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Shadow of the Thin Man
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Shadow of the Thin Man (1941) More at IMDbPro »

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


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7.3/10   4,118 votes »
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Down 17% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Irving Brecher (screen play) and
Harry Kurnitz (screen play) ...
View company contact information for Shadow of the Thin Man on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
November 1941 (USA) See more »
Hey everybody, my folks are back on the trail of the dog-gondest mystery you ever saw! They're Wackier Than Ever! See more »
Nick and Nora are at their wisecracking best as they investigate murder and racketeering at a local race track. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
User Reviews:
An amusing murder mystery at the racetrack, with Nick and Nora Charles...and a waiter who insists they order the sea bass See more (29 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

William Powell ... Nick Charles

Myrna Loy ... Nora Charles

Barry Nelson ... Paul Clarke

Donna Reed ... Molly Ford

Sam Levene ... Police Lt. Abrams

Alan Baxter ... 'Whitey' Barrow

Henry O'Neill ... Maj. Jason I. Sculley
Richard Hall ... Nick Charles Jr. (as Dickie Hall)

Stella Adler ... Claire Porter
Loring Smith ... 'Link' Stephens
Joseph Anthony ... Fred Macy
Lou Lubin ... 'Rainbow' Benny

Louise Beavers ... Stella

Asta ... Asta
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Arthur Aylesworth ... Second Coroner (uncredited)

Al Bain ... Wrestling Match Spectator (uncredited)
Arthur Belasco ... Policeman (uncredited)
Sheldon Bennett ... Mario (uncredited)
John Berkes ... 'Spider' Webb (uncredited)
Sam Bernard ... Counterman (uncredited)
Ted Billings ... Wrestling Match Spectator (uncredited)

Oliver Blake ... Fenster - Stephens' Attorney (uncredited)

Frankie Burke ... Buddy Burns - Jockey (uncredited)
Harry Burns ... Greek Janitor (uncredited)
George Calliga ... Wrestling Match Spectator (uncredited)
Charles Calvert ... Wrestling Referee (uncredited)

Noble 'Kid' Chissell ... Racetrack Security Guard (uncredited)
Ken Christy ... Detective Bringing in Macy (uncredited)
Tom Coleman ... Cop (uncredited)

Inez Cooper ... Woman in Cab (uncredited)
Noel Cravat ... Baku - Chauffeur (uncredited)
Cliff Danielson ... Reporter (uncredited)

William 'Wee Willie' Davis ... Mug (uncredited)
Adeline De Walt Reynolds ... Barrow's Landlady (uncredited)
Edgar Dearing ... Motorcycle Cop on Bridge (uncredited)

Sayre Dearing ... Reporter (uncredited)

Joe Devlin ... Mug Starting Fight at Wrestling Match (uncredited)

John Dilson ... First Coroner (uncredited)
Abe Dinovitch ... Mug at Birthday Party (uncredited)
David Dornack ... Lefty Rogan's Kid (uncredited)
Bill Fisher ... Watchman (uncredited)

James Flavin ... Cop Who Greets Nick at Racetrack (uncredited)
Ben Frommer ... Wrestling Match Spectator (uncredited)

Ava Gardner ... Passerby at Racetrack (uncredited)

John George ... Wrestling Match Spectator (uncredited)
Cardiff Giant ... Bouncing Chuck Tschekov (uncredited)
Jody Gilbert ... Lana - Spider Webb's Girl (uncredited)
Matt Gilman ... Waiter with Steak (uncredited)

Fred Graham ... Waiter with Steak (uncredited)
Herschel Graham ... Wrestling Match Spectator (uncredited)

Kit Guard ... Wrestling Match Spectator (uncredited)
Hardboiled Haggerty ... Mug (uncredited)

Edward Hearn ... Policeman in Molly's Office (uncredited)
Arch Hendricks ... Photographer (uncredited)
Bob Ireland ... Policeman (uncredited)
Jerry Jerome ... Reporter (uncredited)

Tor Johnson ... Jack the Ripper (uncredited)

Robert Kellard ... Policeman (uncredited)
John Kelly ... 'Meatballs' Murphy (uncredited)
Lyle Latell ... Waiter Serving Benny (uncredited)
Hal Le Sueur ... Reporter (uncredited)

George Lloyd ... Pipey - at the Birthday Party (uncredited)

Tommy Mack ... Soft Drink Vendor (uncredited)
Wilbur Mack ... Wrestling Match Spectator (uncredited)
Jerry Mandy ... Waiter (uncredited)

Mathew McCue ... Wrestling Match Spectator (uncredited)
Pat McKee ... Handler (uncredited)

Sid Melton ... Fingers (uncredited)
Patti Moore ... Lefty Rogan's Wife (uncredited)
Roger Moore ... Reporter (uncredited)

Bert Moorhouse ... Detective in Scully's Office (uncredited)
George Noisom ... Jockey in Jockey Room (uncredited)
Joe Oakie ... Spider Webb (uncredited)
Paul Ravel ... Waiter (uncredited)
Joey Ray ... Stephens' Clerk (uncredited)

Buddy Roosevelt ... Reporter in Abrams' Office (uncredited)
Jack Roper ... Mug (uncredited)
Harry Semels ... Italian at Wrestling Match Calling Nora's Hat 'Screwy' (uncredited)
Eddie Sim ... Mug (uncredited)
J. Lewis Smith ... Policeman (uncredited)
Cap Somers ... Bartender (uncredited)
Brick Sullivan ... Policeman (uncredited)

Ray Teal ... Cab Driver (uncredited)
Dan Tobey ... Ring Announcer (uncredited)

Sailor Vincent ... Mug at the Birthday Party (uncredited)

Tito Vuolo ... Luis - Waiter Pushing Sea Bass (uncredited)
Fred Walburn ... First Kid on Merry-Go-Round (uncredited)

