The Thin Man (1934)
"The Thin Man" is a hilarious, quick-witted take on the crime noir piece. It is shocking with some of its humor (remember the year) and it is also genuinely exciting.
The movie concerns an inventor named Wynant. He is leaving for a few days and he won't tell anybody where he's going. Before he leaves his daughter and her fiancee come to invited him to the wedding which he promises he'll attend, even though his ex-wife will be there.
Then he goes off to find that bonds have been removed from his safe—his lover/secretary must have them. He confronts her about them, she admits to stealing them, and he threatens going to the police.
But then he's off on a trip, with no instructions on how to find him...he intends on not being found.
So when he's gone for a very long time and no one can find him, his daughter starts to get worried. She's worried for his life, her mother and step-father are worried because the flow of money from him has hit a dam.
On a random outing she bumps into Nick Charles (William Powell), who was an old friend on her fathers and a former detective. She asks for his help finding her dad, but just as soon as she inquires, a telegraph arrives and his services are not needed.
We meet Nick's wife, Nora (Myrna Loy) and the couple's dog, Asta. Nick and Nora (not having an infinite playlist) are pretty much the perfect couple. Loy and Powell have the best chemistry on screen...almost unrivaled.
Nick and Nora have a sparring dialogue, laced with love and alcohol...seriously, there's a lot of drinking that happens in this movie.
Then, like any great plot twists, someone ends up dead. In this case, it's the secretary/lover of Wynant. She is discovered by the ex-wife, who takes a piece of evidence from the crime scene, essentially acquitting her ex-husband.
Nick was a great detective, naturally everyone thinks that he's working the case; but he's not. Through various hoops and jumps, he becomes embroiled in the investigation...but in the best possible way.
"The Thin Man" is avery funny; but it's also very serious. Someone is manages to walk the tightrope between extremes without feeling like a farce.
Nora is keenly interested on Nick returning to detective work, she helps push him back towards his field.
The script for "The Thin Man" is one of the best ever...it's filled with double entendres and nice puns. It feels somehow like an episode of "30 Rock"; but much less druggy.
The booze flows, the crimes continue, and the movie just keeps getting better.
Introducing one wacky character after the other leads up to a cast full of zany peculiars; but it never overreaches its boundaries.
"The Thin Man"—simply put—is an enjoyable class act.
Score: 4 out of 4 stars
Posted by Micah Jones