Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Return of the Thin Man by Dashiell Hammett

Return of the Thin Man is the reconstruction of Dashiell Hammett’s scripts for the first two film sequels to The Thin Man, After the Thin Man and Another Thin Man. These are not the final scripts of the films, but neither are they first drafts, and they include contributions from screenwriters Albert Hackett and Frances Goodrich that were incorporated by Hammett.

My initial reaction to the script format was disappointment. I enjoyed the stories once I started to read them. Nick and Nora still had chemistry. Humor bumped along with mystery and mayhem. Even so, I would prefer that Hammett had put the effort into another Nick and Nora novel.

We might not have these stories if it weren’t for pressure from MGM for another hit movie. Movie buffs may be interested in the sections by editors Richard Layman and Julie M. Rivett that describe the making of the films and the lives of the principals involved.

Hammett also wrote

Hammett, Dashiell. Return of the Thin Man. Richard Layman & Julie M. Rivett, eds. New York: Mysterious Press, 2013.