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
"The Thin Man", a deliciously superb mix that keeps getting richer becomes better with every single viewing. The first time I missed a bit of the murder plot, but repeated viewings just enhance the movie.
It has started making me wanted to go out, get a terrier and call it Asta, drink too much for my own good and become a private eye detective. And move to New York. The lovable couple make it all look fun, and even if they do drink too much. Only after I have snapped out of admiration mode for the movie I remember that they were highly paid actors following a script in a hit film of 1934, and I'm living in the year 2000, cannot get a dog, am living in Sydney, and worst of all, I'm fourteen, so I can't drink or become a detective. Such is the modern manner of the movie. It is one of the very few films of its time that retains its freshness, intrigue and brilliant humour.
William Powell and Myrna Loy are incredibly likeable, the wisecracking darlings of society who we all want to know. Their performances were both absolutely brilliant! Some of their antics are a good deal wilder than those we are used to, but in fear of being caught up in murder would keep me away from them, but not long enough. I don't believe there are any shallow characters at all. Thank goodness for "The Thin Man". One of the first to show an affectionate couple in love, I'm still scanning for the same in movies of the 50s.
W.S Dyke is of course not one of the most remembered directors of his time, but for this alone he could be considered a great director. He was not Alfred Hitchcock, but he successfully combined high comedy, crime and thrills into one film. No wonder the major film studios were hot after this property. And Dyke didn't have to rely on the excruciatingly hilarious elements of slapstick. A married couple and a dog was all that was needed. Such a simple thing to emphasise on, and how well it worked! Could there be a more stolen plot of today?
Unfortunately, MGM, despite creating one of the best teamings of the era by putting the platonic Powell and Loy together, released this film in 1934. A nominee for Best Picture, Actor and Director, among other things, it was Capra's "It Happened One Night" that made history by becoming the first film in history to sweep the five major categories at the Oscars. If it had been released in 1933, it would have beaten the now forgotten "Calvacade", in 1935 it may have swept some Oscars up against "Mutiny on the Bounty". I wonder why Loy was not nominated. The film simply could not have been done without her.
Powell and Loy went on to make many movies together. Asta, appeared again as George in the 1938 slapstick masterpiece "Bringing Up Baby".
Although we need some good movies now, no one should even think contemplate for a split second on a remake. There is no way justice could be done to this film. It is a comic masterpiece that continually tricks the viewers, and without a doubt, one of the very best and brightest movies of the 1930s.
I hope I can watch the other "Thin Man" movies. I will definitely be reading the book. The film ended half an hour ago, but I already feel like going back for a second helping.
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