In Search of The Thin Man

Dashiell Hammett, William Powell and the Classic Film Series


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About the Book

The man who created the boldest hard boiled fiction, Dashiell Hammett, wrote The Thin Man in 1933 and launched the fun-loving, booze-swilling, mystery-solving couple Nick and Nora Charles into American culture. MGM sold millions of movie tickets by casting William Powell and Myrna Loy as this classiest of romantic couples. Over 14 years and six films, these stars navigated grave periods of history: the Great Depression, World War II, and the Cold War. The novel and films live on as gems of a unique gritty sophistication.

This complete history of The Thin Man series covers the brightest stars, tastiest scandals, headlines and conflicts behind these classic films. With a cast of hundreds, we see Hammett, his lover Lillian Hellman, and their friend Dorothy Parker fight alcoholism, sexual convention and Senator Joe McCarthy in culture wars of eerie contemporaneity.

About the Author(s)

Philip Zwerling, now retired to the Mendocino Coast of California, previously taught creative writing at Ursinus College and the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley. He is the author of seven books on film, theater and history.

Bibliographic Details

Philip Zwerling
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 234
Bibliographic Info: 43 photos, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2024
pISBN: 978-1-4766-8657-8
eISBN: 978-1-4766-5102-6
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vi
Preface 1
Introduction 3
1. Nick Charles and The Thin Man 5
2. Dashiell Hammett, Acts I and II 20
3. The Thin Man Movie 32
4. William Powell 59
5. Myrna Loy 82
6. The Rest of the Cast and Crew 101
7. The Thin Man and Race 110
8. After the Thin Man and Another Thin Man 127
9. Hammett, Act III 142
10. Three More Thin Man Sequels 154
11. Hammett, Act IV 170
Epilogue: Who Was the Thin Man? 191
Chapter Notes 193
Bibliography 213
Index 223