William Powell is to dialogue as Fred Astaire is to dance. His delivery is so droll and insinuating, so knowing and innocent at the same time, that it hardly matters what he’s saying. That’s certainly the case in “The Thin Man” (1934), a murder mystery in which the murder and the mystery are insignificant compared to the personal styles of the actors. Powell and Myrna Loy co-star as Nick and Nora Charles, a retired detective and his rich wife, playfully in love
“The Thin Man” was one of the most popular films of 1934, inspired five sequels, and was nominated for four Oscars (best picture, actor, direction and screenplay). Yet it was made as an inexpensive B-picture. Powell and Loy had been successful together earlier the same year in “Manhattan Melodrama” (the last film John Dillinger ever saw), and were quickly cast by MGM in this crime comedy that was filmed, incredibly, in only two weeks.
Dennis Gassner picks this film as one of his favorites.
“I like to have a martini, Two at the very most. After three I’m under the table, after four I’m under my host.”