24 of 29 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: Return of the Thin Man: Two never-before-published novellas featuring Nick & Nora Charles (Hardcover)
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Never Before Published Novellas by Dashiell Hammett - The Thin Man Series - Sign me up, overnight me the book, I can't wait to read this secret, never before seen, literature. Oh was I ever sorry when this book showed up. If I read plays, or enjoyed reading plays, I might enjoy this book. But I don't find theater or film scripts riveting reading.
The Thin Man series of movies staring William Powell, Myrna Loy, and Asta are my favorite films. I own them on VHS, Laserdisc, and DVD; and have watched them so many times I lost count long ago. They are a family favorite and movies I dearly love. Long ago I read several Hammett books, I loved them. I also love the movies that have been made from those books. Hammett and Lillian Hellman, I grew up in love with their books.
The day this book arrived, I tore open the box, flipped to a random page, and horror of horror, there was no novella printed there. No there was a shooting script, with some camera and editing direction on those pages. I put that book down for several weeks, I was that disappointed.
Last night, I bucked up and thought, hey this will be fun, and I'll watch the movie and read the script at the same time. Maybe there will be some interesting insight to the film in here. It will only take me an hour and a half to do that, so that could be fun. It got worse. What is published in these books was an initial script Hammett was under contract to deliver to MGM. There were other writers that changed the script around, manipulated it, and made the final film. The changes weren't really all that interesting - well maybe on a scholarly or purely historical level. Did it really matter that the word Negro was used, that certain scenes were reversed, some dialog changed, but other left intact? I love William Powell, Myrna Loy, every single Thin Man film, and I know them all well. In the end, I didn't care about those changes. They were simply not interesting enough.
I am terribly sorry to the two authors that dug up these two scripts, wrote a few pages of introduction and afterword, and published this. This is simply nothing like what I expected. The films are far more interesting.
This is money much better spent if you don't already own them or haven't seen the films:
The Complete Thin Man Collection (The Thin Man / After the Thin Man / Another Thin Man / Shadow of the Thin Man / The Thin Man Goes Home / Song of the Thin Man / Alias Nick and Nora)