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The Thin Man (1934)

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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 »
Show more on IMDbPro »

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 first movie to spawn a sequel using the same characters. See more »

Goofs

It's never explained how Nick has a key to Wynant's lab. 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 Wild Canaries (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

O Christmas Tree
(uncredited)
Traditional Christmas song, lyrics by Ernst Anschütz
Sung a cappella by guests at Nick and Nora's party
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Puts modern movies to shame
18 January 2000 | by CalystaSee all my reviews

"The Thin Man", a deliciously superb mix that keeps getting richer becomes better with every single viewing. The first time I missed a bit of the murder plot, but repeated viewings just enhance the movie.

It has started making me wanted to go out, get a terrier and call it Asta, drink too much for my own good and become a private eye detective. And move to New York. The lovable couple make it all look fun, and even if they do drink too much. Only after I have snapped out of admiration mode for the movie I remember that they were highly paid actors following a script in a hit film of 1934, and I'm living in the year 2000, cannot get a dog, am living in Sydney, and worst of all, I'm fourteen, so I can't drink or become a detective. Such is the modern manner of the movie. It is one of the very few films of its time that retains its freshness, intrigue and brilliant humour.

William Powell and Myrna Loy are incredibly likeable, the wisecracking darlings of society who we all want to know. Their performances were both absolutely brilliant! Some of their antics are a good deal wilder than those we are used to, but in fear of being caught up in murder would keep me away from them, but not long enough. I don't believe there are any shallow characters at all. Thank goodness for "The Thin Man". One of the first to show an affectionate couple in love, I'm still scanning for the same in movies of the 50s.

W.S Dyke is of course not one of the most remembered directors of his time, but for this alone he could be considered a great director. He was not Alfred Hitchcock, but he successfully combined high comedy, crime and thrills into one film. No wonder the major film studios were hot after this property. And Dyke didn't have to rely on the excruciatingly hilarious elements of slapstick. A married couple and a dog was all that was needed. Such a simple thing to emphasise on, and how well it worked! Could there be a more stolen plot of today?

Unfortunately, MGM, despite creating one of the best teamings of the era by putting the platonic Powell and Loy together, released this film in 1934. A nominee for Best Picture, Actor and Director, among other things, it was Capra's "It Happened One Night" that made history by becoming the first film in history to sweep the five major categories at the Oscars. If it had been released in 1933, it would have beaten the now forgotten "Calvacade", in 1935 it may have swept some Oscars up against "Mutiny on the Bounty". I wonder why Loy was not nominated. The film simply could not have been done without her.

Powell and Loy went on to make many movies together. Asta, appeared again as George in the 1938 slapstick masterpiece "Bringing Up Baby".

Although we need some good movies now, no one should even think contemplate for a split second on a remake. There is no way justice could be done to this film. It is a comic masterpiece that continually tricks the viewers, and without a doubt, one of the very best and brightest movies of the 1930s.

I hope I can watch the other "Thin Man" movies. I will definitely be reading the book. The film ended half an hour ago, but I already feel like going back for a second helping.

Rating: 10/10


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