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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 "Thin Man" in the movie refers to character Clyde Wynant and not until "The Thin Man Goes Home" film does the title appear to refer to the lead character of the series. See more »

Goofs

Gilbert accused Dorothy of having an Oedipus complex. An Oedipus complex is antagonism to a father on the part of a son. What Gilbert meant is that Dorothy had an Electra complex, antagonism to a mother on the part of a daughter. 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

Jingle Bells
(1857) (uncredited)
Music by James Pierpont
Background music at Nick and Nora's party
See more »

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User Reviews

 
The first in a great series of mystery films
26 November 2009 | by calvinnmeSee all my reviews

This is one of my favorite movies from any decade. William Powell and Myrna Loy have such chemistry together and their expressions during their verbal sparrings are priceless. Under different circumstances it might be easy to dislike Nick and Nora Charles - they are the idle rich who spend their time overindulging in alcohol, having loud parties, and destroying their own property with air rifles at a time (1934) when much of America was starving through the worst part of the Great Depression. On top of that, Nick makes no secret of how appealing his wife's money is to him. However, the intricate plot, the couple's clever dialogue, and their chemistry draw you in and make their world even seem somewhat normal.

The Thin Man refers to Clyde Wynant, a somewhat absent-minded inventor, the chief suspect in what turns out to be three murders, and someone who only actually appears in the first 15 minutes of the film, never to be seen afterwards.

The Charles' get caught up in the mystery of Wynant's disappearance because his daughter Dorothy (Maureen O'Sullivan) is an old friend of Nick's and asks Nick for his help. Wynant has told his daughter that he is going off somewhere secret to work on an invention so that nobody can steal it from him, but promises he will be back before Christmas so he can be present at her wedding. However, Wynant has never resurfaced and nobody has heard from him. Nick initially has no interest in continuing his former occupation of detective - he is much more interested in having a good time - until a series of circumstances and his own wife's urging draw him into the mystery and back into his role as private detective.

The film is full of unsavory yet interesting characters. Wynant's family is truly dysfunctional. His son is an oddball bookworm obsessed with abnormal psychology, his ex-wife has remarried a gigolo who appears to be hiding a questionable past and finds the idea of working for a living insulting, and Wynant's girlfriend is a very greedy and aging ex-flapper who steps out on Wynant with other men whenever she thinks he isn't noticing. The only virtuous characters in the film seem to be Wynant's daughter and her fiancé. In short, there is no shortage of possible suspects and worthy victims. Even the police in the film are unappealing - they are very good at getting rough with people and performing illegal searches, but not very quick on finding clues or making even obvious deductions. The constantly semi-inebriated Nick Charles has no problem running circles around them and turns out to be both brave and brilliant in his role as sleuth.

I recommend this film to anyone who likes a good murder mystery laced with a bit of dark comedy.


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