Shadow of the Thin Man (1941)

Passed  |   |  Comedy, Romance, Drama  |  November 1941 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 3,628 users  
Reviews: 27 user | 25 critic

Nick and Nora are at their wise-cracking best as they investigate murder and racketeering at a local race-track.


(as Maj. W.S. Van Dyke II)


(screen play), (screen play), 2 more credits »
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Complete credited cast:
Sam Levene ...
Alan Baxter ...
'Whitey' Barrow
Henry O'Neill ...
Major Jason I. Sculley
Richard Hall ...
Nick Jr. (as Dickie Hall)
Stella Adler ...
Claire Porter
Loring Smith ...
'Link' Stephens
Joseph Anthony ...
Fred Macy
Lou Lubin ...
'Rainbow' Benny
Louise Beavers ...
Asta a Dog ...
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Watchman (scenes deleted)


Nick and Nora's hopes for a pleasant afternoon at the local race track are dashed when a jockey is found shot dead in the locker room. Nick's friend Lt. Abrams wants him to help out but Nick is enjoying the good life too much to get involved. However, he is subsequently approached by Major Scully to look into corruption and the role of organized crime in gambling. Others are killed but in the end, Nick gathers all of the suspects into a room and identifies the killer. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


FUNNIER THAN EVER in their first new laugh-thriller in 2 years! See more »


Passed | See all certifications »




Release Date:

November 1941 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La sombra de los acusados  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Debut of Barry Nelson, also feature debut of Ava Gardner, briefly seen walking by Nick's car. See more »


After Nick gets off of the merry-go-round, there is a close-up of Asta also exiting the merry-go round. If you look at Asta's front paws you can see the straps and fishing line used to pull his legs out from under him. This was done to make him lose his balance and give him the appearance of being dizzy from riding around in circles. See more »


Lieutenant Abrams: You know that jockey Golez, the one who was caught throwing the fourth race yesterday? He was shot.
Nora Charles: My, they're strict at this track!
See more »


Referenced in We Must Have Music (1942) See more »

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User Reviews

The Formula Still Works Pretty Well
17 August 2005 | by (Ohio) – See all my reviews

In this fourth movie in the Thin Man series, the familiar formula still works pretty well, making "Shadow of the Thin Man" an enjoyable feature with plenty of wit, an interesting mystery, and most of all Nick and Nora. It's hard to think of any other screen couple that worked together better than William Powell and Myrna Loy. All it takes is a few seconds of seeing them interact before you feel as if you are in the company of old friends.

The story and setting make use of Nick's fondness for the horse races, and this also allows for an entertaining assortment of characters. The mystery has several twists and turns, and the story developments alternate with lighter stretches of Nick and Nora being themselves. Besides the race track, there are some other imaginative settings that help in creating an atmosphere that is both believable and interesting.

Most of the other characters are pretty straightforward, but Sam Levene gets quite a few good moments as the police lieutenant. Barry Nelson also has a decent role as a reporter. A very young Donna Reed gets a fair amount of screen time, but her character is not as interesting as the others. It's also interesting to see Stella Adler in one of her rare screen roles.

This one is a cut below the earlier movies in the series, but it's still good fun. As well as the familiar combination works, there weren't a lot of reasons to make significant changes.

16 of 18 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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