Thursday, August 2, 2012

The Thin Man

Tonight, TCM is airing one of my all time favorite movies, The Thin Man. Released in 1934, it is a comedy murder mystery based on the novel written by Dashiell Hammett.  The film stars William Powell and Myrna Loy as Nick and Nora Charles.  They are, in my opinion, one of the greatest screen matches EVER.

Nick, a one time detective, has married the rich and playful Nora.  After being gone for several years, they return to New York with their lovable dog, Asta.  Nick reconnects with several of his old friends and is approached by Dorothy Wynant, played by Maureen O'Sullivan, to help locate her missing scientist father, who is suspected of murdering her step-mother.  Nick is not keen on the idea of resuming his old profession.  He is content with spending his days and nights drinking, playing, and looking after Nora's fortune.  But, Nora finds the idea exciting and convinces him to take the case.

The whole whodunit aspect of the film adds to the fun, but the movie is really about the clever, playful, rapid-fire interaction between Nick and Nora.  Their lives seem to consist of cocktail party after cocktail party with a continuous drinking frenzy and in between the wisecracking, witty banter and martinis, they solve the mystery.  The film is one of the finest cinematic examples that shows marriage working more as a partnership, rather than one yielding to the will of another.

The incomparable duo of William Powell and Myrna Loy, with their one of a kind chemistry, along with an outstanding supporting cast and clever script, makes this film a must see.

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