Harry Wilson ... Mug Shoving Waiter / Racetrack Security Guard (uncredited)

Will Wright ... Maguire - Nervous Ticket Seller (uncredited)
Duke York ... Valentino (uncredited)
Joe Yule ... Henry - Racetrack Watchman (uncredited)

Directed by
W.S. Van Dyke  (as Maj. W.S. Van Dyke II)
Writing credits
Irving Brecher (screen play) and
Harry Kurnitz (screen play)

Harry Kurnitz (from a story by)

Dashiell Hammett (based upon characters created by)

Produced by
Hunt Stromberg .... producer
Original Music by
David Snell (musical score)
Cinematography by
William H. Daniels (director of photography) (as William Daniels)
Film Editing by
Robert Kern (film editor) (as Robert J. Kern)
Art Direction by
Cedric Gibbons 
Set Decoration by
Edwin B. Willis (set decorations)
Costume Design by
Robert Kalloch (gowns) (as Kalloch)
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Tom Andre .... assistant director (uncredited)
Art Department
Paul Groesse .... associate art director
Sound Department
Douglas Shearer .... recording director
Bill Edmondson .... boom operator (uncredited)
Music Department
Lennie Hayton .... composer: additional music (uncredited)
Crew verified as complete

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
97 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Western Electric Sound System)
Australia:PG | Finland:K-16 | Sweden:15 | UK:PG (DVD rating) | UK:A (original rating) | USA:Passed (National Board of Review) | USA:Approved (PCA #7707)

Did You Know?

The 11th of 14 films pairing William Powell and Myrna Loy.See more »
Continuity: Prior to Nick going into "Whitey" Barrow's apartment, when the police have already searched it, the camera cuts to Asta with the leash on the floor. Next shot is Nick opening the door with the leash in his hand.See more »
Nora Charles:He's getting more like his father everyday.
Estrellita:He sure is. This morning he was playing with a corkscrew.
See more »
Movie Connections:


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7 out of 7 people found the following review useful.
An amusing murder mystery at the racetrack, with Nick and Nora Charles...and a waiter who insists they order the sea bass, 2 February 2008
Author: Terrell-4 from San Antonio, Texas

"You know that jockey, Gomez," says Lieutenant Abrams (Sam Levene) to Nick and Nora Charles (William Powell and Myrna Loy) as the two arrive at the racetrack for a little betting, "the one who was caught throwing the fourth race yesterday? He was shot." "My," says Nora, "they're strict at this track." And we're off on the fourth of the Nick and Nora Charles Thin Man series. The mystery isn't bad. The Powell-Loy chemistry is just as fine as always, and the characters...well, Nick remains the suave, gentleman private detective, fond of martinis and double-breasted suits, clever at putting puzzles together, and a man who seems to know everyone from distinguished officials to Rainbow Benny, a racetrack tout. Nora, his wealthy, socialite wife, remains most of the time a skeptical, affectionate, funny helpmate who can match her husband's martini intake whenever she chooses. However, slowly the series is turning Nora into a more conventional wife and mother. In Shadow of the Thin Man, the writers have Nora sometimes just being a ditzy, adoring wife. Myrna Loy makes it work, but some of Nora's smartness and wit have been dumbed down.

Nick agrees to look into the death of the jockey, but then another shooting takes place, this time of Whitey Barrow, a corrupt reporter who is in cahoots with a ring of racketeers who are making a fortune on racetrack gambling. When the dignified Major Jason Scully, hired by the track commission to clean up the situation, and Paul Clark, a young, crusading reporter, visit Nick and try to enlist his services, he turns them down. He's got too much on his hands already with Nora and their three-year-old son, Nick, Jr. That second murder makes him change his mind. Before long he's up to his waist in suspects. There's Link Stephens, the tough smoothie who runs the syndicate and who is weak around the edges; Fred Main, his wise-guy enforcer; Claire Porter, Stephen's upper-class girl friend; and Baku, her chauffeur. There is even a ticket seller to be suspicious of. Plus, just maybe Paul Clark (Barry Nelson) isn't as honest as he seems, especially since his girlfriend, Molly (Donna Reed), works for Stephens. It all comes together, of course, with a big meeting of all the suspects, with Nick taking apart the case clue by clue until the murderer is unmasked. This time, Nora does a bit of heroics that ends with a loving smooch by our favorite couple, with Asta the dog covering its eyes with a paw.

The movie features three genuinely funny set pieces. First up is Nick and Nora at a crowded wrestling match. It's reassuring to see that professional wrestling hasn't advanced an inch in more than 65 years when it comes to the need for great acting ability. Next is the merry-go- round where Nick has to prove that he's not a scaredy-cat to a group of sneering tykes. And finally is a classic that should be revived, where the waiter at Mario's Grotto is determined Nick and Nora and their two guests will all order the sea bass. He will not take broiled lobster as an answer.

And let's spend a moment with Stella Adler, who plays Claire Porter. She was 40 when she made this movie. She was born into one of the leading Yiddish theater families in New York, and became a star in Yiddish theater in the Twenties. In the Thirties she joined the Group Theater, became a star on Broadway, went to the Soviet Union to study under Stanislavsky himself, and returned to become one of America's great drama teachers, as well as an actor and director. Adler never made much of an impression in Hollywood; she spent most of her life in New York. She taught and mentored Marlon Brando and was the single most important influence on his acting career. She died, honored and full of years, in 1992. Just watch her as Porter, a lush, well-bred blonde with a voice as cultured as clotted cream. Except that Claire had been a professional woman, as in the oldest profession. When Claire loses her temper, she loses her culture, her class and her accent. Nick finds this out. Adler handles the role with aplomb, and her instant transformation from cultured to common is something to see.

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