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After a four year absence, one time detective Nick Charles returns to New York with his new wife Nora and their dog, Asta. Nick re-connects with many of his old cronies, several of whom are eccentric characters, to say the least. He's also approached by Dorothy Wynant whose inventor father Clyde Wynant is suspected of murdering her father's mistress (his former secretary ).. Her father had left on a planned trip some months before and she has had no contact with him. Nick isn't all that keen on resuming his former profession but egged-on by wife Nora, who thinks this all very exciting, he agrees to help out. He solves the case, announcing the identity of the killer at a dinner party for all of the suspects. Written by
W.S. Van Dyke often did not bother with cover shots if he felt the scene was right on the first take, reasoning that actors "lose their fire" if they have to do something over and over. It was a lot of pressure on the actors, who often had to learn new lines and business immediately before shooting, without the luxury of retakes, but Myrna Loy credited much of the appeal of the film to Van Dyke's pacing and spontaneity. See more »
During Nick and Nora's Christmas Eve party, the handkerchief in Nick's jacket pocket keeps changing in appearance. See more »
W.S. Van Dyke's 1934 film "The Thin Man" stars Myrna Loy and William Powell as Nora and Nick Charles, upper class sleuths who unwittingly become caught up in the case of a missing friend and former client. Nick is a former detective who has been in retirement for the last four years, living the high life with Nora when Dorothy Wynant (Maureen O'Sullivan) implores with them to help find her father, who has been missing for three months. Throughout the investigation, Nick and Nora rarely are without a drink in their hands, are forever trading bons mots and getting themselves into comical situations; they even get their terrier Asta in on their investigation.
"The Thin Man" is a great detective story that is enhanced by its classiness and humor. Powell is definitely the physical comedian of the pair, with Loy looking stunning and conveying so much with the looks she gives him. I honestly found myself guessing the outcome until the end, which culminates in a deliciously wonderful dinner party where all of the guests are suspects. It is stunning that this film was made in 1934, because it seems so ahead of its time; which is probably just one reason why it is so highly regarded and remains on many critics' lists. "The Thin Man" is so thoroughly enjoyable, and its stars (including Asta) are so engaging that I look forward to seeing more in the six-film series. Rent this one or catch it on Turner Classic Movies, like I did. It is well worth seeing, and surely an inspiration to many film genres ranging from screwball comedies to detective stories. A very strong 8/10.
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