Monday, November 26, 2012

The Thin Man series.

Sorry things have been a bit quiet around here lately! I've spent the past week having a lovely Thanksgiving with my family and decorating for Christmas. :) When I started writing up a couple of new posts, I realized that apparently I've used up all my photo storage in Blogger, and now I'm having to upload and store them somewhere else before I use them here. Which is very annoying and more time-consuming than it used to be, but I'll get used to it, I suppose. Anyway...

The Thin Man films are one of my favorite movie series ever. They are the perfect 30s/40s detective stories, with a big dose of romantic comedy. Nick Charles is a former detective who retired after marrying wealthy Nora. But everywhere he goes, he seems to get involved in some sort of murder investigation, so he's not actually retired no matter how many times he claims to be.

There are six Thin Man films, with the first one made in 1934, and the final one in 1947. The first two are my favorites, but I love them all. There are several things that all of the movies have in common:

-Witty banter and chemistry. William Powell and Myrna Loy are one of my favorite on-screen couples. They are seriously adorable and hilarious and seem to have the perfect marriage, in their own kooky way.
-Asta. Nick and Nora have a sidekick- a dog named Asta. Sometimes he helps solve crimes and sometimes he hinders (remember the rock with the note tied to it? And the knife incident?).
-A clueless head detective. The main detective or head of the police department is generally a goober who acts tough but really has no idea what's going on. They would never solve anything without Nick Charles (even though he's technically not on the case).
-An extravagant atmosphere. Nora always has the most over-the-top wardrobe. Fur coats and fancy gowns and quirky hats. The couple is rich and can pretty much afford whatever they want. Nick (and sometimes Nora) is rarely seen without a drink in his hand, but he's never quite drunk.
-A similar climatic conclusion. This is how Nick always reveals the true culprit: he gathers all of the possible suspects in one place, in one room, and casts suspicion on everyone as he goes through the list of clues. Finally he tells us who the real murderer is.

I know it might sound like they made the same movie six times, but it's not like that at all. :) There are little things about each one that stand out:

The first one is the best, I think. And it's also a way to decide if you want to see all the films- if you love the first one, you'll love all the rest. The entire movie was shot in just twelve days...pretty amazing, huh? Number two is After the Thin Man. The mystery in this one revolves around Nora's cousin and family...also, it has Jimmy Stewart. Always a good thing! There are a lot of sketchy people at a nightclub involved, and I love the way that one tiny slip by one of the suspects is how Nick pieces everything together.

The third movie is Another Thin Man. {Ironically, the "thin man" refers to the missing person in the first film, not Nick Charles. But they kept carrying over the phrase in the sequels so it sort-of came to refer to him.} In this one, Nick and Nora are visiting the person who gets murdered, and Nick is actually one of thes suspects at first. I also love that they are parents now, and there's a birthday party where all of Nick's criminal friends show up with their kids. :)

The next movie is called Shadow of the Thin Man, and it revolves around the murder of a jockey at a race track. I love the waiter who recommends the sea bass, no matter what you really want to order. :)

The fifth film is The Thin Man Goes Home. As you might guess, Nick and Nora visit Nick's parents (Nicky is at boarding school, apparently?) and someone is shot dead on their doorstep. Of course. His parents' maid is very jumpy around him, and I love when they reveal why. Though Nick is going alcohol-free while visiting his parents, every time his dad sees him, he is lying on the floor. His dad always assumes he has passed out, though there's really an innocent excuse. :) I like this one a lot. There's a town eccentric and a mysterious painting, and Nick finally gets to prove himself to his dad (who doesn't appreciate that his son is a detective).

I'm partial to the final movie, Song of the Thin Man, because I love big band music and this one is full of that (it's a bandleader that's killed this time). Also, there's Dean Stockwell (also known as the adorable little boy in Anchors Aweigh), Keenan Wynn, a crazy clarinet player, and the guy who plays the dad in Meet Me in St. Louis and Little Women. :)

What do you think about the Thin Man films?

Until next time,


  1. I've only seen the first two films, but I loved them! The chemistry and banter between William Powell and Myrna Loy is perfection, and Asta is too adorable.

  2. Love! I want to watch all of them! so far I've only seen one. what a great pair!
    I wanted to ask you, I just ran out of picture space too! and I noticed you mentioned having to store your photos in a different place before uploading them to blogger. Where? I'm desperate to know!
    so glad to have stumbled (literally) on your blog! It's lovely. three of my favorite things, classic books, old movies, and crafting. we're such kindred spirits! :D

    1. Hi, Aimee! I decided to use Photo Bucket to store my pictures. :) It's free (for a certain amount of storage) and much easier to upload to my blog than Flickr.

      Thanks so much for stopping by! :)


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