Another Thin Man (1939)

105 mins | Comedy-drama | 17 November 1939

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HISTORY

The working title of this film was The Thin Man Returns . It was the third film in the Thin Man series. According to a 9 Oct 1939 M-G-M "Notice of Tentative Credits" (located in the AMPAS production file for this film), Anita Loos was a contributing writer on the screenplay. M-G-M press releases contained in the AMPAS production files note that the dance team of Rene and Estelle were headliners at New York's Havana-Madrid Club. Although an Oct 1939 HR news item states that Rafael Storm was "assigned a role for retakes," his appearance in the released film has not been confirmed. According to news items in HR in 1938, actors Reginald Gardiner and Melvyn Douglas were considered as replacements for William Powell in The Thin Man series when a serious illness caused delays in the start of this film. Modern sources add that this film marked Powell's return to M-G-M after a two-year bout with cancer. From the completion of Double Wedding in 1937 until Another Thin Man in 1939, Powell appeared in only one film, Fox's 1938 film The Baroness and the Butler . Because of his weakened condition, he had to work a shortened workday. To accommodate Powell, director W. S. Van Dyke II doubled the crew size to speed up filming and demanded that all the principal actors be furnished with stand-ins for the lighting chores between setups. For additional information on the series, consult the Series Index and see the entry below for The Thin Man ... More Less

The working title of this film was The Thin Man Returns . It was the third film in the Thin Man series. According to a 9 Oct 1939 M-G-M "Notice of Tentative Credits" (located in the AMPAS production file for this film), Anita Loos was a contributing writer on the screenplay. M-G-M press releases contained in the AMPAS production files note that the dance team of Rene and Estelle were headliners at New York's Havana-Madrid Club. Although an Oct 1939 HR news item states that Rafael Storm was "assigned a role for retakes," his appearance in the released film has not been confirmed. According to news items in HR in 1938, actors Reginald Gardiner and Melvyn Douglas were considered as replacements for William Powell in The Thin Man series when a serious illness caused delays in the start of this film. Modern sources add that this film marked Powell's return to M-G-M after a two-year bout with cancer. From the completion of Double Wedding in 1937 until Another Thin Man in 1939, Powell appeared in only one film, Fox's 1938 film The Baroness and the Butler . Because of his weakened condition, he had to work a shortened workday. To accommodate Powell, director W. S. Van Dyke II doubled the crew size to speed up filming and demanded that all the principal actors be furnished with stand-ins for the lighting chores between setups. For additional information on the series, consult the Series Index and see the entry below for The Thin Man . More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
9 Nov 39
p. 3.
Film Daily
14 Nov 39
p. 7.
Hollywood Reporter
15 Jul 39
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
19 Aug 39
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
23 Sep 39
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
12 Oct 39
p. 14.
Hollywood Reporter
14 Oct 39
p. 5.
Hollywood Reporter
10 Nov 39
p. 3.
Motion Picture Daily
14 Nov 39
p. 1, 7
Motion Picture Herald
9 Sep 39
p. 59.
Motion Picture Herald
18 Nov 39
p. 44.
New York Times
24 Nov 39
p. 29.
Variety
15 Nov 39
p. 18.
CAST
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
Alexander D'Arcy
Edwin Parker
Paul "Tiny" Newlan
Paul E. Burns
Eddie Buzzard
Lee C. Shumway
+
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Dir of retakes and asst dir
PRODUCER
WRITERS
Orig story
Contr wrt
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Dir of photog
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
Art dir assoc
FILM EDITOR
SET DECORATOR
Set dec
COSTUMES
Ward
MUSIC
Mus score
SOUND
Rec dir
DANCE
Dance dir
Rhumba specialty
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on characters created by Dashiell Hammett.
DETAILS
Series:
Alternate Title:
The Thin Man Returns
Release Date:
17 November 1939
Production Date:
mid July--late August 1939
retakes completed 13 October 1939
Copyright Claimant:
Loew's Inc.
Copyright Date:
15 November 1939
Copyright Number:
LP9259
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Sound System
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
105
Length(in reels):
10
Country:
United States
PCA No:
5826
Passed by NBR:
Yes
SYNOPSIS

After Colonel MacFay frantically summons them to his Long Island estate, amatuer detectives Nick and Nora Charles arrive to find the house under heavy guard and the colonel under threat of death by his former employee, Phil Church. Among MacFay's house guests are his adopted daughter Lois and her fiancé, Dudley Horn, who explains that Church blames the colonel for sending him to jail, and the macabre incidents that have been occurring are a result of Church's revenge attempts. That night, the colonel is murdered and Church disappears. As the police interrogate the witnesses, gunshots are heard in the night and Horn is killed. Back in the city, a mysterious caller who promises to produce Church's Cuban accomplice, "Dum Dum," directs Nora to the Rio Club, and Nick, acting on a clue uncovered at Church's girl friend Smitty's apartment, also turns up at the club. There, Nick learns that Church had a second girl friend, Linda Mills, and he goes to investigate her apartment, but finds the girl missing. The next day, Church appears at the Charles' apartment and threatens to harm Nick unless he abandons the case. As he escapes across the rooftops, Church is shot and killed, and the police are summoned. Nick then explains to the puzzled assemblage that Church did not kill MacFay. As he re-stages the shooting, Nick explains that Church's accomplice, Linda Mills, killed the colonel, and Nick then unmasks Lois as Linda. Nick continues that Lois, tired of playing the good daughter, led the life of a moll and killed her father for his money. Once Horn began to suspect her ... +


After Colonel MacFay frantically summons them to his Long Island estate, amatuer detectives Nick and Nora Charles arrive to find the house under heavy guard and the colonel under threat of death by his former employee, Phil Church. Among MacFay's house guests are his adopted daughter Lois and her fiancé, Dudley Horn, who explains that Church blames the colonel for sending him to jail, and the macabre incidents that have been occurring are a result of Church's revenge attempts. That night, the colonel is murdered and Church disappears. As the police interrogate the witnesses, gunshots are heard in the night and Horn is killed. Back in the city, a mysterious caller who promises to produce Church's Cuban accomplice, "Dum Dum," directs Nora to the Rio Club, and Nick, acting on a clue uncovered at Church's girl friend Smitty's apartment, also turns up at the club. There, Nick learns that Church had a second girl friend, Linda Mills, and he goes to investigate her apartment, but finds the girl missing. The next day, Church appears at the Charles' apartment and threatens to harm Nick unless he abandons the case. As he escapes across the rooftops, Church is shot and killed, and the police are summoned. Nick then explains to the puzzled assemblage that Church did not kill MacFay. As he re-stages the shooting, Nick explains that Church's accomplice, Linda Mills, killed the colonel, and Nick then unmasks Lois as Linda. Nick continues that Lois, tired of playing the good daughter, led the life of a moll and killed her father for his money. Once Horn began to suspect her of the crime, she killed him, and Church became her third victim when she began to suspect him of double-crossing her over Smitty. +

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.