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The Thin Man (1934)

Not Rated | | Comedy, Crime, Mystery | 25 May 1934 (USA)
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Former detective Nick Charles and his wealthy wife Nora investigate a murder case, mostly for the fun of it.

Director:

W.S. Van Dyke

Writers:

Albert Hackett (screen play), Frances Goodrich (screen play) | 1 more credit »
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Nominated for 4 Oscars. Another 3 wins. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
William Powell ... Nick Charles
Myrna Loy ... Nora Charles
Maureen O'Sullivan ... Dorothy Wynant
Nat Pendleton ... Guild
Minna Gombell ... Mimi Wynant Jorgenson
Porter Hall ... MacCaulay
Henry Wadsworth ... Tommy
William Henry ... Gilbert Wynant
Harold Huber ... Nunheim
Cesar Romero ... Chris Jorgenson
Natalie Moorhead ... Julia Wolf
Edward Brophy ... Morelli
Edward Ellis ... Clyde Wynant
Cyril Thornton Cyril Thornton ... Tanner
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Storyline

After a four year absence, one time detective Nick Charles returns to New York with his new wife Nora and their dog, Asta. Nick re-connects with many of his old cronies, several of whom are eccentric characters, to say the least. He's also approached by Dorothy Wynant whose inventor father Clyde Wynant is suspected of murdering her father's mistress (his former secretary ).. Her father had left on a planned trip some months before and she has had no contact with him. Nick isn't all that keen on resuming his former profession but egged-on by wife Nora, who thinks this all very exciting, he agrees to help out. He solves the case, announcing the identity of the killer at a dinner party for all of the suspects. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

A laugh tops every thrilling moment!

Genres:

Comedy | Crime | Mystery

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

25 May 1934 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Der dünne Mann See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$226,408 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The scene of Nick shooting the ornaments off the tree was added after William Powell playfully picked up an air gun and started shooting ornaments the art department was putting up. See more »

Goofs

When Nick and the coroner look at the body through the Fluoroscope, the bullet, and a piece of shrapnel, appear as bright white. The Fluoroscope uses x-rays except it is viewed on a screen instead of film. Dense objects, such as bones, appear dark, as it appears in the movie. The bullet and shrapnel should then be even darker as it blocks even more of the x-rays. However, this would not have shown up well in the movies, so they were made bright white so the viewers could see them easily. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Tanner: Your daughter's here, Mr. Wynant. Mr. Wynant! Mr. Wynant!
Clyde Wynant, the thin man: Haven't you got any more sense than to shout at me like that?
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits are shown with the original novel by D. Hammett in the background. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Broken English (2007) See more »

Soundtracks

California, Here I Come
(1924) (uncredited)
Music by Joseph Meyer
Played in the score at the end
See more »

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User Reviews

'The Thin Man' is still as fast-paced, stylish, sexy and hilarious as it ever was
20 July 2004 | by Kieran KenneySee all my reviews

Where to begin? I guess I'll start off by saying that this is one of my favorite films of all time. I first saw it on TV years ago (I was probably eleven or twelve) and I still totally love it. Every time I see it, I feel like I get more out of it. I feel like I see AND hear more than I did before.

The story goes that creepy Clyde Wynant (wonderful character actor Edward Ellis) wants to give some bonds to his daughter Dorothy (Maureen O'Sullivan) as a wedding present. But his mistress Julia (Natalie Moorhead) has gotten rid of them. When Julia turns up murdered, Wynant is the obvious suspect, but nobody can find him.

Enter Nick and Nora Charles (William Powell and Myrna Loy), a detective and heiress, just recently married, and clearly very much in love. Nick finds himself pulled into the case, with everyone around him urging him into it. He's reluctant: it's his honeymoon after all. But sure enough he's persuaded to take the case, solves it and exposes the murderer at a climactic dinner party.

Bill Powell and Myrna Loy have astounding chemistry. As husband and wife, they are equals, equally hard-drinking, equally witty, equally fun-loving. They have the same sense of adventure, the same stubbornness, the same competitiveness. In so many scenes, Powell will saw something in his playful, semi-childish, half-drunk sort of way, and Loy will respond with some fabulously delivered retort, in a manner that is almost like a world-wary mother saying to her child 'Now, now, Junior...' It's hard to describe exactly. If anything, I suppose you could say it's deceptively simple. It's one of those things you have to see for yourself.

The rest of the cast is good. I particularly love Minna Gombell, Mynant's ex-wife Mimi, with her latin boyfriend (Cesar Romero) and her tight, shiny black dresses with white fur-lined princess sleeves. Slight, ernest and bespeckeled, William Henry turns in a riotous performance as Gilbert, Mimi and Clyde Wynant's son and Dorothy's brother. A Kinsey-lke figure, the role of Gilbert is one of those bookish, overly-analytical Hollywood stock characters who try to explain other character's subconscious reasons for their actions, and who give strangers peculiar looks at parties. Henry makes the character believable, and he stands out as one of the characters in the movie. Gerturde Short, in an uncredited role, gives a good performance as well. Her delivery of the "I don't like crooks, and if I did like'em..." line is unforgettable. (If you blink, you'll miss Tui Lorraine Bow, friend and step-mother of It Girl Clara Bow! Bert Roach of The Crowd has a small role as well.)

For a modestly-budgeted, rapidly shot, b-level production, The Thin Man is a classy and stylish film. The clothes, assembled by the genial Dolly Tree, are great, and make this a must-see anyone even remotely interested in period fashions. The art deco sets are quite fine, if modest and at times a bit sparse. The editing is good, as is the fairly simplistic photography. Woody Van Dyke, the director, always worked fast, and Myrna Loy recalled that all the movies they worked together on were made at frantic pace. Part of the reason that The Thin Man moves so quickly is the fact that production was so hurried.

The Thin Man gets a ten out of ten from me for being one of the best films ever produced, and one of my absolute favorites of all time.


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