First thing everyone will want to know about this one is whether it is as good as The Thin Man, and the answer is that it is – and it isn’t. It has the same stars, William Powell and Myrna Loy; the same style of breezy direction by W.S. Van Dyke; almost as many sparkling lines of dialog and amusing situations; but it hasn’t, and probably couldn’t have, the same freshness and originality of its predecessor.
The same author, Dashiell Hammett, wrote it, and the same screen writers, Frances Goodrich and Albert Hackett, did the adaptation. It’s the ‘same’ all the way through, and while that’s a guarantee of a certain general excellence, it’s the reason why it does not shine so brightly.
Powell as the amateur detective, with Loy tagging along and getting herslef tangled up in the plot, eventually gets his man. The two leading players seem to have a swell time throughout. They do a bedroom scene which is packed with laughs, but which is topped by a subsequent sequence when, having slept through an entire day, they have their breakfast in the evening and appear unable, or unwilling, to adjust themselves to the passing of time.
1936: Nomination: Best Screenplay