After the Thin Man (1936)

107 or 112 mins | Comedy | 25 December 1936

Director:

W. S. Van Dyke

Producer:

Hunt Stromberg

Cinematographer:

Oliver T. Marsh

Editor:

Robert J. Kern

Production Designer:

Cedric Gibbons

Production Company:

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Corp.
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HISTORY

According to contemporary news items, portions of the film were shot on location in San Francisco, and the base of the city's Coit Tower was used as the exterior of the Charles home. According to a news item in HR on 30 Oct 1934, author Dashiell Hammett was to have a small part in the picture; however, when the film went into production almost two years later, his name was not mentioned and the possibility of his acting in the picture was apparently dropped. The nightclub featured in the film was loosely modelled on the famous Forbidden City, a popular San Francisco night spot from the late 1930s through the 1950s.
       This was the first film in more than five years made by actress Dorothy McNulty, who had been appearing on Broadway during the early 1930s. She changed her name in 1938 to Penny Singleton, and became more familiar under that name when she played the lead in Columbia's Blondie series (see below). A modern source credits Henry Grace with set decoration.
       This was the second of M-G-M's Thin Man pictures. For additional information on the series, please consult the Series Index and see the entry for The Thin Man in AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1931-40 ; ... More Less

According to contemporary news items, portions of the film were shot on location in San Francisco, and the base of the city's Coit Tower was used as the exterior of the Charles home. According to a news item in HR on 30 Oct 1934, author Dashiell Hammett was to have a small part in the picture; however, when the film went into production almost two years later, his name was not mentioned and the possibility of his acting in the picture was apparently dropped. The nightclub featured in the film was loosely modelled on the famous Forbidden City, a popular San Francisco night spot from the late 1930s through the 1950s.
       This was the first film in more than five years made by actress Dorothy McNulty, who had been appearing on Broadway during the early 1930s. She changed her name in 1938 to Penny Singleton, and became more familiar under that name when she played the lead in Columbia's Blondie series (see below). A modern source credits Henry Grace with set decoration.
       This was the second of M-G-M's Thin Man pictures. For additional information on the series, please consult the Series Index and see the entry for The Thin Man in AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1931-40 ; F3.4572. More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
28 Sep 36
p. 6.
Daily Variety
3 Dec 36
p. 3.
Film Daily
7 Dec 36
p. 11.
Hollywood Reporter
30 Oct 34
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
23 Sep 36
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
29 Sep 36
p. 14.
Hollywood Reporter
3 Dec 36
p. 3.
Motion Picture Daily
4 Dec 36
p. 10.
Motion Picture Herald
12 Dec 36
p. 52.
New York Times
25 Dec 36
p. 19.
Variety
30 Dec 36
p. 1.
CAST
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
Asta
Dorothy Vaughn
Joe Phillips
Fredric Santly
Dick Cramer
George H. Reed
Billy Benedict
Cecil Elliott
Jean Barry
Jane Tallant
Jimmy Brewster
+
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCER
PHOTOGRAPHY
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
Art dir assoc
Art dir assoc
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
COSTUMES
Ward
MUSIC
Mus score
Mus score
SOUND
Rec dir
DANCE
Dances staged by
PRODUCTION MISC
Still photog
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on characters created by Dashiell Hammett.
SONGS
"Smoke Dreams," music by Nacio Herb Brown, lyrics by Arthur Freed
"Blow That Horn," music by Walter Donaldson, lyrics by Chet Forrest and Bob Wright.
DETAILS
Series:
Release Date:
25 December 1936
Production Date:
late September--31 October 1936
Copyright Claimant:
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Corp.
Copyright Date:
21 December 1936
Copyright Number:
LP6821
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Sound System
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
107 or 112
Length(in reels):
12
Country:
United States
PCA No:
2889
Passed by NBR:
Yes
SYNOPSIS

