The Thin Man

( 9 )

Overview

Filmed on what MGM considered a B-picture budget and schedule 14 days, which at Universal or Columbia would have been considered extravagant The Thin Man proved to be "sleeper," spawning a popular film, radio and television series. Contrary to popular belief, the title does not refer to star William Powell, but to Edward Ellis, playing the mean-spirited inventor who sets the plot in motion. The recently divorced Ellis discovers that his new girl friend Natalie Moorhead has stolen $50,000 and is carrying on with ...
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Overview

Filmed on what MGM considered a B-picture budget and schedule 14 days, which at Universal or Columbia would have been considered extravagant The Thin Man proved to be "sleeper," spawning a popular film, radio and television series. Contrary to popular belief, the title does not refer to star William Powell, but to Edward Ellis, playing the mean-spirited inventor who sets the plot in motion. The recently divorced Ellis discovers that his new girl friend Natalie Moorhead has stolen $50,000 and is carrying on with other men. Not long afterward, he disappears. Anxious to locate her father, Ellis' daughter Maureen O'Sullivan goes to private detective Nick Charles William Powell for help. Having just married the lovely and wealthy Nora Myrna Loy, Nick has no desire to return to sleuthing, but the thrill-seeking Nora eagerly talks him into taking O'Sullivan's case. Shortly thereafter, Ellis' lady friend is murdered; so far as police detective Nat Pendleton is concerned, the still-missing Ellis is the guilty party. Nick is unsatisfied with this deduction, and with the help of his wire terrier Asta he manages to uncover several vital clues--including a decomposed corpse. At a fancy dinner party, between cocktails and the first course, Nick solves the mystery and exposes a hidden murderer. The story itself, lifted almost verbatim by scenarists Albert Hackett and Frances Goodrich from the Dashiell Hammett novel on which The Thin Man is based, hardly matters. The film's strong suit is the witty repartee between Nick and Nora Charles, who managed to behave like saucily illicit lovers throughout the film even though they're married. The chemistry between William Powell and Myrna Loy would be adroitly exploited by MGM in several subsequent films, including five additional Thin Man mysteries produced between 1936 and 1948.
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Richard Gilliam
The Thin Man works because of the chemistry between stars William Powell and Myrna Loy, and because screenwriters Albert Hackett and Frances Goodrich had the good sense to transfer Dashiell Hammett's source novel to the screen without substantial alterations to the story. Planned by MGM as a lower-profile release, the film nonetheless featured first-rate talent in front of and behind the camera, including director W.S. Van Dyke, cinematographer James Wong Howe, art director Cedric Gibbons, and sound engineer Douglas Shearer. Shearer's role was of substantial importance in naturalistically capturing the casual banter of the stars and creating the film's atmosphere of sophistication and wit. The supporting cast features consistently good performances, with Maureen O'Sullivan the standout. Unlike many MGM films of the 1930s, the production design is understated, as the stars and the screenplay take center stage. Surprisingly popular at the box office, The Thin Man was nominated for four Oscars, including Best Picture.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 10/1/2002
  • UPC: 012569509528
  • Original Release: 1934
  • Rating:

  • Source: Warner Home Video
  • Region Code: 1
  • Aspect Ratio: Pre-1954 Standard (1.33.1)
  • Presentation: Full Frame / snapper case
  • Sound: Dolby Digital Mono
  • Language: English, Fran├žais
  • Time: 1:31:00
  • Format: DVD

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
William Powell Nick Charles
Myrna Loy Nora Charles
Maureen O'Sullivan Dorothy Wynant
Nat Pendleton Lt. John Guild
Minna Gombell Mimi Wynant
Porter Hall MacCaulay
Henry Wadsworth Tommy
William Henry Gilbert Wynant
Harold Huber Nunheim
Cesar Romero Chris Jorgenson
Natalie Moorhead Julia Wolf
Edward S. Brophy Joe Morelli
Edward Ellis Clyde Wynant
Cyril Thornton Tanner
Polly Bailey
Arthur Belasco
Ray Brown Dr. Walton
Ruth Channing Mrs. Jorgenson
Clay Clement Quinn
Nick Copeland
Pat Flaherty Cop/Fighter
Douglas Fowley
Kenneth Gibson Apartment Clerk
Creighton Hale
Sherry Hall Taxi Driver
Edward Hearn
Robert E. Homans Bill the Detective
Thomas E. Jackson
John Larkin Porter
Walter Long Stutsy Burke
Fred Malatesta Headwaiter
Garry Owen Detective
Bert Roach Foster
Rolfe Sedan
Gertrude Short Marion
Ben Taggart Police Captain
Phil Tead
Dink Templeton Reporter
Harry Tenbrook Guest
Huey White Tefler
Leo White Waiter
Charles Williams Fight Manager
Technical Credits
W.S. Van Dyke Director
Dr. William Axt Score Composer, Musical Direction/Supervision
Cedric Gibbons Art Director
Frances Goodrich Screenwriter
Albert Hackett Screenwriter
James Wong Howe Cinematographer
Robert J. Kern Editor
Hunt Stromberg Producer
David Townsend Art Director
Dolly Tree Costumes/Costume Designer
Edwin B. Willis Art Director
Dashiell Hammett Source Author
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 9 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(7)

4 Star

(1)

3 Star

(1)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

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Sort by: Showing all of 9 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Five Star Thriller

    The Thin Man may be the best-crafted mystery comedy of all time, filled with clever rapid fire one-liners, and a well developed plotline. William Powell and Myrna Loy are perfectly cast as the wisecracking and often inebriated couple, detective Nick Charles and wife, Nora. The first of a long run of sequels, which have yet to be released on DVD, The Thin Man deserves all the 5 Star praise it receives.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    why not a boxed set?

    I love all the Thin Man movies - can watch them over and over. Powell and Loy are wonderful together. Why aren't all 6 released together as a boxed set? They deserve to be.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Timeless Classic!

    While the time was the 1930s, the humor is ageless. The clothes, customs, chicanery, and comedy are to long for.Clever and entertaining from start to finish.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Best teaming in film history!

    Wonderful movie! William Powell is one of the best actors of his time, especially in a comedy. Pairing him with the beautiful Myrna Loy, makes the movie perfect. They just don't make movie stars like they used to. Watch the movie, it's fantastic!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    great chemistry!

    this movie is absolutely hilarious! the lines are witty and Myrna loy and william powell are fantastic in this mystery caper that is all about drinking martinis and having fun. it is in a class of its own.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    The best classic cmedy!

    It was excellent. Very funny and unpredictable.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 10, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 15, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 27, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 9 Customer Reviews