RARA-AVIS: The Thin Man and Paul Temple

From: m23to53 ( library.john@virgin.net)
Date: 17 Nov 2007

Recently I have been either watching the Thin Man films or listening to the BBC recorings of the Paul Temple thrillers. In mixing them, I have realised that there there are some distinct similarities between them. And I am wondering if the basic premise of Paul Temple was from Francis Durbridge watching the Thin man Films. Both series feature couples of independent means who are well known in society, who people 'fawn' over. Both series feature murders which they become involved in almost accidently, with most of the other characters being red herrings or involved in the crime in some way - even as another victim of the killer. In neither series is there often (in Paul Temple never)no happy ending for anyone - except the police who get their killer. In both series, the police seem to become assistants to Nick or Paul in their investigation - not the other way round. In Paul Temple, this is perhaps more emphasised as Paul seems at times to take over investigations and getting the police to do what he wants them to do - even phoning the Police Commissioner up in the middle of the night to ask him to check a name in police files! In both series, the solving of the crime(s) is done at a gathering of the involved characters, called together by Nick or Paul. In most stories the villain when uncovered, always seems to produce a weapon and try to escape from the room - at least temporarily. Thus ignoring the differences between America and Britain, and the fact that The Thin Man is humorous while Paul Temple is the complete opposite, I do wonder if Durbridge used the premise of the Thin Man for Paul Temple, perhaps even got the idea from the films. So my question is, is Paul Temple a British Thin Man (as in the films)?

And is it the Thin Man films which which created the idea of the crime being solved by calling all the involved parties together? Or did someone else create that idea?

regards John

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : 17 Nov 2007 EST