Now back in San Francisco after their holiday in New York, Nick and Nora find themselves trying to solve another mystery. It's New Year's Eve and they are summoned to dinner at Nora's elderly, and very aristocratic, family. There they find that cousin Selma's husband Robert has been missing for three days. Nick reluctantly agrees to look for him but the case takes a twist when Robert is shot and Selma is accused of murder. Several other murders occur but eventually Nick gathers everyone into the same room to reveal the identity of the killer. Written by
The first "Thin Man" was great, but "After the Thin Man" is better. William Powell and Myrna Loy, as Nick and Nora Charles, are the archetype sophisticated couple. No one since has come close. Great casting of the supporting roles fills out the story exquisitely. Wow, could those old studios serve up wonderful acting for all kinds of characters! My favorite is Aunt Katherine, the battle ax to end all battles axes, played by Jessie Ralph; and Henry, the rickety old butler played by, would you believe, Tom Ricketts.
As usual, the dialog sparkles. And the story is great: a nice Dashiell Hammett whodunit with a not-too-complicated plot that leads to a surprise ending. The encounter between Nora's family and Nick -- "Poor Nora!" -- is worth the price of admission alone. I grin every time I think about it.
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