Nick and Nora Charles are asked by Phil Brant and Janet Thayar, who have just eloped, to help them after band leader Tommy Drake is killed at a society dance which Nick and Nora also attended. The police are looking to arrest Brant for the murder and while he claims he's innocent, Nick isn't too keen on having him in the house and turns him over to the police. As they look into the case, Nick and Nora learn that Drake wasn't very well liked and there are actually several people who benefited from his death. Drake owed money to loan shark Al Amboy, and Janet's father disliked Brant and may have set him up. Drake's girlfriend may have been having a fling with clarinetist Buddy Hollis, and he and Drake had a fist fight on stage during the festivities. Nick arranges for another party on the same boat where Nora notices something quite peculiar about one of the guest's jewelry. Written by
William Powell was 55 and Myrna Loy 42 when Song of the Thin Man came out to box office that was not as good as the previous five entries. MGM thought they were getting too old for the roles and they and the stars called a halt to this most acclaimed of film series. I think they carried their parts off well myself.
I think the problem was that this last one was too violent. Myrna Loy is almost killed by one of the suspects and the final unmasking of the villain was very violent, not at all in keeping with the usual lightheartedness that characterized the Thin Man series. I think the audience rejected it for that reason.
A bandleader, Phillip Reed, is murdered on board a gambling ship and later on the band's vocalist Gloria Grahame is also killed. The usual array of suspects is on hand for Bill Powell to sift through and expose.
Song of the Thin Man has Dean Stockwell as their young son, Nick Charles, Jr. and Powell and Loy get a sidekick in the form of sideman saxophonist Keenan Wynn. If the series had kept going, Wynn might have become a regular.
Though it's not as good as the five previous entries, Song of the Thin Man is good one for this series to go out on.
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