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"I believe in pink. I believe that laughing is the best calorie burner. I believe in kissing...kissing a lot. I believe that happy girls are the prettiest girls."
Audrey Hepburn

Monday, September 27, 2010

Movie Review Monday is Back~The Thin Man (1936)

Mini Review
Starring: William Powell and Myrna Loy
Directed By: W.S. Van Dyke

This original film in the 'Thin Man' series introduces us to Nick and Nora Charles, played expertly by one of the monumental 'screen teams', William Powell and Myrna Loy. Nick is a former P.I. who has walked into a wealthy marriage and has chosen to give up his old job in order to manage his wife's money. But all that changes when a murder is committed that links Nick to the case in more ways than one. Initially, Nick refuses to get involved but finds a surprising shot of encouragement from an unexpected source...his wife. Nora has a head for problem solving it seems, and over the course of this twisting, martini-shaking 'whodunit', she proves to be Nick's biggest ally. The 'mystery' doesn't play out as intriguingly as other films of the genre, but the sheer delight in watching Nick and Nora interact more than makes up for that. By the end of the film, I was anxious to see more...and an even bigger fan of Myrna Loy's darling self.

Unfortunately, subsequent films of the series do not have the charm and appeal of this original installment. 'After the Thin Man' is strong, showcasing my very favorite actor of all time, James Stewart, in an early role in his career. It is entertaining to watch him overplay the part to such an extent, especially when he is known to be the king of natural acting. Later in the series, we are also introduced to the Charles' inevitable offspring and sobriety is even attempted by the couple, at one point. But nothing compares to this original film and the legendary standard it set for films of both the 'romantic comedy' and 'crime-solving' genres.

My rating: 10/10

Style Factor: When it comes to 1930's fashion, Myrna Loy's wardrobe in this film was a perfect example. In spite of the black and white cinematography, we are never disappointed in her glitzy attire-from her extravagant nightgowns to her oddball hats. It's kind of an essential exhibitition of the decade's proclivity towards excess.

Style Score: 8


Gemma said...

Ahhh, I love these films. Definately agree that the first is the best, but I still bought the box set!
Myrna Loy is my absolute style icon... and if I ever had a dog, Aster would be his name... in fact, if I ever change boyfriends William Powell would do too!
G x

Lorie B said...

Being my favorite movie of all time...I thought I would share a couple of bits of trivia. LB Mayer DID NOT want them in this film,and only agreed to it if they would film it between their other projects. So, it was filmed in two weeks. He also wouldn't give them hardly any money, so they used their own clothes for they had no wardrobe budget. You would never see that happen today. Amazing how this and "It Happened One Night" were supposed to be a couple of 'B' movie sleepers that year, and instead they were the two biggest movies of the year. Thanks for sharing!

Iknowkaratevoodootoo said...

SUCH a good film!!

Unknown said...

love love love that film ! From the first moment we see William Powell and his cocktail shaker and Myrna Loy's ankle shots with Asta. It epitomises the art deco days of the early 1930's so perfectly.I agree about Myrna Loys outfits. Endlessly glamourous.Depression ? What Depression ?!

Unknown said...

I think I mucked up earlier comment. I loved the Thin man series. You can get the whole lot now as a boxed set, but the first is the best. Maureen O Sullivan [ Mia Farrows mum] was stunning in this film too.The opening scenes of Powell and his cocktail shaker and Myrna walking Asta into the bar are priceless.

BonnyBadger said...

i absolutely love old films! I have never heard of this one. Lovely to find your blog. I have long hair and NEVER know what to do with it. I simply can't do anything to my own hair - I end up with a pony tail all day. I will try some of your tips!

msspurlock said...

Myrna Loy can still make me sigh.
And Nora was the type of woman I always saw myself marrying.

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