Review: ‘The Thin Man’

The Thin Man was an entertaining novel, and now it's an entertaining picture. In the Dashiell Hammett original there was considerable material not suited by nature to pictures. That this has been cut without noticeable loss of story punch or merit is high commendation for the adapters.

The Thin Man was an entertaining novel, and now it’s an entertaining picture. In the Dashiell Hammett original there was considerable material not suited by nature to pictures. That this has been cut without noticeable loss of story punch or merit is high commendation for the adapters.

They capture the spirit of the jovial, companionable relationship of the characters, Nick, retired detective, and Nora, his wife. Their very pleasant manner of loving each other and showing it is used as a light comedy structure upon which the screen doctors perform their operation on the Hammett novel.

The comedy as inserted, and also as directed by W. S. Van Dyke and played by William Powell and Myrna Loy, carries the picture along during its early moments and gives it an impetus which sweeps the meat of the mystery story through to a fast finish.

No changes made in the basic plot nor in the murder mystery developments.

1934: Nominations: Best Picture, Director, Actor (William Powell), Writing Adaptation

The Thin Man

Production

M-G-M/Cosmopolitan. Director W. S. Van Dyke; Producer Hunt Stromberg; Screenplay Albert Hackett, Frances Goodrich; Camera James Wong Howe; Editor Robert J. Kern; Music William Axt; Art Director Cedric Gibbons, David Townsend, Edwin B. Willis

Crew

(B&W) Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1934. Running time: 80 MIN.

With

William Powell Myrna Loy Maureen O'Sullivan Nat Pendleton Minna Gombell Porter Hall
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