“Forgotten Hollywood”- In Search of The Thin Man…

Posted on December 18, 2012 by raideoman1 | No Comments

Manny P. here…

   Turner Classic Movies is spending early Tuesday morning featuring the fine work of William Powell and Myrna Loy, MGM’s power couple of the 1930s. Included in this cable retrospective is five of the six films in the Thin Man-cinematic series, and a wonderful documentary about Loy.

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another thin man   While enjoying a holiday dinner with my close friend, Dyan Hobday, she informed me that her buddy has written a magazine story regarding recent news about author Dashiell Hammett’s enduring characters, Nick & Nora Charles. Scott K. Ratner’s article appears in Mystery Scene Magazine. According to Ratner, Mysterious  Press is set to publish two original Thin Man novellas. These presumed lost sequels to the original novel were first commissioned by MGM from Hammett as treatments, and were the basis for After the Thin Man, featuring a very young James Stewart; and Another Thin Man.

nick and nora asta shadow   Though the Thin Man character was actually the initial victim in Hammett’s work, the Thin Man moniker was used by MGM in the title of the five sequels starring Powell and Loy. Nick & Nora Charles were featured in the series of movies between 1934 and 1947. According to Hammett, Nick, whose surname was changed to Charles by an immigration officer from his father’s Greek surname - Charalambides, is a retired police and private detective. Nora is a wealthy socialite whose snobbish family thinks she has married beneath herself. The author modeled her on his real-life lover, Lillian Hellman. Their banter provided comic relief that would influence scores of light-hearted detective-related motion pictures and television programs, including John Steed and Emma Peel in The Avengers. The couple has a pet dog named Asta, which was a schnauzer in the book, but became a  wire fox terrier in the movie-series.

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   Mystery Scene Magazine, based in the US and first published in 1985, covers the crime genre with a mix of articles, profiles, criticism, and extensive reviews of books, films, television, short stories, audiobooks, and reference works. Scott K. Ratner’s article appears in the Holiday Issue (#127). If I may say, it’s an insightful analysis, loaded with back stories about the career and life of Dashiell Hammett, his relationship with MGM, and Hollywood’s masterful duo… William Powell and Myrna Loy.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

This entry was posted on Tuesday, December 18th, 2012 at 12:13 am and is filed under Blog by Manny Pacheco. You can follow any comments to this post through the RSS 2.0 feed. Responses are currently closed, but you can trackback from your own site.


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