On New Year's Eve, Nick and Nora Charles arrive back home in San Francisco after Nick successfully solved the "Thin Man" murder case in New York. Exhausted from their trip, Nick and Nora want a quiet evening at home, but discover that their house has been taken over by a group of revelers they don't even know. When Nora's Great Aunt Katherine Forrest invites them to dinner, Nick doesn't want to go, but agrees when Nora's cousin, Selma Landis, pleads with Nora. At Katherine's house, they discover that Selma's husband Robert has been missing for three days. Katherine asks Nick to quietly find Robert, and, although he is reluctant, he takes Nora to the Lichee, a Chinese nightclub that Robert frequents. Robert has been at the Lichee, drinking and waiting for the club's entertainer, Polly Byrnes. Polly and "Dancer," one of the club's owners, are expecting to get money from Robert and Dancer tells Polly to take Robert home. A few days previously, Robert had approached David Graham, Selma's former fiancée, for $25,000 to leave for good. David meets Robert a short time later to give him negotiable bonds, then, after cruelly bidding Selma goodbye, Robert walks out into the fog and is shot. When David's car drives up to Robert's body, Selma is standing over it with a gun. Dazed, Selma gives David the weapon and he tells her not to say anything. Despite their efforts to protect Selma, Nick and Nora are unable to prevent her arrest by Lieutenant Abrams. Though Selma says that she had not fired her gun, David reveals that he threw it into the ... +


On New Year's Eve, Nick and Nora Charles arrive back home in San Francisco after Nick successfully solved the "Thin Man" murder case in New York. Exhausted from their trip, Nick and Nora want a quiet evening at home, but discover that their house has been taken over by a group of revelers they don't even know. When Nora's Great Aunt Katherine Forrest invites them to dinner, Nick doesn't want to go, but agrees when Nora's cousin, Selma Landis, pleads with Nora. At Katherine's house, they discover that Selma's husband Robert has been missing for three days. Katherine asks Nick to quietly find Robert, and, although he is reluctant, he takes Nora to the Lichee, a Chinese nightclub that Robert frequents. Robert has been at the Lichee, drinking and waiting for the club's entertainer, Polly Byrnes. Polly and "Dancer," one of the club's owners, are expecting to get money from Robert and Dancer tells Polly to take Robert home. A few days previously, Robert had approached David Graham, Selma's former fiancée, for $25,000 to leave for good. David meets Robert a short time later to give him negotiable bonds, then, after cruelly bidding Selma goodbye, Robert walks out into the fog and is shot. When David's car drives up to Robert's body, Selma is standing over it with a gun. Dazed, Selma gives David the weapon and he tells her not to say anything. Despite their efforts to protect Selma, Nick and Nora are unable to prevent her arrest by Lieutenant Abrams. Though Selma says that she had not fired her gun, David reveals that he threw it into the bay, thinking that Selma actually had killed her husband. The next day, Nick goes to the hotel room of Phil Byrnes, a man posing as Polly's brother, but actually her husband. Upon his arrival, Nick discovers Phil's dead body. Later, he also discovers that someone had been listening to Polly's apartment through a device in the apartment above. Suspicious when he hears Dancer enter Polly's apartment, Nick follows him to the basement and finds the body of the janitor. When Nora arrives at the apartment building and hears the janitor's name, Pedro, she reveals that Pedro used to be her father's gardener. Nick then asks Abrams to have all of the suspects congregate at Polly's. Though Dancer and Polly admit their plan to use a check forged with Robert's name, each claims to be innocent of the murders. During questioning, David says that he remembers Pedro, a man with a long white moustache, but hasn't seen him recently. When Nick looks at a picture of Pedro taken years before and sees that Pedro then had a small black moustache, he knows that David must be lying. Nick then says that the murderer has finally made a slip and reconstructs the evidence to reveal that David killed Robert out of revenge, then killed Phil when Phil tried to blackmail him. Finally, when Pedro recognized him, David was forced to kill him as well. Now cornered, David reveals that he had been planning to frame Selma for her husbands murder. He draws a gun and threatens to shoot Selma and then himself, but Lum Kee, Dancer's partner in the club, knocks the gun out of David's hand and David is overpowered. A short time later, Nick and Nora leave San Francisco on the train, accompanied by Selma, who plans to start a new life. Finally, when he is alone with Nora, Nick sees that she is crocheting a baby's sock and is shocked when she says "And you call yourself a detective." +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.