A newspaper man, his ignored fiancée, and his former employee, a down on his luck reporter, hatch an elaborate scheme to turn a false news story into the truth in order to prevent a high-society woman from suing for libel.
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
Tiresome story depends heavily on Loy/Powell chemistry...
It was inevitable that "The Thin Man" series would run out of steam eventually and this last entry is probably why both Powell and Loy never made another one. The background for this mystery is a gambling boat with jazz musicians giving the film a very dated look because of all the jive talk, circa 1940s.
And as usual, there are more suspects than there are murders, with Asta and Mrs. Charles trying to help Nick solve the crime. MGM spared no expense in giving the film a glossy, polished look and a sparkling supporting cast--PATRICIA MORISON, LEON AMES, GLORIA GRAHAME, KEENAN WYNN, DEAN STOCKWELL (then 11) and PHILIP REED.
The problem is the usual flaw in these Nick and Nora mysteries--the viewer never gets enough clues to solve the crime along with the two sleuths. You're just along for the ride as the two deal with a host of unpleasant characters, among whom is a murderer who invariably slips up in time for Nick to solve the crime.
Summing up: Good chemistry between Loy and Powell is still there, but they get little help from a tiresome script.
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