Sunday, January 31, 2010

87. The Thin Man (1934)

Running Time: 93 minutes
Directed By: W.S. Van Dyke
Written By: Albert Hackett, from novel by Dashiell Hammett
Main Cast: William Powell, Myrna Loy, Maureen O'Sullivan, Edward Ellis, Minna Gombell


With this being the first time that I saw "The Thin Man", I must say that I was wildly impressed with the performances of both William Powell and Myrna Loy, two actors who I've had my first cup of tea with, in "The Thin Man" and two actors who's chemistry together was so good, that to realize that they're not actually married, is a hard pill to swallow.

Before Powell and Loy get their screen time, we're first introduced to Clyde Wynant, an inventor who's about to embark on a very secretive journey and no one else knows where he's headed. Prior to leaving on his trip, Wynant meets his daughter's new fiance and approves of him quickly and decides to give them an early wedding present of some $50,000 in bonds. When Wynant goes to his sage to retrieve the bonds, he finds out quickly, that they're missing and right away he suspects his secretary, Julia Wolf. Wynant arrives at her apartment, they spat a little over the whereabouts of the bonds and then Wynant is off on his trip.

Several months later, Wolf is found dead by Wynant's ex-wife Mimi, clutching the watch chain of one Clyde Wynant. With Mr. Wynant still out of town, he's still the one clear suspect of the murder of Julia Wolf. Powell and Loy are then brought into the picture, as a former detective and his very cute wife, respectively. Powell plays a cool character, a very likeable guy, who despite constantly raising a glass to his lips, seems like the type that could easily be gotten along with. His wife (Loy) is just as likeable, crinkling her nose at her humorous hubby and looking adorable in the meantime. Nick Charles (Powell) is a former detective who wants nothing more than to spend a nice Christmas with his wife, Nora and their dog Asta and certainly wants nothing to do with the case of Julia Wolf. Eventually, after much coaxing from his wife, he folds, and gets right into the thick of the "whodunit" plot.

Speaking of that "whodunit" plot, it really didn't do a whole lot for me. Despite a few more dead bodies turning up, we're really not given a whole lot of new information, as the plot unravels and we're left for big chunks of the film, with really not a whole lot going on, outside of the witty banter between Nick and Nora. Speaking of Nick and Nora, they were great and I've been told that Powell and Loy starred in some other pictures together (including Thin Man sequels), which I wouldn't mind taking a look at, at all, because they just meshed together so well and really made you believe that they were a very much in love married couple. Besides Powell and Loy, which were the only good things about this movie, I'd have to give it the big thumbs down, as it just didn't hit me the way some of these classics have been and somewhere in between the movie and me, something was getting lost.

RATING: 5/10 Powell and Loy are enough to get this movie to an average rating, but without them, this would've been a disaster.

NEXT UP: Captain Blood...Errol Flynn makes his way into my DVD player and he should be there later tonight. Check back then.

January 31, 2010 6:11pm


  1. Very fair comment. Purely the interplay isn't it?
    I have tried carrying on, but I'm afraid the introducting of nausiatingly cute kid ruined it!
    (my apologies to any partents with simular curley headed moppets, who I'm sure are wonderful, but this was most off putting) You possibly wouldn't like my cat...

  2. Yeah, Powell and Loy had great chemistry, which made for an average movie. But, as I said, without them, this would have been a snoozefest.


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