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
It's 1947 and after five entries into the "Thin Man" series, starting in 1934, it's time for a sixth and last one. This may not be the best, but it has a lovely cast consisting of William Powell and Myrna Loy, of course, as well as Keenan Wynn, Leon Ames, Gloria Grahame, Don Taylor, Patricia Morison, Jayne Meadows, Dean Stockwell as little Nicky, and Asta Jr.
Nora is trying for a higher class of acquaintances in the hopes that Nicky will get to know people besides thieves. At a society dance, the band leader, Tommy Drake (Philip Reed), is killed. The police go after Phil Brant, whom they suspect. The next day, Janet Thayer (Meadows) and Brant (Bruce Cowling), with whom she has just eloped, come to ask for Nick and Nora's help. The police arrive just then, and because Nick believes that Brant's life is in danger, turns him over to the police for his own safety.
Ass Nick and Nora look into the case, they find out that there are many suspects in Drake's death as he wasn't very popular. Janet's father (Ralph Morgan) couldn't stand him, he owed money to a loan shark (William Bishop), and the clarinetist (Don Taylor) and Drake had an onstage fight. Drake suspected him of having an affair with his girlfriend (Grahame) who sings with the band.
In an attempt to be hep, Nick attempts to use musician language, and it's funny to hear it coming from him, and Nora tells the institutionalized clarinet player that she's a "canary." Though they were always wonderful together, Powell and Loy just don't have the zip of earlier films; they are, after all, older. Powell is 55, Loy is 42 and lovely, but their routine is tired. The mystery is okay; Dean Stockwell is funny as the incorrigible Nicky, and Asta Jr. has some funny bits.
You'll enjoy this as long as you don't compare it to the first few. "The Thin Man" started a host of imitators as well as a TV show and Broadway musical. Powell and Loy brought humor and class to the detective genre. This isn't really a fitting end to such an important series.
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