The Continental Op and Women

Date of Presentation


Name of Conference

American Culture Association/Popular Culture Association

Date of Conference


Location of Conference

Boston, MA

Document Type

Conference Presentation


Lydia M. Olson Library


The Continental Op, by his own admission, does not fit the stereotype of the hardboiled detective. At five foot six, one hundred ninety pounds, he would be more likely to be played on film by Danny DeVito or Jason Alexander than Humphrey Bogart or Alan Ladd. However, Dinah Brand, the primary female character in Red Harvest, does not conform to the stereotype of the femme fatale. In many ways, the Op is much more practical than his counterparts in Hammett’s other fiction, and Dinah Brand, a large, powerful woman, is drastically different from her counterparts as well. In this paper, I will compare these two characters to their counterparts in Hammett’s other novels and stories, paying particular attention to those featuring the Continental Op.

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