One of my favourite movie series of all time (and dare I say more than the Dark Knight trilogy?!) is the Thin Man series. It is a series of six movies starring William Powell and Myrna Loy in what would be one of the most perfect and iconic movie couples of the 20th century.
I have only gotten to see the first three movies of the series so far, so this post will be part one of two: three movies for now, three for in a month or so. Lets get started on part one!
The first movie was what started it all, and introduced us to the ever so love able Nick and Nora. Nick was a detective previously, and it is a constant joke that he always tries to “retire” but can never seem to since he is always called in on tough cases. His new wife Nora is always in on his antics and wanting to get involved in his work. The antics and repartee between both Loy and Powell will make these two go down in film history as one of the greatest duos of all time.
The first film, The Thin Man was released in 1934 and instantly became a hit after moviegoers fell in love with the duo of Loy & Powell the previous year when they were together in Manhattan Melodrama. The Charles’ have recently married and Nick decides to retire from his sleuthing days and dedicate himself to managing his wealthy wife’s business assets. Before long a friend pops up asking Nick for help in finding her missing inventor father Ellis, who had gone into seclusion to work on a project but promised to return for his daughter’s wedding. When he doesn’t turn up, Nick digs in. Then, her father’s secretary is murdered and Ellis is a prime suspect due to a chain of his being found at the scene. But that is shot when Nick and his dog Asta discover Ellis decomposing body. Soon enough Nick and Nora invite all of the suspects to dinner and prod them all with questions until one finally confesses!
The second movie, After The Thin Man, was released in 1936. The movie starts off fast with Nick being asked by his cousin Selma to check into her missing husband, who is being unfaithful with a nightclub singer named McNulty. Soon, three bodies turn up, including Selma’s husband. Nick finds out that McNulty’s ex boyfriend (played by a young and suave Jimmy Stewart!) has agreed to pay Landi’s philandering husband a sweet sum of $25,000 to stay away from her, as he still carries a flame for her and wants things to go his way. Nick and Nora do their usual roundup and ask their guests/suspects questions until one confesses. I am sure most of you will be surprised at the ending!
Another Thin Man is the last part of my initial coverage of this series, and was released in 1939. When Nick and Nora journey to New York with their new young son in tow, soon the munitions mogul Colonel Burr MacFay invites them to spend the weekend at his gorgeous Long Island estate to investigate the rather odd behaviors of his family and friends recently. Soon enough however, the prophecy comes true and the Colonel is killed as predicted. With Nora controlling the keys to the liquor cabinet to keep Nick from drinking, two more people are killed. In typical Charles fashion, all of the suspected killers are brought into one room for a question and answer session with Nick and Nora at the helms. Soon, the real murder confesses and admits it was for the inheritance money.
This is a classic film noir series that will absolutely enthrall any Old Hollywood movie fan. Perhaps the best part of all of these films is the dialogue between Nick and Nora. I remember one quip from the first movie, where Nora says to Nick, “I heard you were shot five times in the tabloids”, to which Nick wittingly replies, “They never got anywhere near my tabloids.” My jaw nearly dropped! I was laughing so hard and shaking my head, that such a risqué thing to say back then with the unmistakeable innuendo, was in the film! But that is what makes it so fun most of all. And you will love all the little twists and turns in the cases as well. Modern day sleuthing movies are nice and all, but I much prefer black and white charming whodunits like this anyday!
Stay tuned for part two in about a month!