This movie had five sequels. Now that’s really something for 1934. Then again, Frankenstein (1931) will continue to have remakes and sequels forever, so, I guess that one wins, but I guess the monster in that movie is great in that anyone could play him, as long as they groaned well and looked good in green. Here, only William Powell and Myrna Loy could play the dynamic duo Nick and Nora Charles.
I know I just spent all of the Field of Dreams review complaining about first acts, so I’ll try not to complain too much here. But this whole first act is setting up the case and not the characters, meaning that Nick and Nora are nowhere to be seen for the first twenty minutes of the film. Which is too bad as they really steal the show, especially Nick Charles, who is not the titular character as everyone thinks. The “Thin Man” actual refers to the person they were looking for in the movie, but every movie after this one has the words “thin” and “man” in there somewhere, so, you know…
Anyway, I have to applaud the acting in this movie. This was during a time when there wasn’t much difference in style between stage-acting and screen-acting, but here most people in this movie act like you should when you’re in a movie. Ahead of its time, but with such good screen-acting that whenever a character is stage-acting it really stands out and brings down the scenes they’re in. Most characters are really good throughout the movie, but the best acting is still Nick and Nora.
This is a detective mystery story about a husband and wife who are so rich they don’t need to work. They spend most of their life partying. When the case falls directly into their laps, it’s at a social gathering and Nick is trying his hardest to not have to work on it and Nora is too drunk to even notice.
This movie has a light tone and I think it works well combining humor with mystery long before shows like Monk or Psych did the same. Also, Nick and Nora just work so well on screen together I could just watch them all day arguing with each other, passive-aggressively but also hilariously, all day. Also, this movie is more deserving of a remake than, well, you know, yet another movie from the 80s.
Why you should watch it before you die: If you’re a fan of comedic-detective shows like I am, or just like watching early movies that are as good as movies made today, then totally check it out.