The Thin Man
Woody S. Van Dyke's The Thin Man (1934) comes to DVD in fine style -- a gleaming new transfer off of a beautiful (if not perfect) source in very good sound, and with decent if not too ambitious bonus selections. The movie was out on laserdisc at least twice, but neither of those editions look as good as this new transfer, the night images of which (of which there are many, this being a mystery) glisten like silver sprayed on a velvety black background, while the fully lit shots reveal the texture of the fabric in the men's suits and the woman's gowns. There are small flaws in the source at various points, the last reel has some rips that have been repaired, and some of the focus isn't ideal -- and a flock of vertical scratches appear in the image at 71 minutes in, during a night scene, but generally this is about as good a presentation as the movie has received since the last time it was projected on a cinema palace-size screen, about 70 years ago. Someone spent a little time producing this disc, too, because there are 28 chapters in the 91 minute film, which is the way movies of this type and vintage should be treated. The disc opens up on the menu, which is structured very simply and offers a selection of the trailers from this and the subsequent five "Thin Man" movies, through 1947's Song Of The Thin Man (the trailer of which runs close to three minutes), all of which look to be in excellent condition and whet the appetite for the release of those movies.