1936 107m MGM b&w
Breezy and humorous sequel to THE THIN MAN, Powell and Loy are up to their ears in three quick murders after Landi, Powell's knock-out cousin, asks Powell/Nick to find her vanished husband, even though he's been unfaithfully having a tryst with a nightclub singer, McNulty (later Penny Singleton of Blondie fame), and is also blackmailing big shot Calleia. Powell learns that Stewart, at his naive and disarming best, has paid the husband to disappear because he still has a yen for McNulty, a former girl friend. All of this hazardous investigation proves to be the only stimulation inside the luxury-enjoying lives of Powell and Lay (she's rich and he drinks out of boredom except when on a case, and of course she wants him on a case to curb the booze). The missing husband, Marshall, is killed, then Hart and an unseen janitor before Powell rounds up the usual suspects and plucks Stewart (one of the few roles where he was the bad guy) as the killer who went berserk out of jealousy for McNulty, killing the husband and witnesses to that killing.
The script is tight, the direction swift and arresting and the cast is tops, MGM surrounding its two quipping stars with the best character actors on the lot. Hammett's style of snappy banter and cynical world views is kept intact by Goodrich and Hackett making this film noir production all the more delectable.
Credits: p, Hunt Stromberg; d, W. S. Van Dyke; w, Frances Goodrich, Albert Hackett (based on a story by Dashiell Hammett); ph, Oliver T. Marsh, m, Herbert Stothart; ed, Robert J. Kern; art d, Cedric Gibbons; ml, Arthur Freed, Nacio Herb Brown, Bob Wright, Waiter Donaldson, Chet Forrest.