Saturday, February 6, 2016

Oscar Movie Review: "The Thin Man" (1934)

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Movie"The Thin Man"
Year Nominated: 1935
Director: W.S. Van Dyke
Rating: NR
Running Time: 1 hour, 31 minutes
Did It Win?: No.

A former detective named Nick Charles (William Powell) investigates a murder case under the insistence of his wealthy wife Nora (Myrna Loy), who believes solving the mystery will be fun. 

Nominated for four Academy Awards including Best Picture, 1934's "The Thin Man" is an iconic, charming, and funny movie about a couple that tries to solve a murder mystery. William Powell plays Nick Charles, a former detective who has more interest in social parties and drinking cocktails these days than solving murder mysteries. Powell earned one of the four aforementioned Oscar nominations for his role here, and as well he should have. His performance is legendary. His wealthy wife Nora, played by Myrna Loy, is quite alluring and shares some wonderful, hilarious banter with her husband Nick as they communicate as partners and lovers. William Powell and Myrna Loy have amazing chemistry and we completely believe them as a couple, even if the movie code back then dictated they conform to sleeping in separate beds. Nora is intrigued by a recent murder and thinks it will be fun if Nick would look into it, what with him being a former detective and all. Eventually, after essentially being dragged into it by everyone involved, Nick agrees to take the case, but that doesn't mean their cocktail hours cease. Clouded in booze and fancy outfits, Nick and Nora set out to solve a murder when many suspects are potentially involved in this thrilling, fascinating, and rather enchanting crime drama. The story surrounding the murder and the eventual uncovering of the killer is both enthralling and surprisingly humorous. "The Thin Man" was a surprise sleeper hit and went on to produce a whole series of sequels, many of which are good, but not as great as this fabulous original. We enjoy this movie very, very much.

In the 80+ years since "The Thin Man" was released, a lot of films have come out and simply faded into obscurity. Many others don't even hold up well as pieces of cinematic history. However, this particular one holds up wonderfully and is every bit as enjoyable today as it was when it was released. Being part of a household who grew up with old Hollywood in its veins, I have seen "The Thin Man" several times and it is just as fun watching it now as it was when I was younger. An amazing movie everyone must see at least once!

My Rating: 9/10
BigJ's Rating: 9/10
IMDB's Rating: 8.2/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 97%
Do we recommend this movie: ABSOLUTELY YES!!!
One year ago, we were watching: "Goodfellas"

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