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Alcohol Professor: Christmas with Nick and Nora

On December 5, 1933, the United States ended Prohibition. A scant six months later, in May of 1934, MGM released The Thin Man, the first in a series of comedic mystery films based on a novel by Dashiell Hammett and starring William Powell and Myrna Loy as a couple of high-living socialites who solve the occasional murder.

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Harrowing Books of Varying Reputability

So the authorities of Teleport City asked me to write about twelve books that I love. It turns out that not only am I terrible at listing favorites, I am kind of terrible at following directions. I started with twelve books I loved and then it turned into twelve books by authors I love. Then,…

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Gimlets with Fleming and Marlowe

It was during the great mid-century cocktail revival that young Ian Fleming came into his own as the gadabout and Bond vivant we know him as. And it’s likely that, as a man heavily influenced not just by British adventure writers like John Buchan, but also American detective novel writers like Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler,…

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Mulholland Drive

David Lynch’s tale of an aspiring actress becomes a surreal nightmare, a puzzle box of a film about the dark side of Hollywood played out against the sunny Los Angeles landscape.

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That Prince Among Shampoos

“His two battered suitcases came and he unpacked leisurely and then ordered from Room Service a bottle of the Taittinger Blanc de Blancs that he had made his traditional drink at Royale. When the bottle, in its frosted silver bucket, came, he drank a quarter of it rather fast and then went into the bathroom…