Thursday, December 22, 2011

The Thin Man Series

Thin Man Series, is a very entertaining collection of classic crime films about retired private eye Nick and his wife Nora. Known for their witty banter over cocktails. They are probably one of the most sophisticated couples of romantic comedies.

They live in a beautiful New York City apartment, which over looks Manhattan. Not really wanting to continue in the PI business, they just can not seem to turn down the jobs that come their way. Filmed during the Great Depression, Americans seemed to love the, Thin Man Series..

The first and my favorite of the series is: The Thin Man(1934). Directed by W.S. Van Dyke. The story is about a eccentric, thin inventor, named Clyde Wynant, who has disappeared. Nora convinces Nick, to take on the case because she wants to see how a murder is solved. The dashing Nick, wanting to please Nora, takes the case with the help of their dog Asta and a few martinis. Tripping, over a few corpses along the way. Supporting cast: Maureen O'Sullivan, Minna Gombell, William Henry, and Cesar Romero.

Next.. in the series: After The Thin Man (1936). Another fast-paced, classic full of glamour and plenty of sexy and sophisticated banter. This time the couple, go looking into a blackmail turned murder case. The two have just returned to their California home, where they find Nora's relatives have all come for a visit. Nora's cousin's husband turns up missing. Her wealthy family, are all worried about the scandal of his affair with a nightclub singer, becoming public. Nick and Norah find him, dead and you will never guess who the killer is. Fun Fact: A very young James Stewart makes a brief appearance.

Another Thin Man(1939). This classic film, in the series has a one year old Nickie Jr., keeping his mother Nora, a little too busy to keep up with Dad. The Charleses have been invited to spend the weekend at the Long Island estate of Colonel Burr MacFay, a friend of Nora's father. Who believes that an old business partner Phil Church, is going to kill him. Phil Church, who has just been released after spending ten years behind bars, has been holding a grudge all this time against MacFay and has threatened his life. When MacFay dies, Nick and Nora find themselves on the list of suspects. Fun facts: Virginia Grey plays the Colonel's daughter Lois and Ruth Hussey plays Nicky's nurse.

Shadow Of The Thin Man(1941). Nick and Nora, are off to the races when a jockey is murdered. At first Nick, decided against taking the case, because he wants to spend more time with his family. Unfortunately, he cannot say "no" to New York Athletic Commissioner, who asks him personally to take the case. There are a couple of hilarious scenes. One which takes place on a department-store merry-go-round and a huge fight, started by Asta, at a fancy restaurant. Fun Fact: Famous acting teacher Stella Adler as Claire Porter and young Donna Reed also makes an appearance.

The Thin Man Goes Home (1944). Nick and Nora, travel back to Nick's home town of Sycamore Springs, where his parents criticize what he does for a living. They really wanted him to follow his father's footsteps and become a doctor. When a man drops dead on the front porch, they quickly change there mind.. Fun Facts: Gloria DeHaven, Edward Brophy, Lloyd Corrigan, Leon Ames, and Ann Revere as the eccentric "Crazy Mary."

Last but not least: Song Of The Thin Man(1947). This classic has Nick and Nora looking into the mysterious murder of bandleader Tommy Drake. Gloria Graham sings "You're Not So Easy to Forget," by Herb Magidson and Ben Oakland. Fun Facts: Jayne Meadows, Keenan Wynn, Dean Stockwell, Ralph Morgan, William Bishop and Marie Windsor also makes an appearance.

Please click here for further reading on the Thin Man series Doriantb Blogspot. Thin Man Meets Fitzwilly Team

Myrna Loy (August 2, 1905 – December 14, 1993). Trained as a dancer, until she was bitten by the acting bug in a few small roles in silent films. She usually performed as a vamp or a Asian woman. Her career improved after she landed the role as, Nora Charles in The Thin Man (1934). Her pairing with William Powell resulted in 14 films together, including five, Thin Man films.

Director W. S. Van Dyke, chose Loy after he meet her at a Hollywood party. He pushed her into a swimming pool to test her reaction and he liked how she handled the situation. Louis B. Mayer, really did not want Loy to play the part because he felt she was more of a dramatic actress.

The Thin Man, became one of the year's biggest hits and was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Film. Loy, later referred to The Thin Man as the film "that finally made me... after more than 80 films".

With the outbreak of World War II, she walked away from her acting career to work with the Red Cross. She helped run a Naval Auxiliary Canteen and raise money for them. She returned to films with, The Thin Man Goes Home (1945).

Powell's, most famous role was that of Nick Charles, in the six Thin Man films. The role provided a perfect opportunity for Powell, to showcase his wonderful speaking voice, his sophisticated charm and his witty sense of humor. He received his first Academy Award nomination for the film, The Thin Man.


  1. A terrific post Dawn. I never get tired of hearing about The Thin Man films or Myrna and William. Thanks for writing such an amazing post. Merry Christmas!

  2. Great post. None better than The Thin Man series. I can sit down and watch them over and over! Great!!!

  3. Great post, Dawn! I LOVE LOVE LOVE The Thin Man series, I have the whole entire set. And they're playing The Thin Man on TCM today!

  4. I know you already know this, but for some reason The Thin Man movies just don't do it for me. Not sure why...because I adore Myrna Loy...she's easily in my top 10 favorite actresses. And I really like William Powell. And I think they have fantastic chemistry together.

    Even so, though, I've tried 3 of these movies, and I just can't get into them. I know, I know, another of the times I am all alone in the crowd.

    Great post, though (as always). You always have awesome, informative posts.

    Hope you have a great Christmas!!

  5. Me again. I was thinking about why I struggle with this series, so I went into my Net Flix reviews to find out.

    I've seen the first 3 movies, and I 3-starred the first one...the next two were 2 stars. Mostly because I found it sometimes confusing, as a whole host of would-be criminals was introduced. The best part was the final 10 minutes when Powell re-enacts the case.

    So, there you have it. This brain doesn't do well with too much going on, and so many possible criminals just overwhelms me, I guess.

  6. Monty, Thank you. It has been a terrific day on TCM, that has spilled over into today.

    Robin, I'm with you can not get enough, Thin Man. Your house looks beautiful you did a wonderful job decorating for Christmas..

    blacklots, Thank you.. I'm really enjoying your Dueling Divas Blogathon.

    Patti, Well.. you can not say, I did noy try and talk you into giving The Thin Man, films another chance. :)

    Thank you, I'm far from an expert. I'm learning as I go and just sharing what I have learned.

    Interesting, the reasons why you dont like, The Thin Man, trying to figure out who the killer is.. is one of the reasons why I enjoy them.. I also love the banter between Myrna Loy and William Powell. I think they are very cute together.

  7. Dawn, wonderful article about the Thin Man series. I had fun staying up late and watching them! Have to make this short, since posting comments doesn't always take for me right now. Merry Christmas, my good friend! (Hope this shows up!)

  8. Becky, Thank you. I hope your computer problems are fixed soon.


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