Screenplay for The Thin Man Sequel [After the Thin Man]

Culver City, CA: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer [MGM], 1935. Dashiell Hammett's original submitted treatment for the first sequel to "The Thin Man," here referred to only as "Thin Man Sequel," and ultimately titled "After the Thin Man." With a single holograph correction by Hammett, and letter of provenance from Hammett's daughter Josephine Hammett Marshall regarding the discovery of the treatment in the family's estate.

The first "Thin Man" film, released in 1934 and based on Hammett's novel, was a smash hit and is today a key film in the American screwball comedy cycle. Five sequels were made between 1936 and 1947 (all starring the original acting team of William Powell and Myrna Loy), and this previously unknown attempt at a sequel by Hammett was clearly commissioned by MGM but never produced. The story is a completely original one, never reworked for the other films, very much written in Hammett's trademark style and reading a bit more like a story treatment (i.e., a novel) than a final screenplay, which is likely as far as the story got on the road to production.

The piece is dated Sept. 17, 1935 at the lower right corner of the front panel, along with Hammett's name, and Hammett's name is noted in pencil next to the title label (though not in Hammett's hand). There is only one single-word correction to the entire text, at page 83 in Hammett's hand, where the word "compact" is replaced with "cigarette case."

Accompanying the screenplay is a typed letter signed from Hammett's daughter (who edited a recently published collection of Hammett's letters), on her personal stationery, stating that the screenplay was discovered by Hammett's wife in 1980, and that it had been a part of the family's estate until that time. Probably one of only 2-3 copies that could have been produced, and very possibly the only copy extant. To our knowledge, no other copy of this story, in any form, has ever been recorded at auction or sold on the market.

Light blue titled wrappers, with the white MGM studio label present, holograph pencil notation of Hammett's name (secretarial), rubber-stamped COMPLETE, dated September 17, 1935, with a single credit for Hammett. 115 leaves, mimeograph. Pages and wrapper Very Good plus, bound with two gold brads. In a custom clamshell box.

Full collation available upon request.


[Book #124528]

Price: $27,500.00