Nickolas Grace

Effie - Mia Soteriou

Miles Archer - William Hope

Iva - Liza Ross

Wilmer - Peter Acre

Tom Polhaus - Norman Jones

Lt Dundy - Harry Towb

DA Bryan - Don Fellows

Newspaperman - Robin Summers

Taxi driver - Keith Edwards

Man with key - Arnold Diamond

Dramatised by Michael Bakewell

Directed by Jane Morgan

First broadcast BBC Radio 4, 29th December 1984

Secret Agent X-9

X-9 - Stuart Milligan

Grace Powers - Connie Booth

The Top - William Hootkins

Evelyn Powers - Rachel Power

Deacon/Alden Powers - Peter Marinker

Matthew/Steward/Luke - Michael John Paliotti

Captain Brady/Bartholomew - John Guerrasio

Jude - Bruce McGregor

Cop 1 - Clive Rowe

Harper-Carp - Kerry Shale

Waitress/Sister Agnes - Miranda Pleasance

Other parts played by the cast

Dramatised by Mark Brisenden from the comic strip created by Dashiell Hammett and Alex Raymond

Produced by Chris Wallis

First broadcast BBC Radio 5 Live, 1st - 22nd January 1994

Nightmare Town

Read by Stuart Milligan

Abridged by Neville Teller

Produced by Elizabeth Allard

First broadcast BBC Radio 4, 5th - 8th November 2001

The Man Who Killed Dan Odams

Read by Stuart Milligan

Abridged by Neville Teller

Produced by Elizabeth Allard

First broadcast BBC Radio 4, 9th November 2001

©2021 BBC Studios Distribution Ltd (P)2021 BBC Studios Distribution Ltd

What listeners say about Dashiell Hammett: The Maltese Falcon & Other Adventures

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  • Jethro Wegener
  • 09-09-2021

Mon Dieu! That French Accent!

This is an awfully disappointing adaptation from the BBC, mostly because the performances are so... odd.

The Maltese Falcon is alright, but suffers a bit from the very common problem of modern adaptations, where everyone tries to sound like Bogart, Lorrie, and others from the movie.

But the X-9 stories are hard to take seriously. Just to give a few examples:

The overly blustery and cartoonish "Doctor".

The Allo Allo French accent.

The needly, high pitched fakeness of the police captain.

All of it combined make the stories impossible to listen to without groaning.

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  • timeout
  • 16-02-2021

Over the top

I got this after enjoying the BBC Marlowe series with Toby Stephens, as well as all the Paul Temple collections. I was expecting it to be a bit 'hammy' but that's part of the enjoyment. However, this was over the top, even for this genre and era the stories are set.Wasn't able to finish it.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 04-02-2021

a terrific BBC dramatisation

this collection of BBC radio broadcasts is a great way of enjoying Hammetts works again .

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