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 step-mother. 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
MGM was advised that some dialogue such as William Powell's line "He didn't come anywhere near my Tabloids," and Myrna Loy's line "What's that man doing in my drawers?" were "censorable," the picture was approved for exhibition in 1934 and was granted a PCA certificate in August 1935. After the film's release, some territories did censor some lines of dialogue, and at least one theatre owner from the South wrote to the PCA to complain of excessive drinking in the picture which his patrons found offensive. See more »
Early in the film, after Nora gets dragged by Asta to find Nick, we see Nick explaining to the bar manager that Asta is a well trained dog. Initially, Nick has Asta's leash in his right hand and points at Asta with his left, but when they focus on Asta, Nick is pointing with his right hand and obviously holding Asta's leash in his left. 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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