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The Thin Man (1934)

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ON DISC
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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More Like This 

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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

Reportedly, Dashiell Hammett based Nick and Nora's banter upon his rocky on-again, off-again relationship with playwright Lillian Hellman . See more »

Goofs

Christmas Eve, when Dorothy Wynant meets Nick in a bar, she says her father disappeared 3 months earlier. But the opening of the movie, which depicts the day in New York that her father disappeared, it is snowing. Late September is too early for New York City snowfall. 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 Boys of the City (1940) 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

 
Sleuthing Among The Rich and Famous
2 November 2006 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

Though five sequel films were made from this very popular original there are still to this day people who will answer the question who is the Thin Man with William Powell.

The answer of course is Edward Ellis, an inventor whose disappearance gets a recently retired detective named Nick Charles to solving a case where three murders are committed almost in spite of himself. Ellis is a tall and very skinny man, hence the title.

One thing I always liked about The Thin Man. The formula never varied, MGM didn't believe in tampering with success. It was always that Nick and Nora Charles get dragged almost kicking and screaming into some homicide. Nick is always four jumps ahead of the police be it Nat Pendleton or Sam Levene. Two or three other murders are committed before the solution is arrived at. And always the gathering of the suspects at the end when Nick lays it all out for them, the cops and we the audience. And of course Nora whose help except for moral support is somewhat dubious.

One thing that was cut down on was Nick's alcoholic consumption. The Thin Man just beat it under the wire with The Code and as the Charles had a baby in later stories, it wouldn't do to have one of the father role models in America be a complete drunk all the time.

I always liked the fact that in all The Thin Man stories the murderer is never obvious. A twist in the plot could have made any one of the suspects the guilty party.

The Thin Man was nominated for Best Picture and Oscar nominations were given out to William Powell, director Woody Van Dyke, and screenwriters Goodrich and Hackett for adapting Dashiell Hammett's original story. Unfortunately The Thin Man ran up against It Happened One Night and got skunked out of all the top prizes.

But amazingly enough Myrna Loy was not nominated for Best Actress. In fact the woman NEVER got an Oscar nomination. If there was every a case where the chemistry between the leads made a film, The Thin Man was it. How you could nominate Powell and not Loy is beyond me.

But that's Hollywood for you. The Thin Man is a fresh today as it was over 70 years ago.


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